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OpenI Goes Commercial

This week I completed my tenure as an employee at Responsys and started my new venture OpenI — a company that provides open source business intelligence software and services to businesses that want to be data-driven in their operational strategy.
I guess you can call me a serial entrepreneur now, since OpenI will be my fourth startup — last one being Loyalty Matrix, which was acquired by Responsys in 2007. I am happy to say that the marketing analytics technology we built at Loyalty Matrix found a way to express itself as Responsys’s own analytics product Interact Insight. It was interesting to see the formal structures it requires in a more established company to release a product — valuable lessons that I’ll surely apply in future product releases. It is also great that Responsys will remain a client of OpenI, so that we can advance this technology in a mutually beneficial fashion (and also that OpenI has a few clients from the get go :-) .
OpenI will partner with Codemandu, a software development company in Kathmandu, Nepal that has provided the engineering help for OpenI in the past. Codemandu will help us deliver support and integration work for our clients. So — if you have software projects in business intelligence, reporting, and/or analytics (or know of someone who does) — we are here for you :-) Basically, if you are an on-demand company that stores transactional data for your customers, we can help you build an on-demand analytics product based on OpenI — something you can private-label and up-sell to your customers.
So, needless to say — next couple of months are going to be crazy, and pretty exciting. Personally, I have a lot of pent-up ideas on making BI more accessible and actionable, and we will be toying around with these ideas in OpenI. And given the nature of open source, these experimentations will happen in public domain — and so you’ll see some fun stuff appear on this blog and OpenI site.
The BI landscape has definitely evolved since OpenI started back in 2005. Most of the big guys (Busienss Objects, Hyperion, Cognos, SPSS) have been acquired by even bigger guys (SAP, Oracle, IBM). On the open source BI side, Pentaho and JasperSoft have done a remarkable job in leading the sector. Plus there has been a great deal of movement in on-demand BI as well – with Swivel, GoodData, and PivotLink, and also at desktop level with Tableau. We will definitely give our best shot to stand on the shoulders of these giants and raise the bar a bit differently.
I recall Sting (lead singer of The Police, for the benefit of our younger readers) say this in a Rolling Stone interview once when asked about his unique singing voice — something like “Nobody can sing like me — I’m not saying that I have the best voice in Rock ‘n Roll, it’s more like someone can sing better or worse, but they can’t sing exactly like me”
So, this I can say — OpenI will be unique in its approach to BI. Stay tuned..
cheers,
Sandeep

Dear OpenI Community:

I am very happy to announce that we are finally forming an official commercial structure around OpenI to provide license, support, and integration services.

OpenI will still remain fully open source, and this site and the related platform at sourceforge.net will continue to function just the same way they have always functioned. However, for those businesses and organizations that need a commercial support structure and/or need a dedicated team to work on integrating or customizing OpenI for their internal projects or product development, this commercial structure enables us to provide such services.

Plus it enables those of us who have worked on this project since its inception a way to make a living doing what we love.

When we started this open source project back in 2005, we couldn’t have guessed where we are today. We started OpenI as an open source project at my last company Loyalty Matrix, where we built a commercial marketing analtyics product on top of OpenI. Loyalty Matrix was acquired by Responsys in 2007. I am happy to say that the marketing analytics technology we built at Loyalty Matrix found a way to express itself as Responsys’s own analytics product Interact Insight. It was interesting to see the formal structures it requires in a more established company to release a product — valuable lessons that I’ll surely apply in future product releases. It is also great that Responsys will remain a client of OpenI, so that we can advance this technology in a mutually beneficial fashion (and also that OpenI has a few clients from the get go :- ).

OpenI will partner with Codemandu, a software development company in Kathmandu, Nepal that has provided the engineering help for OpenI to-date. Codemandu will help us deliver support and integration work for our clients. So — if you have software projects in business intelligence, reporting, and/or analytics (or know of someone who does) — we are here for you :- ) Basically, if you are an on-demand company that stores transactional data for your customers, we can help you build an on-demand analytics product based on OpenI — something you can private-label and up-sell to your customers.

So, needless to say — next couple of months are going to be crazy, and pretty exciting. Personally, I have a lot of pent-up ideas on making BI more accessible and actionable, and we will be toying around with these ideas in OpenI. And given the nature of open source, these experimentations will happen in public domain — and so you’ll keep seeing some fun new stuff appear on this site.

The BI landscape has definitely evolved since OpenI started back in 2005. Most of the big guys (Busienss Objects, Hyperion, Cognos, SPSS) have been acquired by even bigger guys (SAP, Oracle, IBM). On the open source BI side, Pentaho and JasperSoft have done a remarkable job in leading the sector. Plus there has been a great deal of movement in on-demand BI as well – with Swivel, GoodData, and PivotLink, and also at desktop level with Tableau. We will definitely give our best shot to stand on the shoulders of these giants and raise the bar a bit differently.

I recall Sting (lead singer of The Police, for the benefit of our younger readers) say this in a Rolling Stone interview once when asked about his unique singing voice — something like “Nobody can sing like me — I’m not saying that I have the best voice in Rock ‘n Roll, it’s more like someone can sing better or worse, but they can’t sing exactly like me”

So, this I can say — OpenI will be unique in its approach to BI. Stay tuned..

cheers,

Sandeep
Project Lead, OpenI.Org

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2 comments to OpenI Goes Commercial

  • Nagaraj

    Sandeep -

    Can you elaborate on the commercial terms? Specifically, for SaaS solutions that wish to embed OpenI as their reporting/analytics capability, will the commercial terms allow them to do so?

    Another question that comes to mind vis-a-vis on-demand solutions is, custom schemas. Every SaaS platform allows some sort of custom schema capability by client. How is this accounted for in OpenI solution? Particularly, when its billed as a Business intelligence platform for on-demand solutions.

    thanks,
    Nagaraj

  • Hi Nagaraj

    I will email you separately on the specifics of the commercial terms — but essentially it involves a commercial (not GPL) license to OpenI and different options of support tiers that provide you dedicated support.

    Re custom schemas — OpenI platform itself does not have any default schema. Each OpenI installation assumes that you have your own database schema based on which you want to build your BI solution. For on-demand deployments, OpenI supports multi-tenancy by providing the concepts of “projects” – where each project has its own set of database schema, OLAP cubes, and data mining models. This way, you can design a default schema for your specific implementation, which will be the starting point for each new client “project” in OpenI, and then you can customize the schema as per that client’s need.

    Hope that helps

    Sandeep

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