Happy Halloween from Pentaho

October 31, 2011

The Pentaho team in Orlando always has the best costumes. The winner this year goes to Will Gorman (4th from left) for his creative costume dressing as ‘Private Cloud.’

From Convicted Felons to Wall Street Investors – Business Analytics is for All

October 28, 2011

This week US Politics Today highlighted a case study about how NYC Department of Probation is using Pentaho Business Analytics to gain visibility into the lives of 35,000 convicted felons, helping them get back into their communities and building productive lives under a monitored probation program.

At the heart of NYC Department of Probation’s mission to “restructuring lives” is powerful analytics, giving the department access to massive amounts of data, such as detailed information on the background of the men, women and young people being supervised, the types of crimes that they have committed and their progress.

This is a vivid example on how powerful analytics is empowering public sector and government organizations to improve their performance, streamline their administration services, and ultimately help the public. Business Analytics is no longer a novelty specifically made for investors, financial analysts, and executive managers. Today business analytics serves all.

Anibal Sempertegui, director of information technology, software, New York City Department of Probation explained, “Because of Pentaho’s open source business model, we can affordable to make it accessible throughout our department and use it to facilitate data integration with other city departments as well. Overall, the New York City Department of Probation has realized huge cost savings with Pentaho Business Analytics. We figure that we are paying 80 percent less than we would with a commercial business intelligence application for licensing, maintenance and support.” 

Growing populations, presidential budget proposals, and new economic developments calls for smart investment in business analytics in all areas of the government including:

  • Health and Human Services
  • Social Security Administration
  • Defense
  • Treasury
  • Criminal Justice
  • Transportation
  • Education
  • And more….

Government agencies can now ‘Occupy‘ powerful business analytics with Pentaho at 80 percent less cost than proprietary vendors. Learn more about how Pentaho helps NYC Department of Probation police its data.

Farnaz Erfan
Product Marketing

Vive la France!!

October 26, 2011

France consistently tops the European charts when it comes to Open Source software adoption, partly due to the leadership taken in by its public sector, which has a knock-on effect in the private sector.

Lately we’ve felt like the best thing since sliced bread, with our popularity on the rise and several new customers joining the fold over the past few months. We’ve attracted companies from a range of sectors, including one of the largest technology companies in the world, leading health insurers and local government organisations. One reason behind the success is surely our new French account manager, Cédric Fauvet*, but we suspect there are a few others:

  • We’ve truly localized so our French support and presence is better than ever, delivered by native speakers who truly understand the market and customer needs.
  • Our partners are a big part of this, providing hands-on training, workshops and Webinars (in French) to actively working with our team on customer projects. Our collaboration with them has never been better.
  • Enterprise product differentiation and value. The added functionality and value of our enterprise offering compared to the community open source project is undeniable, resulting in much faster implementations and giving more power to users.

Look out in the coming months for announcements of new French customers and success stories.  If you’d like to find out more about our local French services or interested in becoming a partner, don’t hesitate to contact Cédric on the number below.

A bientôt!
Davy Nys
Regional VP EMEA

Vive la France!! 

La France à toujours été à la pointe de l’Europe pour ce qui est de l’adoption de l’OpenSource, en partie grâce à la traction du secteur public, qui a ensuite par effet boule de neige, contaminé le secteur privé.

Nous venons de rentrer dans une période faste, une popularité en croissante, plusieurs nouveaux clients qui rejoignent nos rangs. Nous avons par exemple attiré des sociétés issues de secteurs variés, incluant une des plus grandes sociétés technologiques dans le monde, le leader des assurances et plusieurs organisations locales. Une raison derrière ce succès est certainement notre nouveau responsable commercial, Cédric Fauvet, mais nous soupçonnons aussi les causes suivantes :

  • Nous sommes bien mieux localisés, nous supportons nos clients en Français et notre présence est meilleure que jamais, assurées par des Francophones natifs qui comprennent parfaitement le marché et les besoins des clients.
  • Nos partenaires y sont pour bonne part aussi, par la fourniture de formations clés en mains, par la participation à des ateliers et des Webinaires (en Français) avec notre équipe. Notre collaboration avec eux n’a jamais été meilleure.
  • Les nombreux différenciateurs et la valeur ajoutée de notre édition professionnelle.

Restez à l’écoute les prochains mois, pour de nouvelles annonces concernant nos futurs clients Français et leurs « succes stories ». Si vous souhaitez en savoir plus sur les nos services dans l’hexagone et les zones Francophones ou si vous êtes intéressé pour rejoindre la liste de nos partenaires, n’hésitez pas à contacter Cédric au numéro suivant

A bientôt!
Davy Nys
Regional VP EMEA

5 Questions for Pentaho’s new CEO

October 25, 2011

On October 1st, Pentaho welcomed a new CEO and board member to our team, Quentin Gallivan. We caught up with Quentin in his new office at the Pentaho headquarters in San Francisco to get to know him a little better, his background and plans for Pentaho. Welcome Quentin!

“We haven’t really thought about that”

October 7, 2011

If you have been dealing with business analytics related sales activities or are searching for that “right” business intelligence tool, you will find that most organizations:

  • Use manual tasks, that include desktop query and reporting tools, to answer their business questions.
  • Have “something” in place that they are not happy with or is costing them too much money.
  • Have data in multiple silos that they need to access, consolidate and optimize.

Hence, they are usually looking for a low cost business analytics alternative that can provide them with the answers to their business questions, as well as ease of use and functionality they are looking for within their budget. Don’t believe me? Join the many business intelligence groups available in LinkedIn and Quora as well as other social networking type sites and you will see the barrage of questions from those looking for recommendations on BI and analytics tools.

I was on a call the other daya with a well known organization where the “prospect” stated: “We need basic reporting with the ability to access all of our data without moving it or massaging it.”

“Okay? That is absolutely possible,” I replied. “However do you understand the pros and cons that are associated with doing that?”  […]  Silence…not only could you hear crickets on their phone, but you could hear them in the next conference room over. I took the proverbial saying “Silence is Golden” to another level. It became so uncomfortable that the Account Rep felt he should interject. I interrupted promptly to allow them to answer the question. After about a minute of what seemed like hours of silence, they responded:

“We haven’t really thought about that.” – BINGO! Case closed! Next!

Hmm… “We haven’t really thought about that.”

That’s the problem! No one is taking the time to be proactive and think about what it is they need and are rather just reacting saying, “Let’s see a demo,” “I just need reporting,” or “We need dashboards.” If that is the case, I would recommend you watch a video demonstration which may intrigue you and prompt you to start thinking about what you really need. Then…come talk to me when you have more criteria that will support your business intelligence and analytics initiative.:-)

I digress…in turn, I took this as an opportunity to educate them by asking pointed questions that would help them see what it is they actually need vs. what they thought they needed.

Eight questions I always ask customers to determine what they actually need

  1. Is the data you need to access all in one location? – No
  2. Does the data you have support a majority of questions that will be asked of it? – Don’t know
  3. Would you like answers to questions that occur on a regular basis? – Yes
  4. Would you like your users to answer their own questions on a random basis? – Yes
  5. Would you like your users to explore and discover answers to questions they did not think to ask? – Yes
  6. Do you have a predefined set of KPIs to manage and track business performance? – Yes
  7. Would you like your executives to see an at a glance view of those KPIs? – Yes
  8. Would you like to be aware of “something” when a defined threshold is met? – Yes

Alright, now we are getting somewhere. Each of those questions and responses clearly identifies that their needs are more than just simple reporting as originally desired. They require a solution that encompasses both data integration and content delivery (ETL, reporting, analysis and dashboards).

I further probed as to why they wanted to access all of their data “without moving it or massaging it.”

They replied: “Because building a data warehouse takes too much time and costs too much money.”

Wow! Clearly a response most likely seeded by a competitor, whom believes they can access all of the data directly where it sits, without building a data warehouse (which may be true for some of the competition out there). However, they usually leave out the fact that they MAY still need to ‘move or massage’ the data – they just don’t call it ETL or refer to their process as data integration or even use the words “Data Warehousing.”

I further explained that data integration (ETL) does not have to be about building an Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW). It can be about building operational data stores, that are refreshed periodically, to support questions that the business users want to ask. It can involve federated queries where the data is accessed from the source without having to stage the data. It can also be about normalizing data in to a small easy to maintain data mart that supports speed of thought analytics for the power users.

Upon those points I provided a demonstration of Pentaho’s Agile BI capabilities which involves a rapid, collaborative and iterative approach to building business analytic applications. At completion of the presentation, the prospect was amazed and pleased stating, “This is exactly what we need.”  Ahh..music to my ears.

People…and I say this with great care…you cannot throw a business analytics tool in your organization and expect it to stick without asking some important questions. It is those answers that will help guide you to the right solution. And most importantly, you cannot put a business analytics tool on top of those “as-is” data sources without knowing what questions are going to be asked of it. I know, it is impossible to know every question that may be asked, but at least have those that are important to tracking your business performance and achieving your goals.

On the majority of calls that I participate in, it seems that organizations just don’t have the time to properly plan and discuss the criteria needed to implement a decision support system. Why? Because everyone is doing more with less these days and researching a BI and analytics tool is…usually…an ancillary responsibility for them. If that is the case, allow us to help you with your research and we will ask those questions you haven’t really thought about.


Michael Tarallo
Director of Enterprise Solutions

Thank you Steve Jobs

October 6, 2011

The world lost one of the greatest visionary leaders yet he will continue to be an inspiration to all of us. Our thoughts are with Steve’s family, friends and everyone at Apple. We will continue to strive to be the crazy ones.

Customer Success With Pentaho: Cipal

October 3, 2011

Last month we shared with you a story of how Kiva was using Pentaho to change the world through micro financing. Today, we are exciting to share how Pentaho OEM Partner, Cipal, is facilitating change at Belgium’s social welfare organizations. Cipal an IT service provider to Belgium’s public sector, has completed a successful pilot of its Pentaho-based OEM application ‘Athena BI’ with four social welfare organizations in the Flanders region.

Following an exhaustive review of traditional and open source BI options, Cipal chose Pentaho Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to power Athena BI. Cipal is implementing the full Pentaho BI suite, which includes data integration, dashboards, reporting, analysis and data mining. Cipal chose Pentaho for Athena BI because it offered the widest range of fully integrated modules, the best total cost of ownership and flexible infrastructure that supported its open, Cloud-based platform.

According to Sven Meermans, Business Development Manager, Business Intelligence, Cipal, “Pentaho BI turned out to be the ideal platform for our Cloud-based Athena BI OEM application, which we have rolled out to four social welfare associations in Flanders. Pentaho BI supports all our current needs to provide services like data integration and analytics and will support planned capabilities like data mining. Pentaho really supported our efforts to deliver Athena BI to our customers on spec, on time and on budget.

The early results of the Athena BI pilot have exceeded Cipal’s expectations and feedback from social welfare organizations is very encouraging. These include:

  • Rapid time-to-value– The Athena BI pilot was completed and rolled out within budget to four social welfare associations in just four months.
  • Power to the user– Human Resource managers are now empowered to create, customize and analyze their own reports on their own time, without reliance on IT.
  • A step towards change– After the success of the pilot project with Human Resources data, Athena BI will now be rolled out to more social welfare associations, municipalities and provinces adding new functionality to monitor financial and other data.

Visit Pentaho.com to read the full story on how Cipal embeds Pentaho BI to help Belgium municipalities monitor and measure performance.

Watch on demand – OEM Tech Series Webcast: Architecture of the BI Server


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