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


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


Open Source Fuels “Power To The User”

June 22, 2011

Traditionally open source Business Intelligence (OSBI) has been adopted by individuals with an “I” in their acronym: IT, SI, and ISVs.  This made sense because Open Source software started with deep technical roots in operating systems, appservers, RDBMSs, ESBs, etc., and when Pentaho pioneered OSBI in 2004 it was no different. The OSBI landscape back then was filled with some very nice technical projects, some desire from the “then current” open source proponents to move higher in the stack, and the overwhelming BI market screaming for disruption in the form of better products, better architectures and better pricing.

Over the next few years Pentaho built out a great BI platform with end-to-end BI capabilities and quickly became known as “The” OS BI Suite vendor. In conjunction with building product, we built out vibrant open source communities that helped spur our growth and adoption. We were the only clear alternative to Business Objects, Cognos, Oracle and Microstrategy, and the market was hungry for a better and more appropriately-priced offering. We’ve experienced incredible growth over the last couple of years as we continue to deliver great, solid, scalable, secure and functionally-rich products to the market – both to our open source communities and to our paying customers and partners.

In 2009 we started delivering more products geared toward the “business user,” a.k.a. “end-user,” a.k.a. “casual user,” a.k.a. “non-techie.” We immediately started seeing more people convert into customers and this trend grew significantly all the way through 2010. This was a great move in that direction, but we knew that another gap needed to be plugged in order to really satisfy growing market needs – better web-based reporting and data visualization as well as an easier way to get to data. People want results fast and easy, especially the “non-technical user.”  Voila, Pentaho BI 4.0 directly addresses these needs and pain points.  Check it all out here in our Pentaho BI 4 resource center.

Pentaho BI 4 is our biggest release ever that’s geared toward the business user. This product makes it not only possible, but makes it easy for business users to access their own data and do their own reporting, analytics, data discovery and dashboards. We’ve shielded users from the underlying complexities while also giving them the power that they desire.  Our open source roots make it clear that we are all about the people, and this release specifically extends that philosophy to include the “non-technical people.”

Pentaho BI 4 will greatly expand our addressable market size and customer profile. Our early feedback from customers, partners and communities indicates that this is a huge inflection point for our product line and company.  Our launch webcast on Thursday June 23 – Pentaho BI 4 Live – has already broken our previous webcast registration by 250%!

There must be some real unsolved thirst for pushing power to the user.

Richard


Coming Soon – Pentaho BI 4

June 20, 2011

This week we will launch Pentaho BI 4 Enterprise Edition. This major product launch has exciting new and improved enhancements for casual business users, business analysts and developers/administrators. We can’t give too many details away today but we encourage you to register now for the live demo on June 23. Be the first to learn about these exciting new features (hint: reporting, data discovery, UI, self-service).


What’s new in Pentaho BI Suite Enterprise Edition 3.8

March 16, 2011

It’s release time once again and I’m pleased to announce that Pentaho BI Suite 3.8 is available for download! This release is packed with new features empowering you to add more interactivity to your Pentaho-based solutions and improve performance and efficiency when working with larger and larger data volumes. In today’s blog, I’ll highlight just a few of these exciting new enhancements:

Guided Analysis
Building upon the hyperlink feature introduced in Pentaho Reporting with our 3.7 BI suite release, Analyzer Reports and Action Sequences now also provide the ability to create contextual hyperlinks to other pieces of Pentaho content or external URLs. You now have complete flexibility to provide information consumers with guided paths to additional detail or related content found in another report.  For example, with a couple of clicks you could create a summary level Analyzer Report for users to explore and analyze product sales, then enable hyperlinks on product names which link out to a detailed inventory report to ensure there are enough units on hand for your top selling products.

Dashboard Content Linking
Pentaho Dashboard Designer also receives a dose of interactivity with a feature we call content linking.  Content linking allows you enable one dashboard element drive the filtering of another element of the dashboard.  This feature is integrated with nearly all dashboard components including filter controls, dashboard charts, data tables and any items embedded in a dashboard widget such as a Pentaho report or Analyzer view.  This can be used for a variety of use cases including the creation of chained parameters, where selections in one filter control are used to drive the available selections in another filter control, or allowing dashboard consumers to click on the slice of a pie or a bar in a bar chart and have that drive the filtering of other widgets on the dashboard.  Be sure to check out the new dashboard samples, Product Sales Performance and Product Performance Dashboard, which illustrate the content linking feature along with the new, expanded set of filter controls including radio groups, check boxes, calendar pickers, button controls and more.

Data-less Design Mode for Analyzer Reports
Since its introduction just over a year ago, Pentaho Analyzer’s elegant combination of power and simplicity has driven exponential growth in use of Pentaho Analysis.  This includes deployments to larger user communities and the development of bigger, more sophisticated Mondrian cubes. Based on feedback from Pentaho customers, we’ve introduced the notion of a data-less report design mode, referred to as ‘auto-refresh’ in the user interface.  This allows users to design or modify the layout of an Analyzer report without querying the underlying RDBMs until the designer is ready to query.  This can help reduce database traffic for deployments to large user communities or reduce the design time for reports that depend on large queries.  Try it out by clicking on the Disable Auto-refresh button on the Analyzer toolbar, designing your query using the Field Layout panel, then clicking the Refresh Report button to issue the query.

Simplified Hadoop MapReduce Job Design
Also included in the 3.8 suite release is Pentaho Data Integration 4.1.2.  While this is primarily a patch release containing important product fixes and performance improvements, we’ve also added a few new features that simplify the design of transformations used to compose MapReduce jobs for Hadoop.  This includes dedicated steps for MapReduce Inputs and Outputs allowing you to simply choose which fields to use as your OutKey and OutValues, rather than having to explicitly filter and rename fields in the stream down to the key-value pair fields you pass back to Hadoop.  Finally, the Transformation Job Executor step now provides the ability to specify a transformation for use as a Combiner, thereby enabling you to optimize the performance of your PDI-based MapReduce jobs.

We hope you enjoy this exciting new release, get started today by downloading your copy at http://www.pentaho.com/download/.

Jake Cornelius
Vice President of Product Management
Pentaho Corporation


Sex
 & 
Sizzle 
– 
not
 without
 plumbing

November 16, 2010

What sells BI software? Sex and Sizzle! What makes BI projects successful? All of the data work done before any grids or graphs are ever produced. It’s the side of the business most BI vendors don’t talk about as they’d rather just woo and wow people with flash charts and glossy dashboards. Not that there is anything wrong with that – who doesn’t like great looking output? But, if the backend plumbing is either too complicated or non-existent, then it doesn’t matter how sexy this stuff is.

Today Pentaho announced the Pentaho Enterprise Data Services Suite to help make the “plumbing” as easy and efficient as possible. We’ve enabled people to iteratively get from raw data–from virtually any source–all the way through to metadata and onto visualization in less than an hour. We’ve enabled a new set of users to accomplish this by taking away many of the complexities.

In about 80% of the use cases we encounter, our customers want to quickly create and perform analytics on the fly, do this in an iterative approach, and when satisfied put their projects into production. You shouldn’t need a Ph.D in Data Warehousing to accomplish this, nevertheless many tools require extensive knowledge of DW methodologies and practices. It is fine to demand this knowledge with larger Enterprise DWs (EDW) but why make everyone pay the price – both in terms of software cost and experience/training required.

Now it would be one thing to provide data integration with RDBMSs, another thing to integrate with ROLAP, and yet another to integrate with Big Data like Hadoop, but how nice would it be to have a single Data Integration and Business Intelligence platform to work for all of these? Almost as nice as the Florida Gators winning a national championship but we won’t have to worry about that in 2010…had to digress for a moment.

A big part of our product release today centers around Pentaho for Hadoop integration including the GA for Pentaho Data Integration and BI Suite for Hadoop. Big Data and the whole ”data explosion” trend is just starting, so if you aren’t there today, give it time and know that Pentaho is already positioned to help in these use cases.

Pentaho allows you to start down an easy path with Agile BI and then scale up to EDW when and if necessary with enterprise data services. Our engineering team and community have spent significant time and effort to bring these services to market, and today is the official release. Please take a few minutes to read up on the new Pentaho Enterprise Data Services Suite and attend the launch webcast. Or, go ahead and download the Pentaho Enterprise Data Services Suite and start making easier, faster, better decisions.

Richard


Pentaho’s week of Hadoop

October 15, 2010

Congrats to our new partner Cloudera for putting on a great event this week. Hadoop World 2010 was a huge success – with over 900 attendees. It was great to talk to companies using Hadoop and those looking to solve their big data problems. We were also excited to have such a great showing at our presentation at the very end of the day with standing room only!

On Wednesday, following Hadoop World, the Pentaho Agile BI Tour arrived in NYC. Pentaho and its partner Project Leadership Associates presented a special half-day seminar focused on Agile BI and Big Data. We also hosted the first of three special OEM Power Lunches for companies interested in embedding Pentaho.

For an insider’s look at our Week of Hadoop check out our slide show below.

If you missed our four announcements Tuesday about the availability of Pentaho Data Integration and Pentaho BI Suite for Hadoop and our new partnerships you can read what the press and analyst have to say:

Hadoop pitched for business intelligence
ITWorld.com,  Joab Jackson

Pentaho Adds Hadoop Support
CTO Edge, Mike Vizard

Pentaho Brings Businss intellgience to Hadoop
ECRMGuide, Paul Shread

Pentaho brings BI, integration to Hadoop
Computer Business Review, Jason Stamper

You may be thinking, what is Hadoop? If so, I recommend to check out the videos by our Chief Geek, James Dixon. 5 videos are short, to the point and very informative.

Have a great weekend!
Rebecca Shomair
Director, Corporate Communications
Pentaho Corporation

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Data, Data, Data

October 12, 2010

It’s everywhere and expanding exponentially every day. But it might as well be a pile of %#$& unless you can turn all of that data into information. And do so in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner.  The old-school vendors don’t operate in a timely (everything is slow), efficient (everything is over-engineered, over-analyzed, over-staffed, etc) or cost-effective mode (the bloated supertanker needs feeding and the customer gets to pay for those inefficiencies), so that means new technologies and business models will drive innovation which ultimately serves the customers and communities.

Back to Data, Data, Data – Enter open source technologies like Hadoop and Pentaho BI/DI to drive next gen big data analytics to the market. Hadoop and Pentaho have both been around about 5 years, are both driven by very active communities, and have both been experiencing explosive growth over the last 18 months. Our community members are the ones who came up with the original integration points for the two techs, not because it was a fun, science project thing to do but because they had real business pains they were trying to solve. This all started in 2009 – we started development in 09, we launched our beta program in June 2010 (had to cap enrollment in the beta program at 60), launched a Pentaho for Hadoop roadshow (which was oversubscribed) and are now announcing the official release of Pentaho Data Integration and BI Suite for Hadoop.

I’m in NYC today at Hadoop World and we’re making four announcements:

  1. Pentaho for Hadoop – our Pentaho BI Suite and Pentaho Data Integration are now both integrated with Hadoop
  2. Partnership with Amazon Web Services – Pentaho for Hadoop now supports Amazon Elastic Map Reduce (EMR) and S3
  3. Partnership with Cloudera – Pentaho for Hadoop will support certified versions of Cloudera’s Distribution for Hadoop (CDH)
  4. Partnership with Impetus – a major Solutions Provider (over 1,000 employees) with a dedicated Large Data Analytics practice.

Consider this as phase I of building out the ecosystem.

We’re all about making Hadoop easy and accessible. Now you can take on those mountains of data and turn them into value. Download Pentaho for Hadoop.

Richard


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.


Big data should not mean big cost

May 19, 2010

Data is exploding at rates our industry has never seen before and the huge opportunity to leverage this data is stymied by the archaic licensing practices still in use by the old school software companies.  Currently, the big guys like Oracle, IBM, SAP, Teradata and other proprietary database and data warehouse vendors have a very simple solution to “big data” environments – just keep charging more money, a lot more money. The only “winners” in this scenario are the software sales reps. Our industry (Tech) is artificially slowed in order to support these old school business models – they can’t afford to innovate in licensing and they surely don’t want to kill the golden goose – The Perpetual License fee.

A major gaming company, for example, had been using Oracle for its database and BI tech. With traffic reaching 100 million to 1 billion impressions per day, the database giant’s only answer was to sell more expensive licenses. Even then, the best it could do was analyze four days worth of information at a time.

Organizations like Mozilla, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, RealNetworks and many others are now collecting immense amount of structured and unstructured data. The size of weblogs alone can be enormous.  Management wants to be able to triangulate what people are doing at their sites in order to do a better job of

a)     Turning prospects into customers
b)     Offering customers what they want in a more timely manner
c)     Spotting trends and reacting to them in real time.

Any company, small or large, that is trying to sift through terabytes of structured and complex data on an hourly, daily or weekly basis for any kind of analytics had better take a long hard look at what it is really paying for. Just like the worldwide recession of 08-09 brought tremendous attention to lower cost, better value prop alternatives like Pentaho, the “big data” movement is doing the same thing in the DB/DW space. And where do you find some of the best innovations in the tech space? The answer is open source.

Specifically, an open source tech called Apache Hadoop is addressing the “better value proposition for Big Data.” It also is the only tech capable of handling some of these big data applications. Sounds great, right? Well not exactly. The issue with Hadoop is it is a very technical product with a command line interface. Once that data gets into Hadoop, how do you get it out? How do you analyze that data? If only there was an ETL and BI product tightly integrated with Hadoop, and available with the right licensing terms…

Today I’m proud to announce that Pentaho has done just that. Early May 19th we announced our plans to deliver the industry’s first complete end-to-end data integration and business intelligence platform to support Apache Hadoop.  Over the next few months we’ll be rolling out versions of our Pentaho Data Integration product and our BI Suite products that will provide Hadoop installations with a rich, visual analytical solution. Early feedback from joint Hadoop-Pentaho sites have been extremely positive and the excitement level is high.

Hadoop came out of the Apache open source camp. It is the best technology around for storing monster data sets. Until recently, only a small number of organizations used it, primarily those with deep technical resources. However, as the tech matures the audience is widening and now with a rich ETL and analytical solution it is about to get even bigger.

Stay tuned to our website and to this blog as I’ll be sharing many success stories over the next 90 days. And most importantly, watch out for the ‘Golden Goose’ licensing schemes from the old school vendors.

Richard

Visit www.pentaho.com/hadoop to watch a demo of Pentaho Enterprise integration with Hadoop and reserve your place in the beta program.


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