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


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.


You can run but you can’t hide

May 18, 2010

Social media has changed the whole customer-vendor relationship. If our customers are not happy they have 100’s of ways to tell a lot of people. Vendors can run but they can’t hide.

Howard Dresner gets it. He tapped into the social media world to gather a sampling of over 450 business intelligence users to learn their real-world experiences with their vendors. He gathered their feedback in the new market study by Dresner Advisory Services, The Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study™. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Pentaho, in the Emerging Vendor category, was ranked against six other vendors and received the top ranking in value for the price paid and quality of consulting services.
  • Pentaho is the clear leader in OSBI ranking above other OSBI vendors in every category.
  • Pentaho received the second highest marks overall among BI vendors.
  • 100 percent of responding customers recommended Pentaho.

Red Hat’s slogan comes to mind in this situation: “Truth Happens.” With the growth of social media you cannot hide if you have bad support or a crappy product – social media puts the power back into the users hands.

You can’t just say you are the best or largest – you have to be it. It is easy to throw around meaningless statistics about having “over 100,000 community members”, when the 100,000 merely visited a website or forge and registered to get community editions or view a forum. What is worse is when over 75% of these “community members” only visited that site one time and never returned. Making these grossly misleading claims is bad for commercial open source in general and horrible for the specific vendors.

Beyond the Wisdom of Crowds report, I wanted to point out a few other independent surveys out there to see the truth.

Open Source Solutions: Managing, Analyzing and Delivering Business Information
BeyeNETWORK Research Report by Mark Madsen

The End of Enterprise Software: Open Source Finds an Opening
By Wayne Eckerson, Director, TDWI Research

If you are interested to know what your peers are saying about Pentaho in The Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study™ the survey is available for download by visiting: http://www.pentaho.com/wisdom_of_crowds/

Richard


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


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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