Open Source Business Intelligence: Small Niche, Growing Channel

They aren't household names. But in the world of open source business intelligence (BI) software, Jaspersoft and Pentaho are trading some impressive blows and building out their partner programs. Here's the scoop from The VAR Guy.

After launching a Gold Partner Program in February 2009 and hosting its first partner summit in April 2009, Pentaho is extending its channel program into Japan. Eager partners assisting the expansion include BrainChild and KSK Solutions, notes Lance Walter, VP of marketing at Pentaho.

Adds Lars Nordwall, Pentaho's senior VP of worldwide business development:

I am currently in Japan meeting with a dozen major organizations to discuss their opportunity to roll-out Pentaho enterprise-wide. Also, unlike with proprietary software, local resellers/partners can localize the Pentaho platform and contribute it back to our customers
and community members instead of waiting on the technology vendor. Expect a lot more from us shortly.
Nordwall is a SugarCRM veteran who joined Pentaho in mid-2008. Of course, The VAR Guy had to ask Nordwall about last week's surprise CEO change at SugarCRM, but Nordwall declined comment on that matter.

Same Market, Different Company

Meanwhile, Pentaho rival Jaspersoft says its so-called JasperForge community has reached full production capabilities. For software developers and partners, JasperForge "employs a social networking approach that makes it easier than ever for users to join or start a project, interact with the community on Jaspersoft technology, and move project development and deployment forward," according to a Jaspersoft press release.

Jaspersoft and Pentaho in December 2008 both landed on The VAR Guy's Open Source 50 report, which tracks the most promising open source partner programs. More recently, Jaspersoft and Pentaho both were founding members of the Open Source Channel Alliance, initially launched by Red Hat and Synnex.

Some channel partners certainly profit from open source business intelligence. A prime example involves OpenBI, a Chicago-based integrator deploying Pentaho applications in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.

Still, traditional BI software providers -- such as SAS Institute -- continue to refine and polish their partner programs.

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