Pentaho, Intacct Offer New BI Tools

Both companies are delivering business intelligence software using less-than-traditional models.

With business intelligence garnering more headlines and enterprise attention, software vendors are getting in the mix with less-than-traditional offerings.

Two companies, one an open-source provider, the other an ERP (enterprise resource planning) provider, are announcing new BI software, each available in a different model.

Pentaho, which develops open-source BI software, will announce April 11 the release of its BI Professional Edition Platform, an open-source offering designed specifically for larger companies.

The new suite is focused on enterprise deployment with added support for clustering, and a relational repository that lets users store information about runtime data, and is faster and more reliable than the standard file-based repository used in Pentahos license-free software, officials said.

The Professional Edition also offers more manageability functionality, with report-level security options and life-cycle management capabilities that lets users set up a test system separate from their production system. There are also self service capabilities included to help with ease-of-use issues.

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"As you deploy [the suite] to more and more users, self-service becomes more important," said Lance Walter, vice president of marketing for Pentaho, in Orlando, Fla. "Our subscriptions [capability] lets you go in and say, I want this sales report, delivered every Monday, in Excel. You can look at different regions, time periods and geography in a targeted manner."

The BI Professional Edition Platform, which builds on Pentahos Open BI Suite, is also componentized to integrate with existing network infrastructures.

Separately, Intacct is launching its namesake Business Intelligence software, as a service. Geared toward SMBs (small and midsize businesses), Intacct BI is also bundled with the companys financial management, supply chain and time and billing suite.

The Intacct Business Intelligence software enables users to extract, analyze and share information from internal and external sources, according to Robert Jurkowski, president and CEO of Intacct, in San Jose, Calif.

The idea is that users can garner data not only from Intacct applications, but from third-party applications that are integrated with Intacct.

Part of Salesforce.coms AppExchange platform (and IBMs ecosystem of on-demand software providers), Intaccts software is integrated, for example, with Salesforce.coms CRM (customer relationship management) and ADPs payroll software.

"What we want to do is pull together the key way an executive lives in his or her world, which we know is heterogeneous," said Jurkowski.

Integration to outside applications is accomplished through some APIs, according to Jurkowski, but the company has also created something called Smart Events, a real-time synchronization of Intaccts applications with third-party applications, based on when events happen.

"So if something is updated, say in Salesforce or another application, it will trigger an event to feed that information to our system," said Jurkowski.

Users set up the event as a script, using a polling approach where Intaccts software polls for changes in the environment.

"Not a lot of people have figured out how to create real-time synchronization with third-party applications," said Jurkowski.

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