Pentaho’s embedded analytics helps prepare German companies for ‘Industry 4.0’

March 3, 2014

In Germany, our greatest success last year was with customers across different industries using Pentaho to embed analytics into their commercial software. There are several reasons for this, some of which are unique to Germany and others that reflect a larger global industry trend.

Germany has a vibrant software industry with excellent growth rates and even better forecasts for this year than last. The most important driver for this growth is the large body of highly specialised, medium-sized software companies, which belong to what we in Germany call, the “Mittelstand”. Many of them build specific solutions for our established automotive, chemical and mechanical industries, to name a few.

These companies’ customers are increasingly starting to demand analytics and reporting capabilities to be embedded into their core software applications, not only to make industrial and business processes more efficient, but to lay the foundation for Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is a movement in Germany that aims to bring the ‘Internet of Things’ to established industries in order to create smart factories that are ready for the future. Advanced analytics is likely to play a vital role in preparing the ground for this movement.

Being specialists themselves, industry-specific software companies suspect that its much more resource and cost-efficient to partner with a business analytics specialist like Pentaho rather than build one on their own.  Examples in the industry prove this to be true. A recent webinar we hosted with Montclare, which provides SaaS advisory services, revealed that over the course of five years, embedding analytics can be up to three times less expensive than building ‘home-grown’ functionality.

Here are three recent examples of German customers embedding analytics:

kirchhoff_datensysteme_logoKirchhoff Datensysteme Software GmBH (KDS) is a software development and system house with more than twenty years of experience developing independent and industry-specific solutions. KDS’ OEM partnership with Pentaho enabled it to build Poly.Mis, a highly specialized analytics tool for the plastic compounding industry.

informINFORM offers advanced optimization software solutions for six industries including aviation. The company embedded Pentaho to complement its GroundStar product for optimizing aviation processes with the business intelligence module GS BIS, helping their customer to achieve service levels and INFORM to sell more of its software.

usuUSU is a provider of IT-Service-Management (ITSM) solutions and consulting services. Its OEM partnership with Pentaho enabled it to build USU Service Intelligence, a cross-systems analysis tool that allows anyone in the customer’s IT department to easily run reports and pinpoint the root causes of problems.

There are plenty of resources and tools for companies interested in embedding analytics here.

If you are at CeBIT and want to learn more about our embedded analytics, or OEM programme, please meet me at our booth in Hall 6 A18!

Eddie White
EVP Business Development
Pentaho


Amplify SaaS Apps by Tapping Diverse Data

November 14, 2013

How can analytics generate value in SaaS, CRM, HCM, and the proverbial “alphabet soup” of cloud applications?  Read below for the “cliff notes” from Pentaho’s recent webinar series on how vendors are leveraging analytics inside a variety of different SaaS (Software-as-a-service) apps. 

Pentaho just wrapped up several webinars with Montclare, a leading provider of SaaS advisory services, on how embedded analytics can benefit SaaS vendors in the Customer Success, Human Capital Management (HCM), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) categories.  One clear trend was that thinking outside the box to incorporate new & novel data sources can create tremendous value for end users.  It’s not just about pretty visualizations and dashboards – it’s about insights that bubble up when diverse data is blended together.  We’ve broken out some webinar highlights below, and have also created a short summary video for each webinar – see links in each section.

Customer Success with Nick Mehta of Gainsight

Gainsight is a provider of customer success solutions.  CEO Nick Mehta stressed that before you can really build process around customer success, you need a data management strategy.  This means figuring out where crucial success information lives – whether in CRM, Product usage databases, customer surveys, billing systems, or other places.  It also means finding the right way to integrate this information and understanding the data granularity necessary for useful analytics (time frequency, aggregation, etc).

Gainsight’s “at a glance” view of customer base according to risk level (dot color), revenue (y axis), and time since they were signed (x axis)

Gainsight’s “at a glance” view of customer base according to risk level (dot color), revenue (y axis), and time since they were signed (x axis)

Big Data is one path for streamlining a data management approach.  Gainsight leverages a hierarchical infrastructure, where Hadoop serves as a high-volume raw data store, and NoSQL is used as an operational store for more summarized data, which then connects to a final end-user reporting layer.  Data and architecture innovation has allowed Gainsight to create an “at a glance” view of which customers may be at risk (see picture).  This resonates with an evolving trend where SaaS vendors are innovating via Big Data architectures to create more powerful, intelligent, & valuable apps for their customers.  The Customer Success video can be found here.

HCM with Janice D’Aloia of Mo’mix

Mo’mix is an IT software and services provider that embeds Pentaho Analytics in its Performance Center offering – which it launched to give customers a single view across a variety of enterprise data systems.  While self-service analytics and quick deployment helped drive the decision to partner with Pentaho, Mo’mix has really been able to generate value for customers by being able to connect to virtually any data source (ERP, HCM, niche sources, and more), bringing together an end-to-end view that’s accessible to all types of end users, from HR administrators up to the executive level.

Janice went over a few use cases where its clients improved HCM decision-making.  In one example, a client discovered that it was missing employee termination reasons in its source systems, and then was able to fix the discrepancy and track the relevant trends at a more granular to reduce voluntary terminations.  She also touched on retention use cases that focused on identifying high-performing and at-risk employees.  The HCM video can be found here.

CRM & Marketing with Montclare & Pentaho

In this presentation, Kevin Dobbs of Montclare shared some of the analytics-related trends driving CRM & Marketing application adoption – including demand for data insights on a variety of social media channels.  This was exemplified in the case of Paytronix, a Pentaho OEM partner that provides online loyalty solutions to restaurants.  As part of their deployment, Paytronix integrated social and mobile data sources, as well as Big Data technologies, to help clients optimize campaigns against end customer behavioral data more effectively.  At the same time, as they streamlined multi-source data for embedded analytics, Paytronix was also able to reduce ETL processing time by 80%, generating major operational benefits for customers.  The CRM & Marketing video can be found here.

These webinars highlight just a few examples of how application providers across the SaaS/software landscape are striving to deliver new data sources to their customers for additional analytics context and value.   You can access the full-length webinar videos here.  

Ben Hopkins
Product Marketing
Pentaho


Pentaho update to BBBT

July 24, 2012

Pentaho had the privilege of briefing the Boulder BI Brain Trust (BBBT) on July 20, 2012. The Boulder BI Brain Trust is a gathering of leading BI analysts, experts, and practitioners who attend half-day presentations from interesting and innovative BI vendors. After a very interactive morning presenting to the group, Pentaho CEO, Quentin Gallivan and SVP of Products, Jake Cornelius sat down with Claudia Imhoff, president and founder of the BBBT to discuss some of her questions from the morning about Pentaho.

The result is an excellent update about Pentaho products, technology and overall direction. Listen to a podcast of this interview to learn the following about Pentaho:

  • How Pentaho is differentiated?
  • What are the market forces for business analytics and how are they converging?
  • How is Pentaho meeting changes in market?
  • Overview of the Pentaho platform
  • What’s the reason for the BI embedded analytics trend?
  • What are some Pentaho big data customer examples?
  • What’s in the near future for Pentaho and its products?

Listen now: Claudia Imhoff interview with Pentaho leaders Quentin Gallivan, CEO and Jake Cornelius, SVP of Products


4 Questions to Ask Before You Define Your Cloud BI Strategy

June 25, 2012

These days, when it comes to enterprise software, it seems that it is all about the cloud. Some software applications such as Salesforce, Marketo, and Workday, have made quite a name for themselves in this space. Can Business Intelligence follow the same path to success? Does it make sense to house your BI in the cloud? I believe that it depends. Let’s explore why.

There are four criteria that impact the decision for a cloud vs. on-premise BI strategy.  Let’s take a look at how they affect your approach.

Question 1: Where is the data located?

Your BI Strategy should vary depending on the location of data.  If your data is distributed, some data may already be in the cloud, e.g. web data / clickstreams; and some on-premise, such as corporate data. For real-time or near real-time analytics, you need to deploy your BI as close to the source as possible. For example, when analyzing supply chain data out of an on-premise SAP system, where your database, application and infrastructure are all sitting on-premise, it is expensive and frankly impractical to move the data to the cloud before you start analyzing it.

Your data can also be geographically distributed. Unless your cloud infrastructure is co-located with your data geo zones, your BI experience can suffer from data latency and long refresh intervals.

Question 2: What are the security levels of data?

It’s important to acknowledge that data security levels are different in the cloud. You may not be able to put all your analytics outside of the company firewall. According to Cisco’s 2012 Global Cloud Networking survey, 72% of respondents cited data protection security as the top obstacle to a successful implementation of cloud services.

Question 3: What are the choice preferences of your users?

Customer preference is extremely important today. The balance of power has shifted, and users and customers are now the ones who decide whether an on-premise or a cloud deployment is suitable for them. What’s more, each customer’s maturity model is different. As an application provider or business process automation provider, you need to cater to your individual customers’ business needs.

Question 4: What operational SLAs does your Cloud BI vendor oblige you to?

Your operational SLAs can depend on cloud infrastructure providers, obliging you to service quality levels different from what you need. Pure cloud BI vendors provide their BI software over the public Internet through a utility pricing and delivery scheme. As much as this model provides an attractive alternative when resources are limited, it’s not for everyone. In most cases, the SaaS BI vendor depends on IaaS vendors (such as Amazon, Savvis, OpSource, etc.) for storage, hardware, and networks. As a result, the SaaS BI vendors’ operational processes have to align with the infrastructure vendors’ for housing, running, and backup/recovery of the BI software. Depending on your BI strategy, these nested and complex SLAs may or may not be the right choice.

Large enterprises, or even mid-market companies inspired by growth, typically develop an IT strategy that is provider-agnostic and has the flexibility to be hosted on-premise or in the in the cloud.   This strategy helps companies avoid lock-in and inflexibility down the road.

As cloud technology remains one of the hottest trends in IT today, it is important to assess whether cloud is the right choice for BI. The reality is that it depends. The center of gravity for BI is still on premise; however, it will move to the cloud over time mostly through the embedded BI capabilities of enterprise SaaS applications. Successful organizations will be the ones that can navigate the boundary between the two strategies and provide gr

eater flexibility and choice by offering a product that can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid of both.

What is your Business Intelligence Cloud strategy?

- Farnaz Erfan, Product Marketing, Pentaho

Originally posted on SmartData Collective on June 21, 2012


Finding Wheelchairs in 1s and 0s: The Power of Location in Data

March 22, 2012

RTLS (real time location systems) have long been embraced by retailers to monitor store foot traffic and secure merchandise. Today, hospitals are also making use of the technology. RTLS systems are used to track and identify the location and status of objects in real time, using sensors that monitor physical or environmental conditions, such as temperature, sound, vibration, pressure, or motion.

For healthcare providers RTLS means hard-dollar savings! With thousands of assets in constant motion each and every day, it becomes very difficult know what is used where, when, and why. These assets are core to providing care; therefore, dirty, in-use, or broken equipment can completely break the processes that take place in healthcare facilities. Simple activities like finding a piece of equipment can consume most of a caregiver’s time, slowing down patient flow, adding costs, and even impacting patient care.

How can a healthcare organization overcome this issue and put their location data into real use? —>By using powerful analytics. Let’s explore. There are two types of analytics:

1. Historical analysis. By understanding the actual utilization rates of equipment, hospitals can better estimate the inventory levels they need to have on hand, tailoring future purchases to maintain optimum inventory levels.

2. Real-time analysis. Monitoring the usage of equipment in real time and providing alerts when rental equipment is sitting idle, or when a piece of recalled piece of medical equipment enters a patient room,  or when par levels of clean and available equipment are not maintained, boosts the performance of the organization, improves staff efficiency, increases patient satisfaction, and improves patient safety and quality of care.

A great example of applied analytics in healthcare is what Intelligent InSites has implemented within their enterprise RTLS Asset Management software solution. Using this tool, some of their customers save up to $30,000 a month by monitoring real-time information on rental equipment and eliminating unnecessary expenses, such as paying for unused equipment. Intelligent InSites embeds Pentaho Business Analytics as part of their RTLS software solution. Their RTLS healthcare platform enables hospitals and healthcare facilities to analyze data from RTLS and RFID tags on medical equipment, such as wheelchairs or IV infusion pumps, gaining visibility into the location or status of these assets, identifying operational bottlenecks, and ultimately improving their patients’ safety and satisfaction.

Great use case, great story! But what are some things to look for when you are searching for business analytics software?

1. Big Data Support. Sensor and wireless data are considered new and emerging sources of information. Data feeds from RFID/RTLS tags are typically stored in a NoSQL database, such as Hadoop HBase, MongoDB, CouchDB and XML data stores. While transactional sources, such as point-of-sales data, will continue to use relational data formats, the value of an analytics platform lies in the visibility that it provides across all sources of data, comparing and contrasting one data set to the other.  Be sure to look for a business analytics solution that has a broad spectrum of data source connectivity, including both un-structured and structured data sets.

2. Embedded Analytics. Aberdeen research shows that the greatest benefit of business intelligence lies in the value of embedded analytics within an enterprise app. Rather than asking your end users—namely doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and knowledge workers—to switch back and forth between their business processes and the analytical application to drive insight, you can cut the latency and deliver analytics in real time.

A great example of this is Intelligent InSites’ embedded analytics from Pentaho that provides data on asset locations, status, usage, utilization and availability, directly from the end user’s RTLS Asset Management application. At a glance, hospital staff can locate the nearest available wheelchair or stretcher, saving valuable time.

3. Power to the User. Given that most users in healthcare are doctors, nurses, and administrative staff, ease of use and an intuitive user interface is one of the most crucial selection criteria. These users should not only be able to easily read and understand packaged reports, but also have interactive design tools to build their own analysis and dashboards.

Selecting the right Business Analytics software for your location data requires some level of due diligence. Know that you are not alone: location-based intelligence and analysis is applied across all types of industries. Whether you are a retailer looking to understand your customer preferences, a hospital tracking your equipment and resources, or even a horse race sponsor connecting your race track data to betting shops and TV screens, analyzing real-time location data unlocks immediate value.

What location data are you analyzing? Drop me a comment.

Farnaz Erfan
Product Marketing
Pentaho


Powered by Pentaho 101

March 14, 2012

This week we announced a new program for ISV and SaaS providers called “Powered by Pentaho.” I received several questions from clients and press so I thought I would share them with you to help explain the details behind this great new offer.

What is Powered by Pentaho?

Powered by Pentaho enables Pentaho OEM partners to deliver market-leading analytics capabilities in as little as eight weeks. The new OEM program is a response to the rapid rise in Pentaho’s 2011 OEM sales bookings, which grew more than 130 percent over the same period in 2010.

What does this 8-week program entail?

Pentaho provides the training, support and integration recommendations that best fit your solution objectives. You do the development and quality assurance. Keep in mind that all throughout your development cycle and thereafter, you have access to Pentaho experts who are intimately familiar with the Pentaho architecture and APIs. The best way to picture this is to think of Pentaho’s engineering team as an extension of your own engineering team. We want you to become successful, go to market fast, and build market leadership using our business analytics.

What about Pentaho makes this possible in eight week?

Pentaho technology - We provide embedding options that require little to no development. All you need is basic HTML skills to change the look and feel of our product to match your style and branding. We refer to these options as ‘Bundled’ or ‘Mashup.’ Pentaho offers more in-depth integration level, for OEM partners that require extensions and customization. We often see our OEM partners start with a re-branding and single sign-on approach and later move to a deeper integration.

Pentaho support and training - Pentaho has built services specific to every phase of an OEM’s software development lifecycle. You can not only go to market faster, but also build your future releases, changes and modifications much easier. These services include:

  • Architecture Workshop – Learn the best practices and best integration strategies for your development approach;
  • Tailored Training – Get your engineers and support staff a solid foundation for developing and troubleshooting your solution;
  • Development Support – Get your engineering staff access to Pentaho Java developers with in-depth knowledge of Pentaho architecture to get you to market faster.

Am I the right candidate?

This program is ideal for companies with information-centric software or packaged applications that want to go to market faster with attractive and sophisticated business intelligence and data visualization capabilities. All our customers who have successfully done this in eight weeks or less have a set of common characteristics. They typically have:

  • A phased approach, usually starting with a Bundled / Mashup type embedding option;
  • Data sources that have been prepared, cleansed, and put into a business analytics / reporting format. Pentaho has tools to help you do that;
  • At least one developer – with HTML and some Java skills – staffed – who has taken part in our training and architecture workshop classes.

Does Pentaho have proof points?

To date, hundreds of ISVs and SaaS providers have become Pentaho OEM partners. Marketo is a great example. Marketo was looking for both a modern, flexible technology and a true partner to help them build a brand new business analytics product. With Pentaho they were able to go to market in just eight weeks, delivering a feature-rich product that became a new source of revenue.

We have several great resources such as white papers, webinars, OEM Partner success stories and more. Visit pentaho.com/explore/embedded-bi/ for more information.

Farnaz Erfan
Product Marketing
Pentaho


Welcome Pentaho’s new secret weapon, Eddie White

February 27, 2012

We are very excited to have a new secret weapon onboard with Eddie White joining Pentaho as Executive Vice President of Business Development. Eddie is responsible for developing strategic relationships with big data vendors and commercializing Pentaho Business Analytics for major cloud/SaaS hardware and software vendors.

Eddie has more than 20 years of experience helping businesses meet and exceed their sales revenue and growth targets through, business development, strategic alliances partnerships, and acquisitions. Career highlights include:

  • Directed global sales and business development as CRO, SVP of Global Sales and Business Development for leading Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) startup Sentilla Inc.;
  • Led strategic business development and partnership activities for two flagship storage and infrastructure management business units with combined annual revenue of over $1bn at Computer Associates (CA) Inc., where he was VP of business and corporate development;
  • Delivered OEM storage solutions for the client on schedule and budget as business development director at Adaptec Inc.;
  • Managed storage business unit with P&L responsibility for a $60m p.a. at Eurologic Ltd.
  • Graduated with a diploma in business studies and first class honors from University College in Cork, Ireland and received a bachelors of business studies with honors from Dublin City University.

As you can see from his career highlights, Eddie is a proven technology industry business development professional who has built partnerships and OEM relationships with companies of all sizes. He’s exactly what Pentaho needs to keep us on the forefront of the big data revolution.

Welcome Eddie!


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


What do OEMs and Healthcare have in common?

November 28, 2011

What do OEMs and Healthcare have in common? This week, Pentaho is hosting exciting webinars featuring both topics. Attend both events from the convenience of your desk.

OEM Webinar – Wednesday, November 30th

Companies interested in embedding powerful analytics into their solution should make sure to register for a webinar exclusively for OEMs: Pentaho BI Server Content Integration. On Wednesday, November 30th, Anthony de Shazor, Enterprise Architect and VP of OEM Development Services, will explore the various strategies of exposing existing Pentaho reports and Analyzer reports in partner applications through lightweight integration technologies including HTTP and AJAX.

This is part of the exclusive OEM Tech Series. You can watch past OEM focused webinars here:

Healthcare Webinar – Thursday, December 1st

Rather than tell you the benefits of Pentaho Business Analytics for healthcare companies, we invited one of our customers to share their experience. St. Antonius Hospital is a leading clinical training hospital in the Netherlands with six outpatient locations servicing over 547,200 inpatients and 50,000 outpatients a year. Like many healthcare organizations, St. Antonius Hospital was faced with the challenge of improving patient care while reducing operating costs and complying with new government reporting standards, all the while lacking sufficient data analysis capabilities and a central data warehouse.

Attend the webinar on Thursday, December 1st to learn how St. Antonius used Pentaho to put business intelligence into the hands of doctors and administrators, enabling them to make better decisions that helped reduced emergency room turnaround times, streamlined operating room processes and improved preventive care.

Register now for these helpful webinars.


Customer Success with Pentaho: Cinca

November 10, 2011

Business analytics are very valuable in higher education due to the volume and range of decisions, with both political and financial impact, that universities need to make throughout the academic year related to things like student taxes, course offerings, building maintenance and human resources.

To address the specific needs of universities, Pentaho customer, Cineca, developed an integrated information system for higher education institutions, called U-GOV, which includes a business intelligence and analytics suite specifically designed for universities and called U-GOV Planning and Controlling. U-GOV Planning and Controlling consists of nine different integrated modules including accounting, human resources, research and student analytics, a planning and budgeting process, dashboards and key performance indicators, as well as best practices adapted to the university environment. Thirty universities currently use the software.

To make the system more sustainable and easier to manage, Cineca decided to replace all proprietary business intelligence platforms (Microstrategy and Qliktech) and standardize on a single open source business analytics platform. After an in-depth evaluation by its research lab, Cineca chose Pentaho for its integration capabilities, meta data management, OLAP capabilities, cost, user functionality, service support and centralized product management. Currently, U-GOV Planning and Controlling is in its second phase of migration and the results have been so positive already that Cineca plans to offer it beyond Italy.

Nicola Bertazzoni, External Relations at Cineca said, “By embedding Pentaho Business Analytics, Cineca can provide its 30 U-GOV Planning and Controlling customers with much less complexity and more benefits. We can now deliver sophisticated views of operational data, in time, to support much sounder planning decisions. Embedding Pentaho has been such a success we are looking to expand our operations internationally.”

Read the full customer success story about Cineca embedding Pentaho Business Analytics.

Explore the benefits of embedding amazing analytics into your application.


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