Top 10 reasons behind Pentaho’s success

July 20, 2010

Today we announced our Q2 results. In summary Pentaho:

  • More than doubled new Enterprise Edition Subscriptions from Q2 2009 to Q2 2010.
  • Exceeded goals resulting in Q2 being the strongest quarter in company history and most successful for the 3rd quarter in a row.
  • Became the only vendor that lets customers choose the best way to access BI: on-site, in the cloud, or on the go using an iPad.
  • Led the industry with a series of market firsts including delivering on Agile BI.
  • Expanded globally, received many industry recognitions and added several stars to our executive bench.

How did this happen? Mostly because of our laser focus over the past 5 years to build the leading end-to-end open source BI offering. But if we really look closely over the last 12-18 months there are some clear signs pointing to our success (my top ten list):

Top 10 reasons behind Pentaho’s success:

1.     Customer Value – This is the top of my list. Recent analyst reports explain how we surpassed $2 billion mark during Q2 in terms of cumulative customer savings on business intelligence and data integration license and maintenance costs. In addition, ranked #1 in terms of value for price paid and quality of consulting services amongst all Emerging Vendors.

2.     Late 2008-Early 2009 Global Recession – this was completely out of our control but it helped us significantly by forcing companies to look for lower cost BI alternatives that could deliver the same or better results than the high priced mega-vendor BI offerings. Making #1 more attractive to companies worldwide.

3.     Agile BI – we announced our Agile BI initiative in Nov 2009 and received an enormous amount of press and positive reception from the community, partners, and customers. We’ve been showing previews and releasing RCs in Q1-Q2 2010 and put PDI 4.0 in GA at the end of Q2 2009.

4.     Active Community – A major contributing factor to our massive industry adoption is our growing number of developer stars (the Pentaho army) that continue to introduce Pentaho into new BI and data integration projects. Our community triples the amount of work of our QA team, contributes leading plug-ins like CDA and PAT, writes best-selling books about our technologies and self-organizes to spread the word.

5.    BI Suite 3.5 & 3.6 – 3.5 was a huge release for the company and helped boost adoption and sales in Q3-Q4 2009. This brought our reporting up to and beyond that of competitors. In Q2 2010 the Pentaho BI Suite 3.6 GA brought this to another level including enhancements and new functionality for enterprise security, content management and team development as well as the new Enterprise Edition Data integration Server.  The 3.6 GA also includes the new Agile BI integrated ETL, modeling and data visualization environment.

6.     Analyzer – the addition of Pentaho Analyzer to our product lineup in Sept-Oct 2009 was HUGE for our users – the best web-based query and reporting product on the market.

7.     Enterprise Edition 30-Day Free Evaluation – we started this “low-touch/hassle free” approach in March 2009 and it has eliminated the pains that companies used to have to go thru in order to evaluate software.

8.     Sales Leadership – Lars Nordwall officially took over Worldwide Sales in June 2009 and by a combination of building upon the existing talent and hiring great new team members, he has put together a world-class team and best practices in place.

9.     Big Data Analytics – we launched this in May 2010 and have received very strong support and interest in this area. We currently have a Pentaho-Hadoop beta program with over 40 participants. There is a large and unfulfilled requirement for Data Integration and Analytic solutions in this space.

10.   Whole Product & Team – #1-#9 wouldn’t work unless we had all of the key components necessary to succeed – doc, training, services, partners, finance, qa, dev, vibrant community, IT, happy customers and of course a sarcastic CTO ;-)

Thanks to the Pentaho team, community, partners and customers for this great momentum. Everyone should be extremely proud with the fact that we are making history in the BI market. We have a great foundation in which to continue this rapid growth, and with the right team and passion, we’ll push thru our next phase of growth over the next 6-12 months.

Quick story to end the note:  I was talking and white boarding with one of my sons a few weeks ago (yes, I whiteboard with my kids) and he was asking certain questions about our business (how do we make money, why are we different than our competitors, etc.) and I explained at a high level how we are basically “on par and in many cases better” than the Big Guys (IBM, ORCL, SAP) with regards to product, we provide superior support/services, yet we cost about 10% as much as they do. To which my son replied, “Then why doesn’t everyone buy our product?”  Exactly.

Richard
CEO, Pentaho


Where is Pentaho this July?

July 12, 2010

This July, Pentaho continues the Worldwide Techcast Series demonstrating how Pentaho’s Agile BI initiative will help you speed development of new BI applications and better ensure that these applications meet the needs of your business users. Learn about Pentaho Data Integration 4.0 and Agile BI in six languages: Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Norwegian. Sign-up for a live techcast this month or watch the series on-demand.

We are also holding an executive breakfast the city where high-tech meets southern hospitality, Raleigh, North Carolina on July 20th at EvoApp Live. If you are in the ‘Triangle’ make sure to reserve your seat for this interactive panel discussion about how business analytics are driving top preforming companies to make better, faster, more informed decisions.

Pentaho Featured Events

The highlighted events for the month of July are webcast for those looking to learn more about OSBI and simple ways to get started. These webcast are free, however, early registration is recommended.

Comparing the Cost of Business Intelligence – Proprietary Vs. Open Source.
With leading analyst Mark Madsen
July 13 at 14:00 EDT (18:00 GMT)
Register Now

* If you cannot attend the webcast on July 13, register for the July 22 webcast.
* For additional background to this webcast download Mark Madsen’s latest white paper, Lowering the cost of Business Intelligence with Open Source.

BI On-Demand – See your data in a dashboard in just 3 days!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 14:00 EDT (18:00 GMT)
Register Now

Visit our events page for more details and updated events.
Follow-us on Twitter or Facebook for event reminders and updates.


Where to find Pentaho this June

June 15, 2010

June may be half way over but there are still 20 opportunities to learn about Pentaho this month at live and virtual events….and in 6 languages!

This month Pentaho is bringing a ray of Open Source BI sunshine to some of the industry’s most preeminent cloud events. Following the successful announcements of Pentaho’s On-Demand BI Solution and support of Apache Hadoop, we will demonstrate these offerings in action, bringing insight, clarity and flexibility to data in the cloud.

Pentaho Featured Cloud Events

GigaOm Structure 2010, June 23-24, 2010, San Francisco, CA – Join Pentaho ‘s CEO, Richard Daley and CTO, James Dixon at Structure 2010, to learn more about using Pentaho’s data integration and analytic tools to more quickly and easily load, access and analyze data in Hadoop, whether its on-premise or in the cloud.

In the exhibit hall, see a live preview demo of Pentaho’s integration with Hadoop and learn about the integrating of Pentaho BI Suite with Hive database. Take advantage of our 25% sponsor discount code by clicking here.

Hadoop Summit, June 29, 2010 in Santa Clara, CA –Pentaho is attending the third annual Hadoop Summit 2010.  Organized by Yahoo!, Hadoop Summit sessions span numerous industries and cater to all levels of expertise.  Richard Daley and Jake Conelius will be on hand at the conference to demo and discuss Pentaho’s integration with Hadoop and Hive and benefits of “Pentaho becoming the face of Hadoop.” They will also pass out limited edition Hadoop Elephants with Pentaho sweaters.

Pentaho Agile BI Events

Pentaho’s Agile BI initiative is full speed ahead as we recently delivered the Pentaho Data Integration 4.0 GA. To learn more about how to get started and why, make sure to attend one of these Agile BI focused events in the US and Europe:

North America

Worldwide webinar’s

Italy

Germany

Spain

UK

France

Norway

Visit the Events and Webcast section of our website to stay up-to-date on virtual and live events.

We want to connect with you. Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook and get the inside scoop from the BI from the Swamp Blog by signing up to receive post via email or rss.

Rebecca Goldstein
Director, Corporate Communications
Pentaho Corporation


Top 3 reasons to download PDI 4.0 and BI Suite 3.6

June 10, 2010

Today we announced General Availability of Pentaho Data Integration 4.0 and Pentaho BI Suite 3.6.  This marks a major step forward on our mission to empower users with the most comprehensive, easy-to-use, and integrated Business Intelligence suite on the market today.  All too often, new BI projects end up on IT’s cutting room floor due a variety of factors:

  • Licensing costs – it’s too expensive to add the additional users/CPUs for the project to reach its intended audience.  A single BI project can have licensing impacts on several software products including data integration (ETL), reporting, dashboards, analytics, database, and on and on…
  • Lengthy time to ROI – a classic pitfall of new BI projects is spending weeks or months ‘getting the data right’ before business users have an opportunity interact and provide feedback.  Inevitably, this leads to missed requirements, delayed rollouts, and blown budgets
  • Technical Resources – do you have the right technical resources available and are they knowledgeable in all of the tools and technology involved?  Am I beholden to availability of IT, or can I accomplish this myself?

Our Agile BI initiative is breaking down these barriers by delivering a BI Suite with:

  • All of the functionality you actually need at 20% the cost of a comparable solution from the big guys… bye bye bloat-ware
  • Integrated design environment combining all aspects of a BI solution from Data Integration (ETL) through data visualization; thereby encouraging collaborative, cross team interactions between solution architects and end users and faster iterations… compare that with a with a hybrid Informatica/Data Stage – Oracle/Business Objects/Cognos solution
  • A modern, standards based architecture that deploys in minutes and is easy to customize or extend to meet the changing needs of your business… guaranteed 97% less super glue and duct tape under the hood than comparable proprietary BI Suites

So you’re thinking… enough with the marketing bullets.  Why should I download or upgrade to these new releases? The top 3 reasons:

1. Design Perspectives – New perspectives in PDI’s designer (Spoon) providing one click visualization of data and simple, drag-and-drop metadata modeling for OLAP and reporting metadata

2. PDI Enterprise Edition Data Integration ServerAll the execution and clustering capabilities of our core offering plus integrated scheduling, advanced security, and enhanced content management including complete revision history on all of your jobs and transformations

3. User Console improvements – There are numerous improvements to our visualization plugins including:

  • Support for scheduling, emailing, member properties and dashboard filter integration in Analyzer
  • Configurable auto-refresh intervals on dashboards and dashboard widgets and integration of Dashboard filters with Pentaho metadata data sources

Get started today by downloading your copy from http://www.pentaho.com/download/

Jake Cornelius
Director of Product Management
Pentaho Corporation


Keep it simple

June 9, 2010

Top 5 advances in ETL and BI in the past 15 years:

  1. Near Real-time Data Warehouses
  2. Dashboards
  3. Drag and Drop ETL
  4. Ad hoc Analytics
  5. Metadata Driven ETL

What is missing from the list above? That would be the fact that BI use has not penetrated into everyday business life like we would have expected.  But wasn’t that the point that we were all heading towards, that of BI for the masses?  That goal of information transparency that everyone was looking for seems to have gotten lost by most vendors in the race to have the biggest and baddest feature list.  Very powerful BI technology exists today to get at pretty much any data and slice and dice it in ways that we could have only imagined years ago. Yet, the complexity and disparity of that technology continues to be a major roadblock to getting everyday business managers the information they need to best run their businesses.  Now, add in the ever changing, dynamic nature of business today, we find the chasm between the IT department and business users largely intact with business users seeking more and more self service BI on their own.

That is why we set out on our Agile BI initiative, to solve these obvious problems that other vendors ignore.  The market and competitive response to our Agile BI initiative has been fun to watch.  Suddenly, lots of competitors are talking about how to make their technology more agile and industry analysts are again writing about agile as well.

Unfortunately, competitors miss the point.  Pentaho’s Agile BI initiative looks to make things simpler, not more complex.  This isn’t about adding more technology to the mix, this is about using the technology that we already have in more agile and elegant ways so that we can bridge the chasm between IT and business users.  It’s not about long winded explanations of technology infrastructure that only technology geniuses can understand, it’s about opening up the BI process so that IT and business users can collaborate and deploy business relevant BI application quicker.

Isn’t that the real point of BI, getting at more information quicker?

Keep it simple folks.

Joe Nicholson
VP, Product Marketing
Pentaho Corporation


On-Demand or On-Premise: Yes, Please

June 8, 2010

The great debate about on-demand solutions versus on-premise software has gone on for about a decade now. The consensus is that the hosted approach is more nimble, much faster to deploy, doesn’t require in-house resources or hardware, but it isn’t quite ready for the big league due to security issues, cloudy information ownership issues, limited functionality, very limited flexibility, closed architectures and a lack of general data scalability. As a result, hosted BI has struggled to gain acceptance.

Well it’s time for a fresh take on this subject – one that finally gets BI where it needs to be. Pentaho has created a hybrid approach, which gives you the best of both worlds – the freedom, flexibility and ease of hosted software in tandem with the security, robustness and scalability of enterprise-grade solutions. This comes in the form of a suite of On-Demand BI subscriptions that put you in the driver seat. Instead of having to live with whatever the provider decides to do with information storage, security and management, you are in complete control over how the hosted solution is deployed and managed. That adds the key element that has been missing – choice. You determine if it is best that the BI application is managed wholly by Pentaho, internally or by both parties.

Those of you with more time or internal resources to commit to the specific BI application initiative can develop and administer the infrastructure yourselves. Alternatively, Pentaho can handle any portion of the deployment or application management, as you determine based on what is best for your organization.

What if you change your mind? No problem. This subscription service is deployed via a virtual image. So if you decide to move your BI Suite on-premise, there are no portability issues to overcome – one of the huge barriers to adoption of traditional hosted solutions. No longer is it problematic to shift from hosted to on-premise or back again. And if you want to add more bandwidth, memory or processing power, it’s quickly and easily added.. How’s that for agility?

Skeptical? Take it for a test drive in our new On-Demand BI evaluation environment. It’s so good that we challenge anyone to provide us with a distinct data set and we’ll get it running within 72 hours with dashboards and relevant KPIs. We’ll even let you access it for three weeks while you explore and expand it.

On-Demand or On-Premise: Yes, please.

Richard

For more information about Pentaho’s On-Demand BI Solution and the 72-Hour Challenge visit www.pentaho.com/services/on-demand.


What is Agile BI? Your answers from business user to fluff

May 12, 2010

Last month, Pentaho sponsored a contest where people answer the question -“What does agile BI mean?”  I was lucky enough to be one of the judges to determine who made it to the final five and win a Flip Ultra™ camcorder.  The results were posted today http://www.pentaho.com/what_is_agile/. Now it’s up to the community to vote for their favorite answer and the winner gets an iPad – (yes, that means you).

When reading through hundreds of entries I began to see a pattern and being an old BI guy, that meant I had to make a pie chart. The answers fell into 5 main groups: BI Solution Development, Business Users, Entire Business marketing Fluff and Other.

Almost 34% of the entries cited Agile BI as an iterative methodology for developing BI solutions involving the end user as early and often as possible.  It is exemplified by one of the finalists “Agile is about speeding up the design/create/ship/observe cycle. The more you ship and observe, the better you learn to design and do. Whether you’re headed in the wrong direction or the right one, it’s imperative that you find that out as soon as possible.” Exactly what we have started with the PDI 4.0 release and are continuing to focus on.

A full 25% of the responses focused on the business user with quotes like, “Agile is never being caught flat-footed – being able to react and adapt with ease, leaving competitors in your wake.” The ability for end users to explore and analyze business data beyond static reporting is very important.  Applications like Pentaho Analyzer and Web-based Ad hoc Query and Reporting address this need. The modeling perspective added to PDI 4.0 reduces the complexity and learning curve associated with building metadata models and schemas in order to put that analytical power into the end user’s hands.

A little over 12% were not concerned whether the agility was on the development or user side.  They just knew that the business had to react quickly to changing business conditions.  “Agile means being able to rapidly adjust to changing conditions with speed and accuracy” was a typical response in this category.

Exactly 15% of people responded with what I call fluffy messages. These were creative and got the most attention from our marketing people (I wasn’t the only judge)  “The antonym to SAP”, “Less work, more money” and “Agile (with Pentaho) means never having to say you’re sorry.”

The last 14% were entries like “agile is eliga read backwards” and the self-referencing “The only way to make agile decisions.” Not sure where they were going with some of these but they were also entertaining.

Out of the entries, there were nine attempts to make a phrase by using words that start with the letters A-G-I-L-E. Two people submitted papers on agile BI.  We even had a submission written in Haiku.  No one went for the extra creativity points by using video or interpretive dance.  We didn’t get any abusive, obscene or SPAM entries, which was nice.

There were only two negative responses complaining that Agile BI was marketing hype.  Here is one of them, “Two answers. 1. Personally, “Agile BI” means nothing to me. Sounds like yet another attempt by marketing to create an artificial differentiator. 2. If I had to describe “Agile BI” or die, I’d say, “An Agile BI environment enables an organization’s people and processes to quickly adapt to new or changed user requirements, ideally through self-learning and pre-emptive adjustments.” Answer two is exactly what we intend to enable with this initiative and when we are successful, that will prove the number one answer wrong.

Pentaho is committed to Agile BI. We believe our development plan is in line with the majority of respondents to this contest. PDI 4.0 is a great start but it is just the first steps and we are using this feedback to help set the product roadmap for the next half of this year and beyond. Thank you for participating! Please vote for one of the finalists.

Doug Moran
Pentaho Community Guy


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!


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