What does the word ‘Agile’ mean to you?

April 27, 2010

The term ‘Agile BI’ is being used a lot these days. We launched our Agile BI Initiative back in Nov 2009 with Pentaho Analyzer being the first tech realization of the initiative. Last month we released  Pentaho Data Integration 4.0 as the second major deliverable, forever improving the way BI Apps are developed and deployed. Forrester just published a report, ‘Agile BI Out of the Box’ explaining their Agile BI Methodology. We are interested to learn from our community, “When thinking about business intelligence, what does ‘Agile’ means to you?”

By answering this one question, five finalists will be selected to win The Flip Ultra™ camcorder. The community will then have the chance to vote for their favorite answer. The winner of the community vote will win an iPad.

Deadline to enter is Friday, April 30th.

The creative entries – videos, cartoons, songs, scribbling on the back of cocktail napkins, etc. are the ones that will garner the most attention from the judges, so don’t hold back.


What do Tim Tebow and Pentaho have in common?

April 23, 2010

Tim Tebow was selected in First Round of NFL Draft!

Why is this great? And why am I blogging about this?

  1. He is a University of Florida/Gator Graduate – and so am I
  2. He helped us win 2 NCAA National Championships in Football
  3. He won 1 Heisman and was nominated for two more
  4. Biggest reasons why this is great:
    • He was ridiculed by all of the NFL scouts as not being a “NFL product”
    • All of the major NFL “Analyst” predicted he would be picked in the 3rd round
    • All of the major NFL “Analyst” said “he didn’t have it”

It sounds just like what Pentaho went thru in 2007-2009 with analysts, mega-vendor competitors, pundits, etc. – “we wouldn’t be anything” , “we couldn’t stand up to the big guys”, “we wouldn’t be around in a few years”, etc.  Well, what are the analysts’ saying now? – “OSBI is Here to Stay”, “OSBI will Grow by 500% by 2012”, “OSBI is a 80% Better TCO”, “Pentaho Leads The Way in OSBI”, etc. What are the mega-vendors doing now? Giving away free reporting in a desperate attempt to compete with us, providing their sales teams with competitive ppts vs Pentaho, losing in bake-offs against us, upsetting their customer base by rising maintenance prices, buying “Pentaho” Google adwords – oh, how times have changed!

So, just like Tebow did in football, Pentaho continues proving its leadership position in the BI market.

Go Gators,

Richard


Tom Leonard joins Pentaho

April 21, 2010

More good news from today is the announcement that Tom Leonard has joined our team as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Business Development. Tom is responsible for formalizing strategic relationships with target accounts across all of Pentaho’s channels inclusive of Global 1000 customers, OEM/ISV’s, system integrators, and technology alliance partners. With over 25 years of technology sales and executive experience Tom has a lot of insight into the industry. I’ve asked for him to be the first of many guest bloggers on the Business Intelligence from the Swamp blog. My question to Tom is, “What brought you to Pentaho?” Welcome Tom!

Guest blogger: Tom Leonard

So I wanted to take the opportunity to share my thoughts concerning why I joined the Pentaho team. During my career, I have been fortunate to be part of two venture backed company successes – Bluestone Software and JBoss. For both, I was an early member of the team and witnessed the remarkable journey of each company scale from a small bookings / revenue position to recognition as high-growth, technology / market-share leaders.

Through these experiences (and via some not so successful ventures), I have learned that the key ingredients of a successful early stage company mostly comprises of the following:

  • The technology
  • The people (that shapes the chemistry / culture of the company)
  • The market opportunity

At Pentaho, all of these ingredients are in place (with room to grow and improve of course):

The Technology

Over the years, Richard, James (Dixon) and team have invested mightily in building out a complete BI Suite that is on par with the mega and pure play business intelligence vendors. Pentaho employs the key developers, it owns the product development and roadmap that is supported by a large, vibrant, engaged open source community, and offers the market a fully integrated / interoperable business intelligence suite of products that are enterprise ready, deployed on an industry standard Java-based platform (either on-premise or via a Cloud / SaaS-enabled model), and is widely deployed in production by thousands of companies.

The proof is in the numbers:

  • Thousands of organizations rely on Pentaho open source BI every day
  • Over 5M downloads of Pentaho products since the inception of the company,
  • #1 in open source data integration / ETL according to the BeyeNETWORK research  report
  • Hundreds of customers that have an active Enterprise Edition subscription with Pentaho.

The People

In my humble opinion, this is the intangible that makes companies great. Often – you do not know until you arrive at the company and see the good and the not so good. At Pentaho and under Richard’s leadership – there is an amazing team that are all in-synch to drive the company to its fullest potential, opportunity and success. There is a tremendous level of passion and energy across the company that is fueling our significant growth with end customers and partners worldwide. Further proof that Pentaho is hitting its stride as a company; candidates’ industry-wide want to work at Pentaho as evident by the “many” that have joined the team over the past quarter.

The Market Opportunity

The open source business intelligence space is growing at a phenomenal rate – so says Gartner (“Open-Source Business Intelligence Tools Production Deployments Will Grow Five-Fold through 2012”)

Not much more that I can add here……

In summary, the company greatly understands the business that we are in, the opportunity before us and we possess the know-how to monetize and scale our business model. We have a proven team that has consistently demonstrated success, both on the BI and open source fronts. Pentaho has great investors, world class Board of Directors (Rob Bearden – JBoss and SpringSource and Zack Urlocker – MySQL), and an executive team that is directing the company to new levels of success each month (Lars Nordwall heading up worldwide sales, building a great team and executing flawlessly, Joe McGonnell working his magic on the marketing front, and Richard, James and team delivering great products).

This is the perfect time to be at Pentaho – if you have not noticed, I am very glad to be a member of the team.

Tom Leonard
Executive Vice President, Worldwide Business Development
Pentaho Corporation


Q1 2010 full speed ahead

April 21, 2010

As Capt Morgan used to say “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”. Pentaho is going full speed as evidenced by the press release we issued this morning giving the community  insight into the past quarter and the great momentum happening at Pentaho. Here are just a few highlights from the release:

  • Compared to Q1 2009, Pentaho had a 177 percent increase in new Enterprise Edition customers* including:
      – Auto-Wares
      – Ericsson
      – Experian
      – NTT
      – Postbank P.O.S.Transact GmbH
      – Toyota Kreditbank GmbH
  • 229 percent growth in total bookings from Q1 2009 to Q1 2010.
  • Finished Q1 2010 with the most successful quarter in company history for the second quarter in a row.
  • Record number of new OEM partners including MICROS Systems, Inc.
  • Best launch in company history introduction of the revolutionary Pentaho Data Integration 4.0.

I encourage you to read the full press release here, ‘Pentaho Soars with Second Straight Record Quarter

Get seated, strap yourself in, and enjoy the ride.

Richard

*This figure represents customers that have purchased an annual subscription to Pentaho Enterprise Edition products, not simply product downloads or the purchase of documentation, training or per-incident support.


San Francisco Recap

April 19, 2010

Orlando is my home, but I always enjoy my trips to the Bay Area. For the past two weeks, I have been non-stop in San Francisco with our board meeting, partner and customer meetings, multiple conferences and meetings with our growing west coast team. With so much going on, I wanted to share with you quick recap.

Home base for the trip was the Pentaho office located in the Financial District near the Ferry Building. It was great being able to spend time with our rapidly growing sales team led by the SVP of WW Sales, Lars Nordwall. They mixed the trip with a lot of business with back-to-back customer and partner meetings and a little pleasure with a happy hour one of the nights. Below are some photos with a few members of the team:

Left to Right: John Simon, Director of North America Direct Sales Team, Brian McKibben (Sales Exec), Jay Revels (Sales Exec) and newest member is Matt Stone (Sales Exec)

Rebecca Goldstein (Corporate Communications), Jay Revels (Sales Exec) and Tonya Harris (Sales Administrator & Office Manager, North America & excellent photographer)

Last week Pentaho had a presence at three conferences. The first was the MySQL Conference where were a sponsor. I presented on the topic, Agile BI – Collapsing BI from Months to Minutes . Our booth was very busy with quality conversations and people who were excited about our Agile BI initiative. Next was the SugarCon Conference on Wednesday where I presented, ‘The Information Rain Dance: Business Information in the Cloud.’ We also had a presence at the Gartner BI Summit in Las Vegas.

Listening the community over the past two weeks, I wanted to highlight some of the chatter.

Here are my favorite Tweets (April 11-16):

There is also a great discussion in the works on the Open Source BI Group on LinkedIn about Pentaho vs. Jaspersoft. We encourage you to speak up!

To join the conversation, make sure to follow us on Twitter at @Pentaho. We also have our own LinkedIn Group and active fan page on Facebook.

I look forward to a busy week back home in Orlando.

Cheers,
Richard


You are not alone

March 31, 2010

I’m a happy guy today. Not only was I able to make it onto the lake this morning for some early morning water skiing, I also just reviewed the results and feedback from Pentaho’s PDI 4.0 launch yesterday. This release was a record setter for us on a number of fronts. Here are a few highlights:

  • Over 2,600  PDI 4.0 EE downloads in one day
  • We had 1,850* people registered for the live WebEx today, ‘Pentaho Defines a Better Way to Build BI Solutions’ – the most people we’ve ever had!
  • Pentaho.com reached an all time high for unique visitors.
  • Forum activity is up 251% over normal days
  • Demo.pentaho.com is up 192%
  • Great coverage and positive response from industry press and the community on Twitter.

To me this proves that the market is hungry for a new approach to an old idea. If you are one of the people looking for a BI solution that is quicker to build, easier to adapt and faster time to value, you can see that you are not alone.

*If you were not one of the 1,850 that attended the live webinar, ‘Pentaho Defines a Better Way to Build BI Solutions,’ you can watch the replay here and access additional resources and recordings.

If you were one of the 1,850 that attended the webinar– what did you think? What were some of your key takeaways?


Let the new BI era begin!

March 30, 2010

Sometime in Q3 2009 I was working with our CTO James Dixon using Pentaho tech to extract information from Salesforce.com and Eloqua to do analysis on our own leads. Yes, we do eat our own dog food. Constantly we were going back and forth through the process of extract, model and visualize. As you can imagine after the 7th iteration, James was sick and tired of having to do this process over and over again, especially with me changing requirements with each iteration. This process is widespread with all BI tech and we knew that somebody needed to improve it.

Over happy hour at The Miller Ale house or “West Campus” as we call it, we got thinking and brainstorming ideas of how to:

  • Remove the pain in the process
  • Streamline the process
  • Make it is easier so non-techies can achieve success

We also knew that whatever we could do to remove any barriers in building and deploying BI applications would certainly come back to benefit our community and customers.

This was the start of our path to create the Agile BI initiative. With this concept, we also looked for feedback from our open source community and SI partners who are currently doing real world implementations.

Today, I am very proud to announce the release of Pentaho Data Integration (PDI) 4.0, the next product milestone in the company’s Agile BI initiative. PDI 4.0 is the world’s first fully unified ETL, modeling and data visualization development environment that enables developers and business users to work side by side to build and deploy BI applications in minutes to hours rather than from weeks to months. In addition, we have added Enterprise Edition improvements in security, team collaboration, content versioning, repository, and integrated scheduling.  Available as either on premise or in the cloud, the end game is a solution that enables BI projects that are quicker to build, easier to adapt and provide faster time to value.

Now I can sit down with James and together we can quickly extract data from our CRM and marketing applications, model the data and visualize the data all in the same development environment. I can get the information I need much more quickly and James’ life will be much easier. And isn’t that what we all want?

Let the new BI era begin!


Welcome!

March 29, 2010

Welcome to the Business Intelligence from the Swamp blog. This blog provides views on the value of business intelligence, trends and directions of BI, and controversial topics around the BI industry. One thing it won’t be is some boring CEO blog who just promotes their own products and company, and on average gets zero comments. To make this simple and easy, here’s a few questions and answers so you get to know more about this blog and why you should care:

Who am I?
I’m Richard Daley, the co-founder and CEO of Pentaho, the leading open source Business Intelligence provider.  I’ve been working in the Business Intelligence industry since the mid 80’s when I worked on BI systems (formerly known as Executive Information Systems) on mainframes. The reason I mention this is that my colleagues never fail to remind me of how long I’ve been around this market. Two companies that I co-founded prior to Pentaho are AppSource Corporation (acquired by Arbor Software which later merged into Hyperion Solutions) and Keyola (acquired by Lawson Software).

I am from and live in Orlando, Florida and have started all my companies here. It allows me to enjoy a few of my favorite things being: Florida Gators, family and water skiing.

Summary: a swamp-based, successful BI veteran (hence the title of the blog).

Why am I blogging?
I want to get a real  conversation started about the business intelligence market and how it rapidly is changing for the better. How forces like open source and cloud deployments are commoditizing the market. As mentioned above, I’ve been in the BI space for years. There has been a sea of change and not all of it is good. This blog is to express my opinions and provide insight into the BI industry and the world of commercial open source

Will I be the only one blogging?
To provide a true outlook on the industry, this blog will have guest bloggers from throughout the industry. Expect to hear from people that are breaking down barriers and making an impact in the BI and open source industries. And some true entertainers who make BI and BI controversies enjoyable.

What will I blog about?
Some words that come to mind are open source and BI trends, cloud-based BI,  customer and partner activities, product and technology advancements, competitors, authenticity and other interesting topics. This blog is not just about Pentaho but an overall outlook on the business intelligence industry.

How can you provide feedback?
Your thoughts and comments are appreciated and encouraged. Make sure to sign-up to receive the blog straight to your email or RSS (coming soon). You can also keep in touch with Pentaho through our newsletter, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Cheers,
Richard Daley
CEO and Co-Founder
Pentaho Corporation


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