Posts Tagged 'saas data integration'

300+ SaaS BI and Integration LinkedIn Group Members

Two important milestones for the LinkedIn SaaS Business Intelligence and Integration Group:

  • Over 300 members
  • There is now a logo (thanks to @joeharris76 on Twitter)

saasbi

 

 

Very cool. Please join in here.

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SaaS Business Intelligence Smack Down on Twitter

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?”

twitter-logoWell, 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…”

BOOM!

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?”

His response:

“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.

SaaS Data Replication: Get More From Your Salesforce and On-Premise BI Tools

If you’re at a company that has already made a significant investment in on-premise business intelligence tools, instead of placing a bet on an early-stage SaaS business intelligence vendor, it seems to me that for many use cases a better approach would be to consider an on-demand data replication service that will help you leverage your existing investments.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a big believer in SaaS BI for many use cases, but it’s still early days for most of the vendors in this space, most of whom are targeting organizations who have not already made investments in on-premise data warehousing and reporting and analysis tools. If you’re a Salesforce.com customer, here are some use cases for a cloud-based data replication service:

  • Trying to access and analyze Salesforce data with on-premise reporting  tools like Crystal Reports, Cognos, or even Microsoft Excel.
  • Having difficulty joining more than two objects in Salesforce for reporting purposes.
  • Struggling to ensure consistent, accurate, up-to-date, and  integrated data from Salesforce and other enterprise data sources.

With a true SaaS data replication service, you can:

  • Integrate real-time CRM data into your on-premise business intelligence and reporting systems.
  • Ensure that any new changes to your Salesforce data model are automatically reflected in your local reporting solution.
  • Deliver timely, trusted, and accurate data from Salesforce and other systems for pervasive business intelligence.

Data Integration in the Cloud

 “Personally, I look forward to better and easier cloud integration. Our systems folks are offsite in another state and getting anything done these days is like an exercise in frustration! I know we have data we want to utilize outside of our systems, but securely. Cloud integration that could guarantee the security and not have us investing in the hardware to support it would be a big help.”

This feedback to a post by Informatica’s Ron Papas called, “Understanding Cloud Integration” (along with +20 5-star Force.com AppExchange reviews) has got me thinking a lot about the opportunity to deliver data integration as an on-demand service. Ron outlines three types of technologies and approaches for cloud integration:

  1. Traditional enterprise software
  2. Integration tools hosted “in the cloud” (a la Amazon EC2)
  3. Integration as a service (see video below for a nice explanaition of cloud computing)

This blog will focus primarily on #3 as well as the surrounding trends in the business software market

But wait, isn’t data integration a complex topic? And isn’t software as a service (SaaS) all about simplicity and ease of use? Yes and yes. Sounds like a great opportunity to me…

I’m looking forward to the discussion and hope you’ll join in.


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