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Pentaho Targets OEMs with Embedded Analytics

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Posted March 16, 2012 By Sean Michael Kerner     Feedback

Is business intelligence analytics a standalone technology? Sure, but it's also a great fit with other enterprise software too.

Open source business intelligence and analytics vendor Pentaho has built a business around delivering standalone enterprise solutions. It also now has growing business embedding its solutions into OEM products.

To help accelerate the adoption and integration of Pentaho into third party applications, particularly software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, Pentaho now has a new program called Powered by Pentaho that is designed to help independent application vendors embed Pentaho's analytics capabilities into their solutions.

"It's the embeddable and cloud-ready nature of our platform that has been really interesting to our OEM partners," said Rosanne Saccone, Pentaho's chief marketing officer.  "Folks want to leverage a lightweight, embeddable platform to surround their applications with powerful analytics to drive more business opportunities for them."

Farnaz Erfan, Pentaho's product marketing & strategy, business analytics, direct & OEM markets, explained the service involves an analysis of how analytics can, or should, be embedded from an architectural perspective. Pentaho's open architecture and application programming interfaces (APIs) are what enable applications vendors to plug into its analytics platform, he said. While Pentaho will offer services, support and training to enable the integration, OEM partners will still require some basic HTML and Java skills.

"The Pentaho architecture is Web Services based, so it's a pretty straightforward approach to do lightweight embedding," Saccone said. "So if you're looking to do something that is not a real deep integration, you can do something very quick."

Open vs. Open Source

Pentaho's analytics software is available as both an open source community edition and as a subscription-based enterprise edition. For the Powered by Pentaho embedded analytics, the company is pushing the enterprise platform, though the open source edition can also be used. "We have a great set of partners that work with our open source technologies and customize that for customers that aren't commercial customers for Pentaho," Saccone said.

As is often the case, support is the key difference between using the open source edition versus using the subscription-based enterprise release. And, said Erfan, not all aspects of Pentaho's portfolio are open source. "Open source is a great foundation to get up and running, but for example, our data discovery and interactive analysis pieces are not in the open source edition."

Fundamentally, choosing to use Pentaho as an embeddable solution to augment an existing enterprise application is all about making a build-versus-buy decision. By buying, application vendors can accelerate time to market, the key value proposition that Pentaho is trying to make.

"All the traditional vendors don't have a lightweight open architecture to fit embeddable needs," Saccone said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network,  the network for technology professionals.Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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