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First Look

Krissi Danielson

Should You Go with a Large or Small Firm for your BI Solution?

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    Key Points and Resources

According to Lyndsay Wise, a BI analyst who just launched her own WiseAnalystics Web site, BI is really starting to make its mark in the mid-market.

"There are about three ways that market consolidations are changing the face of business intelligence deployments," Wise explains. The first is that consolidations are leading to embedded BI within vendors' service offerings -- or at least readily available adapters. Smaller and newer entrants are bringing best-of-breed solutions and giving organizations more choice. And last, but not least, the expansion of BI towards SaaS means that hosted offerings can be deployed at a departmental level.

Benefits and Pitfalls

Two key benefits of having numerous choices is obviously, well, there's more choice. Organizations that don't have large budgets or IT infrastructures can choose among the available solutions to find the most appropriate.

"Larger vendors such as Business Objects and Cognos are creating not only mid-market solutions but on-demand solutions as well, so that organizations in the mid-market arena that cannot afford or don't necessary want even a mid-market solution can still get the benefit of these leading vendors but through an on-demand service," she says.

As for challenges, the consolidations bring in more doubt in terms of which offerings will remain available in the next year.

"Organizations won't really know until next year whether or not the vendors that have been acquired will actually still have a role at their own development and their market positioning, etc," Wise says.

Newer entrants can also face viability questions from not having as much of a proven track record.

BI and SaaS / Open Source Development

Both SaaS and open source are becoming more mainstream, and BI has a definite parallel.

"A couple of years ago, it was really only open source organizations or companies or developers that were interested in open source that knew about open source BI solutions," she says. "But now we see that based on different marketing efforts and just expansions in general into the area, that open source vendors are actually becoming more mainstream within BI."

On-demand has the same story. What was once more of a fringe movement is now becoming far more mainstream.

"I think that both open source as well as SaaS-based solutions will continue to expand and become more popular within the BI arena," Wise predicts. "Especially in terms of mid-market solutions because so many mid-market companies don't have really advanced or mature IT infrastructures, it makes sense that they would go towards an on-demand solution."

Executive Summary by Krissi Danielsson 

Join ebizQ producer Krissi Danielson for interviews with the innovators, movers and shakers behind emerging enterprise software solutions.Have a solution that qualifies? E-mail Krissi at krissi (at)ebizq.net

Krissi Danielson

Krissi Danielsson is a podcast producer with ebizQ and contributor to ebizQ's SaaSWeek site. View more

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