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Open Source for Business Intelligence

January 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Gartner attributes the main challenge in deploying a Business Intelligence solution as the cost factor that is associated with the application products. With the minds of CIO’s focused on capex and opex optimization on one side of the balance but also needing to ensure that the competitive advantage grows. The economic downturn has in a way driven home the need to “Do more with less” across the Business Intelligence spectrum. The Business Intelligence workforce across the globe now is evolving into a lean, high yield, innovative, technology adopting, best practice mapping community. AMR Research says “The battleground for IT spending in 2010 is BI”. There certainly is a need for efficient churning out Business Intelligence and the parallel need to keep the cost of deployment and adoption under control. In the next posts we would look at the TCO of deploying Business Intelligence systems and services.

There has always been the existence of Open Source applications; the challenge however has been the flexibility of these applications complimenting the disparate blocks of a BI cycle. Even in the proprietary market there are only a few product companies that provide a high degree of flexibility, feature richness and an integrated solution stack. Looking at the Gartner’s MQ 2010, the way MicroStrategy has edged into the competitive ‘leaders’ landscape is note worthy, their huge advantage has remained their flexibility and comparative cost advantage in this fierce competitive landscape among Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAS, IB sharing the space here. Going back to Open Source, enterprises have always found it difficult to pursue adoption in this space owing to lack of skill, less management buy-in, security threats, lack of central governance, system integrations, application complexity, lack of support & professional services, etc.,

There however has been this trend in Open Source where micro bodies within enterprises have invested and integrated solution stacks to address the complexities. The pursuit of “enabling” open source BI is more rewarding than an early adoption of a proprietary system running into high ground. The ROI over this Open Source pursuit as personally experienced in setting up BI / KE systems for me has been quite a discovery. With Open Source BI applications maturing every day and as more enterprise drive towards this emerging arena, I take a look at the stack involved in BI / DW, tested and do prescribe few of the best options available as below. Adoption of these systems lowers your TCO and helps achieve vendor neutrality.

Jesu Valiant ~ enterprise.ke@csscorp.com

Jesu Valiant – 2011

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Unified Communications – Solution Opportunities

November 3, 2010 Leave a comment

The Unified Communications landscape is defined by two major evolving fronts 1. The Voice Communications leaders and 2. Application [Desktop] Communication leaders. What the opportunity one can have in a domain thats already has seen the fiercest of competitions in the landscape and competitions in the billions across multiple logos and strategies that change every day? Well.. thats the opportunity. There is a huge spectrum of varied products & solutions, but there is a lack of services that to address the complexities. More than two decades have gone by since IPFX – NL came up with its presence solution but nothing major has changed the UC landscape. There is yet to be any full fledged ‘solution’ that can sweep the market.

UC Implementors: Many seek to cater to this service and drill deep in this massive market, seeing the opportunity within and around. There are already a huge assortment of services companies who have jumped into this fray to make the most of it. Data indicates that enterprises are preferring to buy their UC services from Telco’s or Network Providers rather than IT Services Companies. The reality contrasts as most of these Telco’s and Network providers have their Service partners who run the regional errands; having to focus more on the core competency they seldom undertake ‘service’ ventures. These errand companies are mostly a Tier 2 player in that region.

Challenges: There are a host of core technical issues and market issues that hound this practice of Unified Communications. With hounds abound in the form of Interoperability issues, Storage issues, Security issues, Challenges in deployment, Challenges in FMC. With these issues in the open, companies get  something if not everything, muting the true experiences of unification.

Selection of a UC Services player: Only a few IT Service Companies are well placed to address this Gap; these companies are either Technical Support, Managed Support  partners, Professional Services partners to 1. The Voice Communications leaders and 2. Application [Desktop] Communication leaders who ‘field’ the collection of skills from the skills reservoirs.

Ushering the “Open” wave: The steady growth of Open Source has brought in a range of Open API’s and bridge bundles that users in betterment of the choice for the market. From IP telephony, conferencing, IM, UM, the stacks have challenged may proprietary products. Seeking strengths on this area whilst searching for a true type services company will further augment strength of the solution you want to implement.

An Approach: 1. Any company wanting to adopt Unified Communications needs to understand their landscape and the proposed, 2. Identify areas of Technology convergence and bucket the product stack they stare into at, into these categories, 3. Services are expensive and not all address our specifics; hence identify the right IT service providers who may be Technology Partners, Solution Partners, Professional Services Partners with credibility [Case Studies, Best Practices, etc.,], 4. Ensure strip bare competition for varying bids among the best identified and always settle for the expertise rather than cost.

Jesu Valiant

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