One of the lesser commented on attributes of the cloud computing revolution is the way in which it has spawned a constellation of supporting verticals that deliver software for optimizing IaaS and PaaS deployments. IaaS, in particular, has precipitated the birth of verticals such as cloud automation, cloud security and cloud management, for example. Business intelligence (BI) for cloud platforms represents another emerging vertical that lies poised to explode given the growth of IaaS and PaaS, though in this case, one vendor appears head and shoulders ahead of the pack. Despite the relative immaturity of the market for BI products that are compatible with cloud-based platforms, San Francisco-based Jaspersoft has emerged as the early market leader as measured by its strategy of seeding PaaS and IaaS platforms with open source editions of its BI software.
In 2012 alone, Jaspersoft finalized deals with Amazon Web Services, Red Hat and VMware’s Cloud Foundry to variously facilitate access to its suite of BI products to users of each of the respective cloud platforms as follows:
• In January, Jaspersoft announced a partnership with Red Hat to integrate its BI solution on Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS platform. The partnership empowers developers seeking to add reporting and analytics functionality to their applications to seamlessly integrate Jaspersoft’s BI suite, complete with its support for Big Data platforms such as MongoDB.
• In April, Jaspersoft teamed with Amazon Web Services to offer JasperReports Server Community Edition on the Amazon Web Services marketplace. The agreement means that developers building applications on IaaS and PaaS platforms hosted on the Amazon Web Services infrastructure can integrate an open source version of Jaspersoft into their applications with a few clicks of the mouse.
• In May, Jaspersoft announced an agreement with VMware’s Cloud Foundry to integrate its BI platform with the Cloud Foundry PaaS. The deal features the integration of an open source version of Jaspersoft with Cloud Foundry that supports both MySQL and big data infrastructures such as MongoDB.
The business development strategy behind each of these deals is relatively transparent: streamline the access had by developers to Jaspersoft with the goal of making Jaspersoft the default choice of a BI application for developers building applications in the cloud. Jaspersoft’s Karl Van den Bergh, Vice President of Product and Alliances, elaborated on Jaspersoft’s cloud business development strategy in a conversation with Cloud Computing Today as follows:
We are currently running BI for PaaS in RedHat’s OpenShift and VMware’s CloudFoundry. However, we have always been a vendor-agnostic company and plan to pair with other PaaS vendors in the future to provide developers with a wide variety of options for developing applications in the cloud. Our strategy is to become the de facto BI service inside of PaaS so that any developer building cloud applications will use Jaspersoft to deliver reporting and analytics to their end users. Today, we are focused primarily on developer mindshare, which is why we are making our open source server available for free. Later, we will look to monetize as the PaaS offerings themselves move to commercial offerings.
Van den Bergh notes that PaaS represents the target business development platform of choice for Jaspersoft and that the broader strategy consists of becoming the “de facto BI Service inside of PaaS.” Currently, Jaspersoft’s main focus consists of capturing “developer mindshare” through the dissemination of open source offerings that can be commercialized as the relationships between users and Jaspersoft deepens.
Jaspersoft’s targeting of PaaS constitutes an astute business development strategy for two reasons: (1) PaaS lies “on the cusp of several years of strategic growth, leading to innovation and likely breakthroughs in technology and business use of all of cloud computing” according to Gartner and other industry analysts such as the 451 Group; (2) Platform as a Service represents a logical infrastructure for the seeding of BI software simply because the application will effectively become just another appendage to the PaaS infrastructure: in other words, in addition to a pre-configured stack for Java or Ruby on Rails, the stack now comes loaded with Jaspersoft as well. The key question for Jaspersoft in the next few months will be how many other PaaS and IaaS deals it can finalize in order to bolster its argument as the de facto PaaS BI vendor of choice. The other question concerns the business development acumen of competitors like Business Objects, Cognos, Information Builders and MicroStrategy that are likely to start crashing the Jaspersoft PaaS party in the latter half of 2012.