1. Will it do what I need?
2. Will it get done on time?
3. Will it fit my budget?
These are pretty much the 3 questions that any IT Manager will ask him/herself when it comes to evaluating and investing in any type of software. Open Source BI is no different. Call it an over-simplified RFI (Request for Information) or “make my CFO approve my gut feeling” checklist, these questions are essentially what you need to know to go forward with a purchasing decision.
The snippets below show how 4 Pentaho customers have answered these questions.
ZipRealty, a well known real estate firm, wanted to increase the quality and quantity of their reports to their users. Their previous BI solution was cost-prohibitive when it came to rolling out these reports to “all” their agents and district managers. ZipRealty’s Director of Business Intelligence, Salvatore Scalisi quotes: “It wasn’t economical to add the number of users we wanted. The licensing fees became substantial.”
With Pentaho, ZipRealty was able to help its agents and managers track inventory and conversion rates. They also enhanced their client services and satisfaction by rolling out analysis to their client base, allowing them see real estate listings along with embedded analysis and map-based mash ups directly from the ZipRealty’s website.
Estalea L.P., a technology incubator with strong Java programming expertise wanted to find a similar technology-base solution to prepare “data services” for its clients’ independent BI applications. In looking for a solution that was Java base, and did not require very deep technical skills, they stated, “Pentaho was the only viable open source product, particularly in the ETL area.” Given that other Java ETL solutions are on a per user licensing model, Pentaho’s unlimited user license was a better option to them.
The simplicity and ease of use of Pentaho Data Integration, further enabled Estalea to save on costs by not hiring more expensive programmer staff. Jon Cotter, Director of Product Design and Technology at Estalea explains, “This way I can take on projects with people with less experience and move my senior people to other projects.”
For Loma Linda University Health Care, the value was mainly around user adoption. Loma Linda’s physicians, a non-technical group in the field of Business Intelligence and ETL, are now very interested to use Pentaho for their analysis. Historically, physicians are primarily Excel users. Their positive experience on the ease of use of Pentaho BI Suite Enterprise Edition is absolutely clear in the quote by Darrin Blocker, Decision Support Analyst at Loma Linda, “Just the idea of being able to select attributes and pivot that data and get a response in seconds, versus having to send in a report request and waiting for a week was a big selling point”.
Power Costs, Inc.’s goal was to offer an analytical application to its utility customers that can help them with energy bidding process. Monthly gigabytes of data and a seven-year history of data from its customers, combined with Power Costs’ own market data was processed to build these sophisticated analysis. Pentaho Analysis fit the bill.
For the volumes of data that Power Costs needed to analyze, Pentaho’s well-integrated Data Integration and BI stack was ideal. According to David Nilsson, Power Costs Vice President of Product Strategy, Pentaho’s ETL tool was “ One of the better ones that we had seen….Most vendors’ products don’t integrate as well.” The pricing model and easy integration helped Power Costs achieve ROI in less than four months.
4 customers, 4 different business use cases. They all needed Pentaho to not only deliver the functionality they needed, but also to provide them with tools that can easily be implemented and deliver results fast. Needless to say these customers had budget constraint that could not bless them to a ½ million dollar solution! To summarize their results in a few bullets, what they got out of Pentaho was:
- Ease of use in implementation for the ETL and BI developer
- Full integration of ETL and BI to speed project cycles
- Letting business users make changes and see results fast, without having to wait for IT
- Scalability of the solution for large volumes of data
- Low cost in rolling out BI to the masses
For more information on these customers, download the white paper “Realizing the Pentaho Agile BI Opportunity: BI for the Masses and Customer Success” by Joshua Greenbaum, Principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting.
Product Marketing Manager
To read more examples of customers like Loma Linda University and Estalea experiencing success with Pentaho visit the Pentaho Customer Success webpage.
This blog was originally posted on Business Intelligence from the Swamp.