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


Big Data Bucks the Big Data Global Economic Trend

September 4, 2012

As I approach the end of my first year as Pentaho’s CEO, I’ve being reflecting on two things: one, the exceptional opportunity that big data analytics presents to individual companies and the global economy and two, my good fortune in having joined such a courageous and visionary team of people. As you start planning for 2013, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of my reflections.

Let me start with the opportunity. Many Western economies that we do business in have struggled this year, from 25 percent unemployment levels in Spain to double-dip recession in the UK to disappointing job growth in the US. And yet in the past year at Pentaho, we achieved record growth overall, with the last quarter being our best ever for big data sales.

Economists advocate the urgent need for growth but as many countries have learned the hard way, growth doesn’t arise simply from cost-cutting or producing more of the same, but in intelligently creating new demand.

And that’s precisely where big data analytics comes in.  Big data analytics, with its potential to tap into the staggering wealth of online and corporate data, is empowering companies to identify new revenue opportunities and use precious resources more profitably and more sustainably.

Our customer stories prove that this opportunity is no pipe dream – whether it’s German-based developer Travian Games, which uses Pentaho to analyses usage patterns from 120 million gamers to innovate its products or Shareable Ink, an enterprise cloud application provider that analyses and presents critical, document-based information to health care professionals in order to improve patient care.  These companies are outmaneuvering and outpacing their competitors in very crowded, saturated markets.  And new uses cases for big data analytics are emerging all the time, like clickstream analysis in online retailing and device analytics in IT departments.

One of the biggest revelations for me this year has been hearing prospective customers tell me how hard it is it to work with big data technology.  With amazing foresight, our product development team decided several years ago to take ‘the road less travelled’ in business intelligence and prioritized solving the most complex aspects of data integration for customers.  This laid the foundation for our early leadership in big data analytics.  Kenneth Wrife from our Swedish partner Omicron summed it up best when he said, “data visualization is of course necessary, but also something of a commodity.  The hardest part of data integration is extracting data from a variety of different types of sources and assimilating that data so that it is ready to be analyzed.  That’s what Pentaho does better than any other vendor’.

However, don’t imagine for a second that we’re resting on our laurels.  In order for big data analytics to ‘cross the chasm’ into mainstream adoption, we aim to make it much easier for ordinary business users, data analysts and data scientists to work with.  It also needs to be more accessible to the growing range SaaS-deployed applications on mobile devices, especially tablets.  Without giving the game away, I can promise you that you will see some very exciting new developments unfolding in these areas in the fourth quarter.

We’d love to hear from you if you are defying the global economic slump and using big data analytics to identify new sources of value for your company.  We hope you like what you see in Q4 and, as ever, thanks for your continued support.

Quentin


Welcome Pentaho’s newest board member, Brian Stevens

July 17, 2012

As Pentaho continues to rapidly grow it is important for us to add advisors who can offer guidance in core areas importance. To that note, I am excited to announce that Brian Stevens, CTO and vice president, worldwide engineering, Red Hat, Inc. has joined the Pentaho Board of Directors.

Brian brings tremendous experience in cloud computing and software innovation to Pentaho at a time when the business analytics market is being transformed by a deluge of large and diverse data volumes, the mainstream adoption of cloud solutions, and need for interactive analysis.

Brian’s insights into the ever-changing software landscape will be invaluable as we continue to innovate the Pentaho Business Analytics platform with its unified business analytics, data integration and big data capabilities to meet the demands of big and disparate data environments.

Quentin


Pentaho Joins Dell Partner Program for Big Data

June 13, 2012

The opportunity that big data analytics provides for organizations to innovate quickly, predict events and improve customer relationships is endless. Our own customers including Shareable Ink, Travian Games and TravelTainment are using big data analytics today to analyze clinical data, innovate computer games and design targeted promotional campaigns – just to name a few.

Two key themes in of our vision for the future of analytics are to integrate with the leading technology partners in the big data analytics ecosystem and to enable cloud-ready applications.  In light of this, I am incredibly pleased to announce that today Pentaho is part of Dell’s Emerging Solutions Ecosystem, a new partnership program announced last April with the aim of focusing on cloud and big data enablement.

Pentaho’s big data analytics software will be offered with the Dell Apache Hadoop Solution, which brings together Cloudera’s distribution of Apache Hadoop, Dell’s hardware reference architecture and Dell’s Crowbar software, which automates and accelerates the deployment, configuration and ongoing operation of your cloud or cluster environment. The combined solution will also be offered with joint services and support.

What does this mean? I’ve had many conversations this year with customers who’ve told us they need to ‘operationalize’ Hadoop and that’s exactly what this partnership is about.  In a nutshell, this partnership makes it faster and easier for organizations to gain total insight from all their data through a single appliance that combines Hadoop integration, data integration and out-of-the-box analytics.

Why did Dell select Pentaho to be part of the Dell Apache Hadoop Solution? A major factor is that we were one of the first movers in the space announcing support for Big Data in May 2010 and we have many customers doing real work with big data.  We’ve also been working with Cloudera since October 2010 and have a longstanding strategic relationship with them, which includes technology integration.

The partnership means that Dell’s dedicated, big data sales team will now be reselling Pentaho directly into existing and new Dell accounts, initially in North America and other parts of the world very soon.  The Dell partnership also further commercializes Pentaho’s relationship with Cloudera by providing a vehicle to bring a big data offering to the market.

We look forward to helping you achieve your business goals through this important new partnership. For more information about Pentaho and Dell’s Emerging Solutions Ecosystem please visit pentaho.com/big-data/dell/.

Quentin


Happy Holidays from Pentaho

December 21, 2011

On behalf of the Pentaho team around the globe, I wish you and your families a very Happy Holidays and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Although we would never claim that Business Analytics is ‘child’s play’ we invited some of our team’s kids to star in our latest marketing video to remind us all of what’s really important as we wind things down for the holiday season and turn our attention to family and friends.

Thank you very much for your continued support and we look forward to making big things happen with you in 2012!

Cheers,

Quentin


Hooked on Eye Candy

December 13, 2011

Yesterday I was quoted in an article on CBR Online by Steve Evans titled, BI visualisation is just “eye candy”: Pentaho. This hook of “eye candy” has stirred up a lot of comments and I’m pleased that Pentaho is at the center of an interesting debate!

Why pleased? It means that we are having a dialogue and I can see from your Tweets and blog post (see below) that many of you value Pentaho‘s end-to-end business analytics model that enables customers to make great business decisions fast and cost-effectively.

Tom Barber made some great points on his blog, Playing to your strengths is good for business — that we should sell to our strengths, highlighting that “Pentaho is a great at data manipulation.”

Then Pedro Alves from Webdetails says on his blog Substance AND Style that you need both – and we agree.

Let me put a bit more context around the great conversation I had with Steve last week at the Business Cloud Summit in London. We discussed areas that can limit a company’s ability to take action on the information that impacts their company’s success.

At Pentaho, we are  taking out pain by automating difficult processes for both the end users AND the IT team.  A modern analytics platform must offer data governance, ETL services, the full spectrum of reports, dashboards, ad-hoc analysis and data mining/predictive analytics, as well as embrace big and diverse data.

Before meeting with Steve at CBR, I had an interesting discussion in London with Alys Woodward of IDC about data governance, a process that IT people care about and is getting more complex because of all the new technologies and different data models.  We care about this too, even if it does fall into the ‘hard to do’ category.  Pentaho has a simple and intuitive graphical user interface to more easily move data in and out of Hadoop.

These IT services have certainly not come at the expense of visual presentation for the end user.  While in London, I met with a UK enterprise CRM software provider called HTK, which is embedding our reports and analytics into his company’s software to deliver SaaS Cloud version aimed at marketing professionals, who have some of the highest standards for ease-of-use visual presentation and reporting flexibility. One of the reason’s his firm chose Pentaho was for our visually appealing data discovery, analysis and visualization tools that will enable his new SME customer to get up and running without special training or support services.

In the end the hook of ‘eye candy’ may have grabbed your attention, however, at Pentaho, we believe that both substance and style are required to drive the future of analytics. Let’s keep this dialogue and debate going in 2012.

Quentin


Pentaho Expands Big Data Support with EMC Greenplum UAP

December 8, 2011

Today EMC Greenplum announced the industry’s next-generation platform for big data analytics—the EMC Greenplum Unified Analytics Platform (UAP). This platform combines co-processing of structured and unstructured data with a productivity engine that empowers and shatters current barriers to collaboration among data science teams.

Pentaho is proud to participate as a preferred Data Integration Partner for the EMC Greenplum UAP. A great boost for the productivity of data scientists, Pentaho plus the UAP make it easy to extract business intelligence out of unstructured data with the exact same tools and interfaces they use to access, visualize and analyze structured data.

This adds to Pentaho’s big data strategy and another step in our ongoing relationship with EMC Greenplum. Just back in May, we announced Pentaho support for the EMC® Greenplum® distribution of Hadoop, as well as native support for the Greenplum Database GPLoad (bulk loader).

A hybrid architecture that combines Hadoop with data marts and warehouses are a critical part of any effective business analytics architecture, so providing powerful and easy-to-use data integration, which is natively integrated with Hadoop, is a key piece of UAP. That’s why we believe Pentaho Data Integration is perfect for use as a part of UAP, especially as it provides the deepest available native integration with Hadoop, as well as native integration with the Greenplum Database and bulk loader.

The EMC Greenplum UAP is a giant step forward in simplifying the management, integration, and analysis of big data. It’s all about lowering the barriers to adoption, by simplifying working with big data analytics for IT, through things like providing familiar graphical interfaces for managing and analyzing big data, and orchestrating big data tasks. Then for business users, it’s about making it quick and easy for them to access and analyze big data.

Quentin

Fore more details, check out the video I recorded with the EMC Greenplum team discussing our technology and participation as a Preferred Data Integration Partner (I appear at 0:42):


Building the Future of Analytics

December 1, 2011

It has been a terrific first two months at Pentaho; the excitement from our employees, customers and partners for helping Pentaho build the future of analytics has been profound.

We believe the future of analytics is all about building a modern platform that allows business users and technologists the ability to interact with their data in an easy, visual way. The consumerization of IT requires the traditional analytics functions regarding data extraction and transformation, metrics creation, ad hoc analysis and reporting to be done in a “point and click” and “drag and drop” fashion.  The latest Pentaho Business Analytics release delivers on such a premise and provides “Power to the user.”

We’ve had great feedback on how IT professionals love the visual, non-programmatic way Pentaho integrates any data source from traditional relational sources such as Oracle, SAP and MySQL, to SaaS applications like Salesforce, to non-relational sources including Hadoop, NoSQL and MPP, to analytic platforms including EMC, Teradata and IBM. Plus, the ease of all ETL functions are accomplished with a simple point and click.

Business users are free to create measures, metrics and on-the-fly reports. Deep ad hoc analysis and predictive analytical features are a drag and drop away.

Another design tenant Pentaho has built for the modern analytics platform is an open architecture and plug-in framework. We understand that our customers require freedom of choice selecting databases, plug-in end user components and web services. Pentaho’s open source heritage and extensible plug-in framework allows business users and IT professionals to easily integrate preferred components to fulfill their analytical needs.

The future of analytics is ensuring that our customers can easily gain insight from emerging technology trends including big data, Cloud computing and mobility.

Pentaho has released robust big data analytics solutions, which allow customers to truly “operationalize” big data applications. Pentaho is focused on helping customers address the biggest pain points around big data as well as the challenges of getting non-relational data in and out of Hadoop and into the hands of business users who can gain insight from reporting and ad hoc analysis. We already have several customers in the media and retail verticals who have tapped into big data for market analysis, customer sentiment and website analytics using Pentaho solutions.

Our modern technology platform was designed with Cloud computing in mind. Pentaho’s service oriented architecture allows SaaS and Cloud companies to easily embed rich analytics into their applications. Customers like Marketo, ExactTarget and Cipal have enhanced their service offerings with advanced analytics for their customers. Additionally, the Pentaho suite is integrated with common platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offerings, including Amazon Web Services and RackSpace for customers who would prefer to run their analytic applications in the Cloud.

We constantly strive to make our products more relevant. As our customers look to empower remote employees with better insight and analytics, Pentaho has released a rich mobile solution for tablets including the iPad.

The big idea for the future of analytics is allowing customers to freely move and easily integrate analytical applications between the traditional world of transactional, relational data and the new world of web, social and device data. The ultimate goal is to provide deep business insight by enabling users to easily mash-up data from traditional relational applications, such as Oracle, SAP and Microsoft, with web and social data sitting in Hadoop and NoSQL data stores.

I would be remiss not to mention that a major business design goal for the future of analytics is price performance and value. Building on our foundation of being easy to do business with from evaluation to renewal, Pentaho is continually improving its support and services. In the past year, we have added the Customer Success Team to provide additional customer service to our direct and OEM customers worldwide, created a specialized OEM services team and enhanced our support platform by migrating to Zendesk. All of this while still delivering the future of analytics at 20 percent of the cost of traditional analytics solutions from the mega vendors!

The future of analytics is here and now with Pentaho. I look forward to the journey!

Quentin


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