All four vendors are clearly hoping that by playing together they can provide a more cohesive end-to-end cloud BI solution that will satisfy a broader set of user needs, as well as presenting a more united competitive front to their large BI suite and data warehousing counterparts.
Integration challenges remain
Integrating the various back-end and front-end components of a BI stack is no mean feat, regardless of whether it is in the cloud or not. While vendors such as Talend and Jaspersoft have been partners for a while, the level of tool integration from an API, data and metadata perspective is unlikely to compete with more mature solution stacks, especially those vendors that offer a one-stop shop for BI.
Likewise, contract arrangements with all four vendors are likely to become problematic if customers are required to engage with each vendor separately from both a sales and support perspective. The challenge for all of the vendors is to ensure the lower cost of deploying solutions in the cloud is not outweighed by the complexity of doing business. It is imperative that these four vendors provide a single point of contact, a single contract and a single neck to choke when things go wrong in the white space (i.e. the integration between their respective technologies).
Helena Schwenk is a Senior Analyst within Ovum's Technology Group
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