Recognizing and Rewarding Your Work: The Pentaho Excellence Awards

June 23, 2014

Lego_PEAOne of my favorite aspects of being CEO of Pentaho is the opportunity to talk to our customers around the world. Innovative and motivated individuals and teams are turning data into value and making a major impact for their organization, and in some cases for the better of society. We are proud to announce first annual Pentaho Excellence Awards to recognize and honor our customers and users, rewarding those that have deployed Pentaho technologies in impressive and innovative ways.

The Pentaho Excellence Awards offer an opportunity for you and your team to receive industry recognition for your expertise in analytics and big data deployments and thought leadership. While we know your teams are busy helping to make faster and smarter business decisions, here is the link to more information about the Pentaho Customer Excellence Awards and our short nomination process: http://bit.ly/PWorldPEA. Nominations are open until July 11th.

A panel of expert judges will pick a winner in six different categories. Category winners receive a free pass to PentahoWorld in Orlando October 8-10, 2014, along with several additional unique opportunities at the event such as a VIP dinner, speaking opportunities and recognition at a keynote awards ceremony. As a highlight of the Awards ceremony we will announce the overall User of the Year Award.

We look forward to celebrating the amazing accomplishments achieved through our work together. I hope to see you on stage during the awards ceremony at PentahoWorld.

Quentin

Photo/LEGO credit: @kathrineiben


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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