I was skimming Twitter this morning and saw this announcement from Cognos, “Cognos Takes Aim at MidMarket with New BI Tools.” I was surprised that the press release said nothing about SaaS / Cloud computing, and posed the question on Twitter: “Why no SaaS BI?”
Well, Andy Bitterer (aka Andy Twitterer), who is currently in Ottawa for analyst briefing day, took me to task with this reply:
“Maybe IBM doesn’t want to go down like LucidEra…”
My old friend Lance Walter from Pentaho stepped in with this defence of the SaaS/Cloud model:
“But failed co. doesn’t equal failed model.”
Andy’s reply: “Fair enough, but not a really proven model either. LucidEra wasn’t the first. See IT Factory. Different reason, though.”
I then asked Andy: “Are you suggesting midmarket not well suited for SaaS BI?”
“On the low end of the midmarket I see no issue. But a 1B company doing a big-ticket SaaS BI deployment I have yet to see.”
But what about enterprise departmental implementations? I saw quite a bit of interest here in my time at LucidEra, where the SaaS BI solution was sought to address specific needs of a line of business. So far, there’s been a surprisingly muted response from the SaaS BI vendors out there. Do they have proof of enterprise customer success for Andy? Was anyone else surprised not to see a SaaS/Cloud offering from Cognos or is it still considered to be too bleeding edge? What about Business Objects OnDemand from SAP? Is it still a growing concern in this market?
In the meantime, if enterprise departmental implementations are the way forward for SaaS BI vendors outside of the midmarket (Cognos aside of course), it’s certainly good news for data integration in the cloud that includes data synchronization and data replication services.