Pentaho: Forward-thinking intelligence – Quentin Gallivan

Whether deployed on-premise or in the cloud, Pentaho's open source business analytics offers organisations the opportunity to make faster and better-informed decisions at a fraction of the price. CEO Quentin Gallivan explains how this has lent the company a competitive edge over more traditional analytics and business intelligence software vendors.

Companies have long made use of business intelligence (BI) and analytics to identify, extract and analyse data. By making decisions on the back of such information in order to drive growth, the use of open source BI software has become more prevalent of late.

In response to this, Pentaho, a US-based open source business analytics leader with a reach that extends to 185 countries across the globe, has developed an alternative to traditional BI platforms by offering faster and simpler solutions to create reports, dashboards and predictive analytics, at a fraction of the price.

"At Pentaho, because of our open source roots, we go a step further by including a data integration capability," says Quentin Gallivan, Pentaho's newly appointed CEO. "This is a way to connect all the different sources, compared with a traditional platform where you have to go and buy additional products. We have adapted to the new world of big data where companies are trying to understand their markets, customers and supply chains by looking to the web and social media."

"By deploying and embedding Pentaho Business Analytics software a company is able to integrate data from a wide range of different sources, while cutting BI licensing costs by roughly 90%."

By deploying and embedding Pentaho Business Analytics software - which also includes mobile BI capabilities - a company is able to integrate data from a wide range of different sources, while cutting BI licensing costs by roughly 90%. The technology is currently utilised by 50,000 companies worldwide, and it is this flexibility that has enabled Pentaho to stay one step ahead of the competition.

"Traditionally, there has always been a large upfront cost in buying from large BI companies. It can also take months on end to install solutions, creating a large risk for customers," Gallivan explains.

"In response to this, Pentaho has utilised a flexible architecture and agile BI methodology to mitigate those risks and deploy solutions in a matter of weeks. This makes it easier for technologists to work with business users, whether they be CFOs or finance and marketing VPs."

Ahead in the cloud

This agile approach has also seen Pentaho tailor its services to the growing trend of cloud computing.

"A company can set up our software behind a firewall or run it in the cloud," says Gallivan. "It really depends on the choice of the customer. At present, we also work with cloud companies to help them embed our product into their offering, and provide a better reporting and analytics service for their customer base.

"It is certainly an exciting time in terms of the growth of cloud application software and infrastructure providers. With this comes greater demands, which has created a larger market opportunity for Pentaho." Gallivan concludes: "One of the reasons I joined this company is that it has so many technology assets that go beyond traditional BI offerings," he says. "Today, companies want a platform that can bridge the gap between conventional BI and this new era of online and social media.

"We feel we are in the right position to bring these worlds together in an integrated fashion. This can dramatically help companies understand the needs of their customers, suppliers and the business in general."

Pentaho CEO Quentin Gallivan.