Open Source Business Intelligence Scores Another Channel Win
Forgive The VAR Guy if he sounds like Yogi Berra today, but our resident blogger has deja vu all over again. The reason: The folks at OpenBI, a systems integrator in Chicago, have scored yet another win promoting Pentaho‘s open source business intelligence software to customers. This is becoming a familiar story for OpenBI and Pentaho’s channel. Here’s the scoop.
First, some caveats: The VAR Guy is not suggesting that open source will fully displace closed source in the IT channel. Thousands of resellers and integrators remain fiercely loyal to Microsoft- and Windows-centric solutions. And in fact, OpenBI’s latest open source victory apparently involves some Microsoft code.
Food for Thought
The OpenBI project involved The Swiss Colony, a mail-order catalog and online merchandising company. According to a Pentaho press release:
The Swiss Colony is using Pentaho to integrate massive amounts of clickstream data and web analytics to provide its marketing department greater visibility into valuable business metrics such as keyword optimization and ad spending. By marrying this information with traditional catalog sales activity data, The Swiss Colony now has a more complete view of its customers and is thus better equipped to serve their needs.
Sounds impressive. But this is more than an open source BI story. The deployment involved a mix of open source and closed source code. According to the press release, OpenBI’s solution “runs on Intel-based IBM servers using SUSE Linux, a Tomcat application server and a Microsoft SQL Server database.”
Hmmm. Since SQL Server is part of the solution, The VAR Guy assumes Windows Server is running somewhere in the mix as well. But he’ll check in with OpenBI for clarification.
OpenBI is making a name for itself deploying Pentaho-centric solutions for customers. The integrator in February 2009 deployed Pentaho’s software in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for a major customer project.
At the same time, Pentaho (and rival Jaspersoft) have been building out their respective partner programs and reseller channels. Both Pentaho and Jaspersoft landed on The Open Source 50, an annual report that identifies the most promising open source channel partner programs.