Monday, July 19, 2010

Business Intelligence Software as-a-Platform

The latest trend in software is "Platform as a Service". This is a software package delivered as-a-Service (SaaS), on which third parties can also develop their solutions. is the best example of PaaS, because hundreds of companies have posted their solutions on the AppExchange. The base software package is very useful by itself, but you can easily add functionality through 3rd party extensions.

To make PaaS successful it should be easy for partners to extend your software. You need to have a good API and an active developer community (and often also a support desk).

The last company that announced a PaaS strategy is GoodData, a company that provides business intelligence software. They have a cloud-based analytics solution based on Amazon Web Services. The last release of their software has made it really easy for developers to tie their software into the GoodData platform. Because the pricing is affordable, many more companies can now use advanced analytics (it's not a 6-figure project anymore!).

Considering that many companies have reporting challenges, and considering that many SaaS vendors have a very basic reporting system built in, I'd say there is room in the market for GoodData's solution. The trick is to get enough developers excited to build on top of GoodData rather than building it on their own.