2014 European Tour – London

March 17, 2014

I am now back home in San Francisco, but wanted to give an update on my last leg of the trip in London. I arrived on Wednesday night for a dinner with the team in London. We’ve always had a strong presence in the UK, but it was not until this past January that we opened a beautiful office in Euston Square. We also have added many new impressive hires in London such as Paul Scholey as Sales Director of EMEA and Laura Coles as Marketing Director of EMEA and APAC. It was great to spend some time Wednesday night getting to know the new team members and then to see the new office on Thursday.

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Dinner with Pentaho team in London

Thursday was one of the busiest day of my European tour. My first meeting of the day was with one of the world’s largest interactive advertising agencies. They are using Pentaho to provide web analytics to their customers (including some of the world’s largest brands). This agency has impressive plans for rolling out their Pentaho-powered analytics platform to provide a distinctive service that can help their client’s optimize campaign effectiveness and web site design.

Next was an interview with Jason Stamper who recently joined 451 Research. This is the second time that I met Jason in person and I always enjoy our conversations about next generation technologies and big data use cases.

My third meeting of the day was with another impressive customer, a leading global loyalty analytics provider. They are currently rolling out a major project with Pentaho Data Integration to help them to achieve efficiencies and optimizations across a large, distributed group.

Early afternoon I traveled to Canary Wharf to meet with a leading global investment bank and speak with the Global Head of Risk and Finance IT. We talked about the role of Pentaho in addressing their big data challenge (understanding their trading exposure to client entities and to improve operational efficiency), in order to support better risk reporting and financial consolidation.

Not done yet….next it was on to a telecommunications company that has selected Pentaho to underpin several strategic initiatives to resolve complex data issues for both themselves and their clients.

Five meetings down and I was still ready for more. Once back at the office, several UK team members got together and I ran through the information I have been sharing with analysts and investors.  This is such an exciting time for us as a company and seeing everyone enthused by what we have to offer, and the speed that we are growing. I received many great questions from both new starters and ‘old hands’, but what I really liked was seeing such a strong unified team.

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Running through our analyst and investor deck with the Pentaho team

Last, but certainly not least, I ended my day with an interview with Brian McKenna at Computer Weekly discussing our strong partner relationships with MongoDB, Splunk and Cloudera as well as our capabilities for governed data discovery.

The busy day was topped off with an enjoyable dinner with some of the team and customers.

Friday, I said my goodbyes to the team and started on the long travel back home to San Francisco. This past week has been a whirlwind visiting Frankfurt, Paris, Cascais (Portugal) and London. I always leave these European tours impressed by our customers and extraordinary EMEA team as well as excited about the opportunities for Pentaho in Europe.

It truly is going to be the year of Pentaho!

Quentin


2014 European Tour – Portugal

March 13, 2014

I traveled to Lisbon yesterday in time to enjoy dinner with the 2 Pedro’s – Alves and Martins and Nuno Moreira.  We are lucky to have these three very talented men join the Pentaho team when we acquired Webdetails last year.

My morning was taken up spending time with the Webdetails team in Pentaho’s new Portugal office.  We acquired Webdetails in April of 2013 and I have never seen a company to integrate so seamlessly and start making impactful contributions as quickly as the Webdetails. This past year they continued to build upon their CTools series for creating and managing dashboards and reports and have used that talent to help deliver our 5.0 platform in September.  A few other items to mention are the creation Sparkl and a project maturity classification system, building out the Pentaho Marketplace, new language pack installers, new community website and more. Ease of use and impressive design is their specialty. Even their job application website is a memorable experience.

Next stop is London where I am look forward to seeing our new office and more non-stop days.  First up is a team dinner where I will have the chance to meet several new team members.

London, I’m on my way!

Quentin


2014 European Tour – Paris

March 12, 2014

After a great day in Frankfurt, I was just winding down for the day and enjoying a fine German beer, when in California the team was just starting their day.  And of course the calls started coming in from everyone who thought I would be starting my working day as well – the perils of the time differences when you are traveling!

Day two of my European tour began in Paris. First on the agenda was a meeting with our customer PIXID, market leaders for internet-based workflow and document management services to services organizations using temporary staff. Today 300 enterprises, 700 SMBs and 6,500 agencies, representing 90 percent of the temp activity in France, are connected to PIXID services. The company has decided to integrate Pentaho Business Analytics with its collaborative “e-temp” platform to offer its clients and agency networks the ability to view advanced performance metrics as well as detailed interactive analysis. It was a great meeting and fantastic to see thought leaders like PIXID embedding our analytics capability as a means of further differentiating their own products and helping them to expand globally into new markets.

We had an interesting discussion on the benefits that big data technology can bring to this market, along with the complexities of doing so in a regulated environment – and one where data security and governance is of paramount importance.

The regulations for how data can be stored, shared and analyzed differ across all of the countries in Europe, which is a further challenge — But also an opportunity.

Next up was a very enjoyable lunch. It would be rude to come to Paris and not partake in the cuisine!

I then spent some of the afternoon with a top-tier global consultancy that is investing heavily in the provision of Business Services.  They are providing a service into the banking sector, which increasingly faces the challenge of meeting the needs of the regulator without impacting the ability of the business to innovate, invest and deliver client satisfaction and profitability.  Banks have to drive unnecessary cost out of their business processes to be able to do this. This type of challenge is tailor made for emerging Big Data technologies. I look forward to following-up on this project since many of the leading global banks will soon be using Pentaho.

Next stop Portugal and spending some time with our incredibly talented WebDetails team!

Quentin


2014 European Tour – Frankfurt

March 11, 2014

My week in Europe is off to a great start. Yesterday, I was in Frankfurt, Germany with back-to-back meetings with partners and customers. It was nice to start the day off meeting with IT Novum, a Pentaho partner of four years.

It has been good to hear about the big data market really gathering pace here in Germany, and that there is such widespread interest. One of the markets that is strongest for Pentaho in Germany is the embedded analytics market. While several Pentaho team members were busy yesterday not too far away in Hanover, Germany speaking about big data and embedded analytics at CeBIT, I had a chance to meet with our OEM partner Godesys  and learn about how they embed Pentaho into their full ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution – which they have deployed to an impressive 600 customers.

I was impressed by our partner Inovex who is also working on some fantastic big data customer deployments.  It was great to hear a few excellent big data Hadoop case studies including one of the largest media companies in Germany using Pentaho and Hadoop to analyze customer behavior patterns across all channels, particularly web and television.

Next up…Paris!

Quentin


2014 European Tour – 4 cities, 5 days

March 10, 2014

This week I am excited to be in Europe visiting Germany, Portugal, France and London.  My schedule is packed full of meetings with customers, partners and analysts, and I am of course looking forward to spending some time with the team in our newly established London office.

It is a little over a year since my last trip to Europe, when I was impressed by the enthusiasm that I saw for big data. At the time I predicted that big data would start to enter mainstream production in 2013 and there is clear evidence of this with Pentaho’s fast growing EMEA business and rapidly expanding regional team.

On this trip, a few of the companies that I will be speaking with include a major British telecoms company, one of the world’s largest interactive advertising agencies and a national bank. I am interested to hear how they  – and others – are utilizing data and analytics to drive their businesses forward and benefit from innovative new revenue streams. It is always good to find out about how execution of big data analytics is working out for users in practice.

I will also be catching up with some familiar faces from my last visit, including Brian McKenna from ComputerWeekly.

It’s going to be a roller coaster of a trip and I can’t wait to see everyone, Europe, here I come!

Quentin


Big Data 2014: Powering Up the Curve

December 5, 2013

Last year, I predicted that 2013 would be the year big data analytics started to go into mainstream deployment and the research we recently commissioned with Enterprise Management Consultants indicates that’s happened. What really surprised me though is the extent to which the demand for data blending has powered up the curve and I believe this trend will accelerate big data growth in 2014.

Prediction one: The big data ‘power curve’ in 2014 will be shaped by business users’ demand for data blending
Customers like Andrew Robbins of Paytronix and Andrea Dommers-Nilgen of TravelTainment, who recently spoke about their Pentaho projects at events in NY and London, both come from the business side and are achieving specific goals for their companies by blending big and relational data. Business users like these are getting inspired by the potential to tap into blended data to gain new insights from a 360 degree customer view, including the ability to analyze customer behavior patterns and predict the likelihood that customers will take advantage of targeted offers.

Prediction two: big data needs to play well with others!
Historically, big data projects have largely sat in the IT departments because of the technical skills needed and the growing and bewildering array of technologies that can be combined to build reference architectures. Customers must choose from the various commercial and open source technologies including Hadoop distributions, NoSQL databases, high-speed databases, analytics platforms and many other tools and plug-ins. But they also need to consider existing infrastructure including relational data and data warehouses and how they’ll fit into the picture.

The plus side of all this choice and diversity is that after decades of tyranny and ‘lock-in’ imposed by enterprise software vendors, in 2014, even greater buying power will shift to customers. But there are also challenges. It can be cumbersome to manage this heterogeneous data environment involved with big data analytics. It also means that IT will be looking for Big Data tools to help deploy and manage these complex emerging reference architectures, and to simplify them.  It will be incumbent on the Big Data technology vendors to play well with each other and work towards compatibility. After all, it’s the ability to access and manage information from multiple sources that will add value to big data analytics.

Prediction three: you will see even more rapid innovation from the big data open source community
New open source projects like Hadoop 2.0 and YARN, as the next generation Hadoop resource manager, will make the Hadoop infrastructure more interactive. New open source projects like STORM, a streaming communications protocol, will enable more real-time, on-demand blending of information in the big data ecosystem.

Since we announced the industry’s first native Hadoop connectors in 2010, we’ve been on a mission to make the transition to big data architectures easier and less risky in the context of this expanding ecosystem. In 2013 we made some massive breakthroughs towards this, starting with our most fundamental resource, the adaptive big data layer. This enables IT departments to feel smarter, safer and more confident about their reference architectures and open up big data solutions to people in the business, whether they be data scientists, data analysts, marketing operations analysts or line of business managers.

Prediction four: you can’t prepare for tomorrow with yesterday’s tools
We’re continuing to refine our platform to support the future of analytics. In 2014, we’ll release new functionality, upgrades and plug-ins to make it even easier and faster to move, blend and analyze relational and big data sources. We’re planning to improve the capabilities of the adaptive data layer and make it more secure and easy for customers to manage data flow. On the analytics side, we’re working to simplify data discovery on the fly for all business users and make it easier to find patterns and catch anomalies. In Pentaho Labs, we’ll continue to work with early adopters to cook up new technologies to bring things like predictive, machine data and real-time analytics into mainstream production.

As people in the business continue to see what’s possible with blended big data, I believe we’re going to witness some really exciting breakthroughs and results. I hope you’re as excited as I am about 2014!

Quentin Gallivan, CEO, Pentaho

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Gearing up businesses for every stage of their journey to becoming truly data-driven

September 12, 2013

dashboard-laptopToday I’m incredibly proud to announce the availability of Pentaho Business Analytics version 5.0 – a milestone that’s as much a statement of our long-term vision as a software upgrade. As businesses battle the headwinds of global competition, they increasingly rely on data to improve customer service, grow revenue and become more efficient. As a result, demands on IT have never been greater and many are buckling under the relentless pace of big data proliferation and technological change. UK industry analyst Clive Longbottom of Quocirca said in a recent meeting with us, “the big data market is the ‘wild west’ and someone has got to go in and be the Sheriff that calms everything down!”

When we say in today’s press release that we have ‘geared up our analytics platform for the future of big data,’ we mean that we enable businesses at every stage in their journey to becoming truly data-driven. We see these stages as:

  • Storage — most companies start by moving data in and out of Hadoop stores to learn how to capture big data cost-effectively and enabled early experimentation.  Many customers are using Pentaho to support data warehouse optimization projects, moving some data out of high-performance databases into cost-effective Hadoop or MongoDB stores.
  • Visualizing and Reporting – some customers are visualizing or reporting from those big data stores, whether Hadoop or NoSQL. Pentaho 5.0 includes the industry’s first analytics platform with full support for MongoDB that doesn’t require coding, making it available to more business users.
  • Data blending – true ‘big picture’ insights happen when operational data sources are blended with big data sources. Companies that compete largely on service, in industries like telecommunications and financial services, see big data blending’s potential to help them gain market-share by providing the most personalized and interactive customer experience. Pentaho 5.0 is the first analytics platform to enable analysts to easily blend all data types ‘at the source’ and immediately report, visualize and explore for greater insights.
  • Predicting – it’s been talked about for many years, but I don’t think predictive analysis has yet reached its potential, partly because of tool complexity and partly the historical inability to easily integrate big data sources to go beyond data sampling. We are finally starting to see broader predictive use cases that involve data blending and the ability to tap into huge volumes of non-relational data in near real-time. We will continue to invest in predictive capabilities to build on Pentaho 5.0 as this is a main focus of Pentaho Labs.
  • The data-driven business – ultimately we expect innovative customers of all sizes to embed analytics into every business processes and applications, so analytics become an integral part of operations rather than separate systems they need to access for decision-making.

And finally, it’s always been our view that bringing analytics ‘to the masses’ can only be achieved when the simultaneous needs of business users and the IT departments that serve them are met. Pentaho 5.0 improves the analytics experience for everyone in modern, big data-driven businesses from CIOs responsible for data governance to business analysts exploring customer data to executives viewing dashboards on their mobile devices.

We hope you like what you see in Pentaho 5.0 and look forward to your feedback!

Quentin


Webdetails and the art of the possible

April 22, 2013

wd_pentaho_horizontalIn business analytics, we hear so much these days about the growing role that data scientists play in helping organizations tap into big data to reach their goals. However, in certain scenarios, from hospitals to hospitality, information also needs to be designed with a combination of style, accessibility and consistency. In these cases, sometimes you may also need a data artist!

With that, I am very pleased to announce today that Webdetails, an exceptionally talented team of ‘data artists’ based in Portugal, have joined the Pentaho family through acquisition. Webdetails’ team of 20 will join our global development team, adding advanced capabilities in high-end, user interface design. Many of our customers and users reading this will already be familiar with Webdetails’ popular CTools plug-ins for creating dashboards and reports.

For several years now, Webdetails has been serving Pentaho customers including 4SightBI, St. Antonius Hospital, and our award-winning customer Stonegate Senior Living, showing them ‘the art of the possible’ when it comes to visually presenting their data. With its expertise in custom visual interfaces, if a customer can imagine it, Webdetails can create it using its CTools plugins and Pentaho’s extensible platform.

Finally, I am delighted that Webdetails’ Founder Pedro Alves, a respected, active member of the Pentaho open source community, will take on the new role of Senior VP, Community for Pentaho, as well as continue in his role as General Manager of Webdetails. Pedro is ideal for this role, having recently collaborated with us to launch the Pentaho Marketplace, where developers can share, install and load cool plug-ins.

So dare to dream! If you want to create interfaces that dazzle and delight your users, visit Pentaho.com and let us show you the art of the possible.

Quentin


Big Data Speeds Across the Chasm

December 14, 2012

Last week I visited our European team and met with customers, prospects, press and analysts to learn and talk about big data. My week in Europe confirmed my belief that we are definitely in the right business at the most exciting possible time. In a region that is rife with economic challenges, my conversations were optimistic and inspiring.

Seasoned industry people will be familiar with Geoffrey Moore’s famous curve showing the phases of technology adoption, in which the toughest challenge is ‘crossing the chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. With some technologies, this journey can take years. Many never make it across.

Technology Adoption Lifecycle

After speaking to me and executives from MapR, Cloudera and ParAccel, Brian McKenna of Computer Weekly proposes in his article “Big data analytics set to confound conventional adoption curve in UK” that big data adoption is moving relatively fast in the UK and Europe. The UK industry analyst Clive Longbottom, who I met with, reinforced this saying that big data adoption in the UK was only three months behind the US.

Of course the real proof is in what customers are doing. During my visit, our customer Carsten Bomsdorf of Travian Games presented at the Big Data Analytics conference in London about how his company uses Pentaho to analyze the behavior of its 140 million gamers to continuously innovate its award-winning products. And in marked contrast to last year, every single European customer and prospect I met with was either executing or actively planning for big data analytics.

Why is the adoption curve for big data moving faster than other technologies, even in Europe’s more traditionally risk and hype-averse markets? The answer is economic urgency. Big data analytics has demonstrated that it can help companies identify new revenue streams – even needles in haystacks – regardless of the economic climate. Quite simply big data is the ultimate tool for matching supply with demand.

If Europe’s enthusiasm for big data is anything to go on, I have to conclude that 2013 really will be the year that it starts to enter mainstream production. Fasten your seat belts – it’s going to be a wild ride!

Quentin Gallivan, CEO, Pentaho


Leading venture funds back Pentaho’s big data strategy

October 30, 2012

It’s an immensely proud day for Pentaho. Today we announced that a syndicate of venture capital firms led by NEA that includes Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures and DAG Ventures has agreed to invest $23 million in the company. You can read the press release here.

These firms share a common belief that the big data revolution offers significant upside and is part of a larger transformation taking place in the enterprise software industry that includes cloud computing. NEA’s recent blog post, SaaS 3.0: Big Data that Delivers, describes this very eloquently.

However, no matter how cool a company’s technology is, the ability to attract funding depends on how well the company is delivering on its strategy. I’m pleased to report that our first-mover advantage in big data really started to pay off in 2012, with our big data sales growing by more than 300%!  And I believe the kind of growth we’ve seen this year is only the tip of the iceberg.

Still, revenue growth is only part of the picture.  As Warren Buffet famously said, “value is what you get” and sustainable growth depends on the ability to create value for others. On this score, our big data solutions are creating value for a new generation of disruptive companies like Beachmint, Shareable Ink and Travian Games, which recognize the potential of advanced analytics to drive innovation, customer loyalty and new sources of revenue. Established companies like Soliditet and several large firms in financial services are using Pentaho to prepare for a future that will include big data analytics.

We plan to use the new funds to accelerate further technology innovation in big data and other areas, recruit the best talent in the industry and further our expansion into global markets so that we can create even more market value through our solutions.

The big data journey is in full flight – hang on for a fast, fun filled ride!

Quentin Gallivan


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