I read with interest the announcement that Canadian BI vendor startup Indicee has successfully completed a second round of venture capital funding. In brief, Indicee sells a cloud solution where you upload your data and it works out automatically the relationships - freeing you to concentrate on answering your business questions. Here's a video from Indicee summarising their service:
I don't know the terms of the financing agreement but the US$6 million raised is another sign that BI in the cloud is an area that we should all keep a track of.
Why The Cloud?
Here are four reasons:
1. Indicee was founded by Mark Cunningham and Fred Tummonds both originally with Crystal Services - makers of Crystal Reports. Mark was a developer of the original Crystal Reports product - possibly the most ubiquitous BI tool outside of Excel in the market today.
2. Their early seed funding included all of the original founders of Crystal Services.
3. This second round adds Granite Ventures who have also previously invested in companies such as:
- Biz360 - Hosted Analytical Applications
- C-Decisions (dba DecisionView Software) - Analytic Software
- Crowd Science - Online Marketing Research
- Lucid Imagination, Inc. - Open Source Search
- Oversight Systems - Analytic Software
- Purisma - Customer Data Management SaaS, since sold to Dun & Bradstreet
- Siebel Systems - Analytic Software, since sold to Oracle
- Skytide - Digital Media Performance Management Software
- Vignette - Content Management Software, now a public company.
Indicee is certainly not alone and there are other startups taking similar but distinctly unique services to market. For example, take a look at CloudSwitch, RightNow Technologies, RightScale or Good Data. Good Data offers real OLAP capabilities and runs on Amazon Web Services. It is also backed by an impressive list of people including Marc Andreessen, Tim O’Reilly, Esther Dyson and John Landry.
As we approach the end of the naughties the BI market is offering some interesting and fundamentally new choices to us:
- BI in the cloud
- Open source.
... and we can now choose to buy each of these services from all the big vendors (at big cost) as well as a raft of new entrants at substantially lower cost.
With prices like those from Indicee and others, we could be seeing a massive increase in the number of organisations making active use of analytics.
My Predictions?It is still early days for SaaS and full cloud solutions - especially for larger organisations with mission critical BI. For the big boys SaaS and cloud BI will remain a niche option for a number of years. In 2010, of these 3 alternatives, open source will have the biggest impact by far.
SMEs will perhaps be the biggest beneficiaries of these market developments in 2010. As new adopters of BI they are more able to make use of the cloud - especially if the entry cost is less than AU$100 a month to launch your first analytic service.