From the Founder of Good Data, NetBeans and Systinet

Roman Stanek

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Top Stories by Roman Stanek

I am not happy to see LucidEra disappearing. It is not a good sign for the SaaS BI market in general and the startups in our space specifically. And I still believe Rob Ashe (IBM/Cognos) was wrong when he said that “BI doesn’t lend itself to SaaS”. There are some fundamental differences between first generation SaaS BI providers and true cloud-based platforms like Good Data. Some of them are technological while others are simply common sense: Good Data is based on true cloud architecture We use Amazon Web Services to host our multitenant platform and so we have minimal fixed and very low variable costs. We are true believers in Steve Blank’s Four Steps to the Epiphany, and the idea of spending over $20M before validating our go-to-market strategy is foreign to us. Cookie-cutter pre-built analytics apps are should be the STARTING POINT for customers to try – not the ... (more)

Bad Economics Are Difficult to Shake Off

GoodData Session at Cloud Expo September 24, 2009 - Terry Pratchett once wrote that “Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off”. We could make a similar comment about the financials of SaaS BI companies. As much as startups in this field would like to shake off their bad economics, reality always catches up. We’re seeing one after another SaaS BI startup to go out of business. Back in June it was LucidEra and earlier this week Blink Logic ceased operations. But anybody who only briefly looked at Blink Logic’s finances (it was a public company) shouldn’t be surprised by this ev... (more)

Please Don’t Let the Cloud Ruin SaaS

SaaS Journal on Ulitzer Back in the old good days of enterprise software, we did not need to worry about our customers. We delivered bits on DVDs – it was up to the customers to struggle with installation, integration, management, customization and other aspects of software operations. We collected all the cash upfront, took another 25% in annual maintenance. Throwing software over the wall … that’s how we did it. Sometimes almost literally… I now live in the SaaS world. My customers only pay us if we deliver a service level consistent with our SLAs. We are responsible for deploym... (more)

COSS BI: Open Source, Open Core or Openly Naked?

BI on Ulitzer Peter Yared wrote recently a BusinessWeek guest blog post called “Failure of Commercial Open Source Software.” Not surprisingly his post caused a lot of angry replies from people who work for COSS companies. “The emperor is not naked” they argued. I believe that the COSS emperor is openly naked. And the discussion shouldn’t be whether COSS is a complete or a partial failure just because there are few successful exits that Peter neglected to mention. At the end of the day Peter’s comment that “selling software is miserable” is true. Every sales rep involved in selling ... (more)

Friends Don’t Let Friends Overpay for BI

Business Intelligence projects are famous for low success rates, high costs and time overruns. The economics of BI are visibly broken, and have been for years. Yet BI remains the #1 technology priority according to Gartner. We could paraphrase Lee Iacocca and say: People want economical Business Intelligence solutions and they will pay ANY price to get it. Nobody argues with the need for more Business Intelligence; BI is one of the few remaining IT initiatives that can make companies more competitive. But only the largest companies can live with the costs or the high failure rates... (more)