Friday, July 31, 2009

Another New Beginning

This week I completed my tenure as an employee at Responsys and started my new venture OpenI -- a company that provides open source business intelligence software and services to businesses that want to be data-driven in their operational strategy.

I guess you can call me a serial entrepreneur now, since OpenI will be my fourth startup -- last one being Loyalty Matrix, which was acquired by Responsys in 2007. I am happy to say that the marketing analytics technology we built at Loyalty Matrix found a way to express itself as Responsys's own analytics product Interact Insight. It was interesting to see the formal structures it requires in a more established company to release a product -- valuable lessons that I'll surely apply in future product releases. It is also great that Responsys will remain a client of OpenI, so that we can advance this technology in a mutually beneficial fashion (and also that OpenI has a few clients from the get go :-).

OpenI will partner with Codemandu, a software development company in Kathmandu, Nepal that has provided the engineering help for OpenI in the past. Codemandu will help us deliver support and integration work for our clients. So -- if you have software projects in business intelligence, reporting, and/or analytics (or know of someone who does) -- we are here for you :-) Basically, if you are an on-demand company that stores transactional data for your customers, we can help you build an on-demand analytics product based on OpenI -- something you can private-label and up-sell to your customers.

So, needless to say -- next couple of months are going to be crazy, and pretty exciting. Personally, I have a lot of pent-up ideas on making BI more accessible and actionable, and we will be toying around with these ideas in OpenI. And given the nature of open source, these experimentations will happen in public domain -- and so you'll see some fun stuff appear on this blog and OpenI site.

The BI landscape has definitely evolved since OpenI started back in 2005. Most of the big guys (Busienss Objects, Hyperion, Cognos, SPSS) have been acquired by even bigger guys (SAP, Oracle, IBM). On the open source BI side, Pentaho and JasperSoft have done a remarkable job in leading the sector. Plus there has been a great deal of movement in on-demand BI as well - with Swivel, GoodData, and PivotLink, and also at desktop level with Tableau. We will definitely give our best shot to stand on the shoulders of these giants and raise the bar a bit differently.

I recall Sting (lead singer of The Police, for the benefit of our younger readers) say this in a Rolling Stone interview once when asked about his unique singing voice -- something like "Nobody can sing like me -- I'm not saying that I have the best voice in Rock 'n Roll, it's more like someone can sing better or worse, but they can't sing exactly like me"

So, this I can say -- OpenI will be unique in its approach to BI. Stay tuned..