Pentaho: Open Source BI Accelerates Partner Momentum

The VAR Guy

July 27, 2011

2 Min Read
Pentaho: Open Source BI Accelerates Partner Momentum

Pentaho, which develops open source business intelligence software, continues to polish and enhance its channel partner program. The latest effort involves an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) push, which allows partners to embed Pentaho’s software into their own products. The results look promising: First-half 2011 OEM sales grew 170 percent vs. the same period in 2010. In some ways, The VAR Guy is starting to think of Pentaho has a business applications provider rather than an open source company. And that’s precisely the goal. Here’s the update.

The story starts with Tom Leonard, executive VP of business development at Pentaho. Leonard, essentially Pentaho’s channel chief, has been running the company’s partner program since January 2011. Leonard previously held top business development posts at OpenSpan, JBoss (acquired by Red Hat) and Bluestone Software (acquired by HP). The JBoss experience is particularly interesting, since JBoss has successfully gained a big commercial business following… and a channel partner following.

Leonard has played a key role in launching Pentaho’s new OEM Development Services Group. The group faces a tricky challenge, Leonard conceded to The VAR Guy earlier this week. On the one hand, Pentaho wants to provide repeatable best practices to OEMs. But on the other hand, Leonard says no two OEMs are alike — which means some OEM relationships require special guidance.

According to a prepared statement, Pentaho says the OEM group services include:

  • Help with standard issues around embedding BI and integrating the Pentaho BI Enterprise Edition including security, application development and data integration;

  • Assistance in re-skinning the BI user interface; and

  • On-premise, SaaS, or cloud deployment options.

To deliver those services, Pentaho has named Pentaho veteran Anthony DeShazor Vice President of OEM Development Services.

No doubt, the business intelligence market is red hot. IBM has made business intelligence one of its core priorities for 2011. And Jaspersoft — another open source BI company — recently received a fresh round of funding from Red Hat, SAP, Quest Software and multiple venture capitalists.

Back at Pentaho, The VAR Guy has several remaining questions. For instance, how many traditional resellers are partnering up with Pentaho? And which is the bigger revenue opportunity for Pentaho going forward — reseller relationships, SaaS and cloud relationships or OEM relationships?

The VAR Guy hopes to kick around those questions — and more — when he potentially meets Pentaho’s Leonard for lunch in August.

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