The Open Source Channel Meets Amazon Web Services
First, let's review the players in this customer deployment:
The VAR Guy is smiling. Another of his predictions is coming true: The emerging open source IT channel is converging with cloud services. To wit, OpenBI — a business intelligence solutions provider — is deploying applications in Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for a health care company. Here’s the scoop.
First, let’s review the players in this customer deployment:
- OpenBI is a Chicago-based solutions provider (ahem, VAR) that specializes in open source business intelligence.
- Pentaho develops and promotes open source BI applications. Pentaho was ranked 13 in The VAR Guy’s Open Source 50 report, which tracks the most promising open source channel partner programs.
- Amazon.com’s Web Services feature multiple cloud services for customers and solutions providers to leverage, including the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and the Simple Storage Service (S3).
- Nutricia North America is a manufacturer that needed business intelligence software.
Now, let’s look at how those four parties came together. Eager to meet Nutricia North America’s needs, OpenBI deployed Pentaho’s business intelligence software in Amazon’s EC2 cloud.
It’s a simple story but a landmark event for the following reasons:
- The New (But Niche) IT Channel: OpenBI is proving that solutions providers can build profitable businesses around open source applications.
- Software as a Service: Instead of merely competing in the on-premise software world, open source applications (and traditional applications) are shifting into Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud and other cloud services. Still skeptical? Check out the work that Jumpbox has been doing. Or examine the closed-source storage work Vembu is doing with Amazon’s cloud.
- Twice the Customer Trust: A few years ago, customers didn’t trust open source applications. And even today, many customers don’t trust SaaS. But Nutricia took two leaps of faith by embracing open source and SaaS at the same time. Kudos to OpenBI for earning Nutricia’s faith in the open source SaaS model.
Will all customers shift their applications to the cloud? Certainly not. Is open source always the best option? Certainly not. Is a bigger trend emerging — where open source and SaaS begin to infiltrate the IT channel? The VAR Guy sure thinks so.