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Leveraging Information and Intelligence

David Linthicum

Open Source Driving More Business Intelligence These Days

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I'm seeing a whole lot of open source BI technology out there these days, including this announcement from Pentaho.  Pentaho not only provides open source BI technology but is now making it easy for you to convert from the larger more expensive guys by providing migration services.        

"On Monday, the company will announce a new migration program along with the launch of its 3.5 release. Under the 'Escape' offer, users of Actuate e.Reports, Brio, Cognos Impromptu, Crystal Reports and Oracle Reports can have their BI reports converted to Pentaho for special rates, starting at US$5,000 for 25 reports. For bigger volumes, the cost can go as low as $100 per report."

Seems fair to me, as long as Pentaho is the correct BI platform for you.  In many instances enterprises migrate to open source because...well...it's open source, and fail to see the true value of the technology.   You need to do a quick assessment of your needs and the fit of the BI solution, open source or not.    A bad BI solution will cost you way more than any cash saved by going open source, keep that in mind.

The larger issue here is providing low cost BI solutions for smaller enterprises who can't foot the million plus dollar all-in price tag of deploying a BI solution.    However, that's mostly skilled BI labor.  The cost of the technology is significant but typically secondary.    Considering that you can also go open source for the database and server operating systems, it adds up quickly.   

As the Pentaho release asserts, the real cost of moving to open source BI is around the conversion and disruption of porting the reports.   Therefore, you're much better off going open source BI from the jump, rather than migrating later.       

Are you using open source BI?  If so, how is it going?

Industry expert Dave Linthicum tells you what you need to know about building efficiency into the information management infrastructure

David Linthicum

David Linthicum is the CTO of Blue Mountain Labs, and an internationally known distributed computing and application integration expert. View more

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