Monday, April 13, 2009

Combining Saas, Open Source and BI

The terms business intelligence (BI), software as a service (SaaS) and open source (sorry OS means operating system to me so no acronym) get juxtaposed a lot these days. Have a look at this as an example. The connection between SaaS (which kind of segues to cloud computing) and open source is twofold:
  1. An SaaS provider is a kind of license multiplier, so license fees are critical for him. That makes open source more attractive to him than to most others.
  2. Open source products are usually to technical for business users. But SaaS providers may shield their users from this complexity.
The upshot of all this is that open source may be very interesting to SaaS BI providers, even if it isn't very interesting to end users. There is plenty of chatter about this, but as usual a lot of the messages are aimed at the wrong recipient. It makes no sense to pitch open source SaaS to BI end users, because they don't care. But it makes a lot of sense to pitch open source BI to BI SaaS providers.

This whole thing is typical of the muddle surrounding BI, which is pretty technical but aimed at business users.

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