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ebizQ's Business Agility Watch

Jessica Ann Mola

Podcast: John Crupi on the Value of Enterprise Mashups and Web 2.0

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Last week I spoke to John Crupi, CTO of JackBe, the enterprise mashup platform company. Our discussion covers the impact Web 2.0 and enterprise mashups are having on companies, why Crupi believes "BI mashups" is a better label than "BI 2.0," and more. Take a listen.

Listen to or download the 7:05 podcast:

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JAM: Can you give me a brief background on JackBe?

JC: Sure. The company actually started out six years ago as an Ajax toolkit company. And about three and a half years ago, when I came on board we realized that there was huge problem that needed to be met and that was really how do we get data that is traditionally locked up in the enterprise out to the user in the browser because we felt that the user would be spending a significant amount of their time in the browser doing business applications in the future. So we repositioned the company from an Ajax vendor to an enterprise mashup vendor and essentially launched Presto which is our enterprise mashup platform about three years ago.

JAM: Where do you see Web 2.0 technology having the greatest impact in today's enterprise?

JC: That's a great question. So I think Web 2.0 was really was -- it was coined by O'Reilly and really talks about the next generation or the next wave of how we do things. And if you think about sort of Web 1.0 where had the browser and it was really much designed around static content, we'd click on a link, the page would go away and then a new page would come back. But then you'd think about how business users need business applications, they're very interactive and chatty, they're doing things such as Excel, they're interacting with their CRM systems, and it didn't lend itself to being a 1.0 type technology because of that more businesslike interaction.

But Web 2.0 really started out in the consumer side with taking newer generation technologies like Ajax and getting that whole interactive responsiveness into a Web page that almost made it seem like a desktop application. The real value and the real impact was around the collaboration and sharing side. So all of a sudden, I could have things like MySpace, and Facebook, and LinkedIn, and I have these portals that are very interactive allow me to upload photos, have conversations, chat, do everything that I want to do right from within the browser.

Take that and move that whole collaboration, and sharing, and interaction to the enterprise, tack on security and governance and plug it into SAP, ERP, CRM type data that's internal and external. And all of sudden, you have a new generation of solution that really helps the enterprise in much the way that it helps the consumer side but we think it's going to have a huge impact on the enterprise.

JAM: Can you summarize the problems that mashups address for today's organizations and give some quick examples of how your customers are using mashups to bridge their data silos?

JC: Right. So it really is solving the data problem or the silo problem. Think about Excel and all that copying and pasting we forced knowledge workers to do to take data from different systems and put it into a spreadsheet just so they can make decisions and then they collaborate by emailing it around. Think about enterprise mashups automating that whole experience within the browser. So no longer will I have to login to three different systems and copy that data and put it someplace else so I can make decisions. Enterprise mashups plug right into your existing data sources and whether it's internal, external, completely secure and governed, and allows the user to go and get that data as they need it in the way they need it so that they can make real-time decisions and collaborate and do team decision making based on that data.

JAM: Recently, there's been a lot of talk about BI 2.0 and the need for users to have more self-service capabilities. Is this similar to the value of mashups and how did the two approaches differ?

JC: It is. I think there's -- we're not really big fans on the BI 2.0 because I think BI 2.0 is talking about kind of the next generation of BI. And if you follow the trajectory of BI, you know it starts with the big data warehouses, and cubes, and months and years worth of effort to get dashboards and reports, really not aligned to be agile, not aligned to have a widespread audience and definitely isn't self service. Now, it's talked about as though its self-service, but it's very, very limited. And the BI 2.0 space really is about what do we do with our existing BI that's very, very 10, 15-year-old technology and how do we apply newer technologies and get faster benefits from that. So you'll see things that are being BI SaaS models that allow to push your spreadsheets on the Web and various other in memory types solutions, the speed of performance.

But really getting that nirvana of self-service, personalize dashboards, publishing dashboards, being able to drill down on your analytical information from your BI system along with all the other information you need. I think that BI mashups is more akin to what this should be called versus BI 2.0. And enterprise mashups in our mind is essentially the head of BI that will give you this self-serve and personal dashboards and dashboard publishing with the collaboration because that's essentially what enterprise mashups is built for.

JAM: As the mashup market matures, businesses are going to need to justify the benefits mashups have to their organizations. How would you currently qualify and quantify the ROI of enterprise mashups?

JC: Putting ROI around things -- this has been tried for years, especially, in the middleware world. How do you put an ROI benefit to the business based on data that's being integrated in the backend? The good news is that because enterprise mashups really is a middleware technology, it's more of the user integration technology; we can demonstrate ROI based on the time it takes for users to make decisions. We essentially introduce ROI based on the amount of time -- the increased amount of time that we give users to make the decisions so that they make more informed decisions and we can do these things in what we call mashup time, which is hours, and days, and weeks, not months and years that were traditionally used to in being able to make decisions from an IT perspective.

ebizQ’s expert blog team covers a broad range of BPM, business integration, business analytics/monitoring, collaboration, content and related issues.

Peter Schooff

Peter Schooff is Contributing Editor at ebizQ, and manager of the ebizQ Forum. Contact him at pschooff@techtarget.com

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