Birst Hopes to Ride On-Demand BI Wave

Birst CEO Brad Peters checked in with IT Market Strategy to update us on the most recent developments in the on-demand BI market. They’ve been busy; when we last talked in January, Birst had just hired Randi DiPrima to head up a global partners program, and a significant new round of financing was freshly deposited.

In the 3 months since, Birst has closed a number of deals that are so far not referenceable (although one, Synergy Holdings, went public today), downloads are rolling in at a comfortable pace, and a key post has been filled. John Pierson, former Hyperion VP and Americas General Manager, has taken on the VP of Sales & Marketing role. Pierson told us that “the next two quarters will be the coming out party” because they are actively engaged in building out the infrastructure for growth, and response has been good whenever they can get the product in front of customers. He’s now got an inside sales force in place, a lead generation function and business development skills in the mix.

The value proposition: “real, flexible BI as a service in the cloud with unparalleled ease of use.” They have added Birst Connect to pierce the firewall and do real scheduled (simple) ETL as well. There are other on demand players looking to ride the wave, but Birst’s automation of setup, and “real BI, not just canned reports” story are turning heads. Anyone investigating firms like BlinkLogic and GoodData should also be checking Birst out: they build OLAP cubes in real time, with no prior design requirements, offering a very useful approach to rapid ad hoc analysis. While early versions have had a somewhat sluggish UI, Birst is moving to Adobe’s now open source Flex platform, which should make a significant difference.

Check out the website. Demos on the site tell a good story, but as always the test is to try it yourself – and in the age of on-demand, that’s not too difficult a proposition. users get a little extra value from pre-built connections. This is another emerging player to watch – it’s fascinating to see this bright spot continue to glow in the current market. If you try it out, let us know about your experiences.

Published by Merv Adrian

Independent information technology market analyst and consultant, 40 years of industry experience, covering software in and around the data management space.

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