Here is an interview with Mike Boyarski , Director Product Marketing at Jaspersoft
the largest BI community with over 14 million downloads, nearly 230,000 registered members, representing over 175,000 production deployments, 14,000 customers, across 100 countries.
Ajay- Describe your career in science from Biology to marketing great software.
Mike- I studied Biology with the assumption I’d pursue a career in medicine. It took about 2 weeks during an internship at a Los Angeles hospital to determine I should do something else. I enjoyed learning about life science, but the whole health care environment was not for me. I was initially introduced to enterprise-level software while at Applied Materials within their Microcontamination group. I was able to assist with an internal application used to collect contamination data. I later joined Oracle to work on an Oracle Forms application used to automate the production of software kits (back when documentation and CDs had to be physically shipped to recognize revenue). This gave me hands on experience with Oracle 7, web application servers, and the software development process.
I then transitioned to product management for various products including application servers, software appliances, and Oracle’s first generation SaaS based software infrastructure. In 2006, with the Siebel and PeopleSoft acquisitions underway, I moved on to Ingres to help re-invigorate their solid yet antiquated technology. This introduced me to commercial open source software and the broader Business Intelligence market. From Ingres I joined Jaspersoft, one of the first and most popular open source Business Intelligence vendors, serving as head of product marketing since mid 2009.
Ajay- Describe some of the new features in Jaspersoft 4.1 that help differentiate it from the rest of the crowd. What are the exciting product features we can expect from Jaspersoft down the next couple of years.
Mike-Jaspersoft 4.1 was an exciting release for our customers because we were able to extend the latest UI advancements in our ad hoc report designer to the data analysis environment. Now customers can use a unified intuitive web-based interface to perform several powerful and interactive analytic functions across any data source, whether its relational, non-relational, or a Big Data source.
The reality is that most (roughly 70%) of todays BI adoption is in the form of reports and dashboards. These tools are used to drive and measure an organizations business, however, data analysis presents the most strategic opportunity for companies because it can identify new opportunities, efficiencies, and competitive differentiation. As more data comes online, the difference between those companies that are successful and those that are not will likely be attributed to their ability to harness data analysis techniques to drive and improve business performance. Thus, with Jaspersoft 4.1, and our improved ad hoc reporting and analysis UI we can effectively address a broader set of BI requirements for organizations of all sizes.
Ajay- What do you think is a good metric to measure influence of an open source software product – is it revenue or is it number of downloads or number of users. How does Jaspersoft do by these counts.
Mike- History has shown that open source software is successful as a “bottoms up” disrupter within IT or the developer market. Today, many new software projects and startup ventures are birthed on open source software, often initiated with little to no budget. As the organization achieves success with a particular project, the next initiative tends to be larger and more strategic, often displacing what was historically solved with a proprietary solution. These larger deployments strengthen the technology over time.
Thus, the more proven and battle tested an open source solution is, often measured via downloads, deployments, community size, and community activity, usually equates to its long term success. Linux, Tomcat, and MySQL have plenty of statistics to model this lifecycle. This model is no different for open source BI.
The success to date of Jaspersoft is directly tied to its solid proven technology and the vibrancy of the community. We proudly and openly claim to have the largest BI community with over 14 million downloads, nearly 230,000 registered members, representing over 175,000 production deployments, 14,000 customers, across 100 countries. Every day, 30,000 developers are using Jaspersoft to build BI applications. Behind Excel, its hard to imagine a more widely used BI tool in the market. Jaspersoft could not reach these kind of numbers with crippled or poorly architected software.
Ajay- What are your plans for leveraging cloud computing, mobile and tablet platforms and for making Jaspersoft more easy and global to use.
I have been pondering on this seemingly logical paradox for some time now-
1) Why are open source solutions considered technically better but not customer friendly.
2) Why do startups and app creators in social media or mobile get much more press coverage than
profitable startups in enterprise software.
3) How does tech journalism differ in covering open source projects in enterprise versus retail software.
4) What are the hidden rules of the game of enterprise software.
1) Open source companies often focus much more on technical community management and crowd sourcing code. Traditional software companies focus much more on managing the marketing community of customers and influencers. Accordingly the balance of power is skewed in favor of techies and R and D in open source companies, and in favor of marketing and analyst relations in traditional software companies.
Traditional companies also spend much more on hiring top notch press release/public relationship agencies, while open source companies are both financially and sometimes ideologically opposed to older methods of marketing software. The reverse of this is you are much more likely to see Videos and Tutorials by an open source company than a traditional company. You can compare the websites of Cloudera, DataStax, Hadapt ,Appistry and Mapr and contrast that with Teradata or Oracle (which has a much bigger and much more different marketing strategy.
Social media for marketing is also more efficiently utilized by smaller companies (open source) while bigger companies continue to pay influential analysts for expensive white papers that help present the brand.
Lack of budgets is a major factor that limits access to influential marketing for open source companies particularly in enterprise software.
2 and 3) Retail software is priced at 2-100$ and sells by volume. Accordingly technology coverage of these software is based on volume.
Enterprise software is much more expensively priced and has much more discreet volume or sales points. Accordingly the technology coverage of enterprise software is more discreet, in terms of a white paper coming every quarter, a webinar every month and a press release every week. Retail software is covered non stop , but these journalists typically do not charge for “briefings”.
Journalists covering retail software generally earn money by ads or hosting conferences. So they have an interest in covering new stuff or interesting disruptive stuff. Journalists or analysts covering enterprise software generally earn money by white papers, webinars, attending than hosting conferences, writing books. They thus have a much stronger economic incentive to cover existing landscape and technologies than smaller startups.
4) What are the hidden rules of the game of enterprise software.
It is mostly a white man’s world. this can be proved by statistical demographic analysis
There is incestuous intermingling between influencers, marketers, and PR people. This can be proved by simple social network analysis of who talks to who and how much. A simple time series between sponsorship and analysts coverage also will prove this (I am working on quantifying this ).
There are much larger switching costs to enterprise software than retail software. This leads to legacy shoddy software getting much chances than would have been allowed in an efficient marketplace.
Enterprise software is a less efficient marketplace than retail software in all definitions of the term “efficient markets”
Cloud computing, and SaaS and Open source threatens to disrupt the jobs and careers of a large number of people. In the long term, they will create many more jobs, but in the short term, people used to comfortable living of enterprise software (making,selling,or writing) will actively and passively resist these changes to the paradigms in the current software status quo.
Open source companies dont dance and dont play ball. They prefer to hire 4 more college grads than commission 2 more white papers.
and the following with slight changes from a comment I made on a fellow blog-
While the paradigm on how to create new software has evolved from primarily silo-driven R and D departments to a broader collaborative effort, the biggest drawback is software marketing has not evolved.
If you want your own version of the open source community editions to be more popular, some standardization is necessary for the corporate decision makers, and we need better marketing paradigms.
While code creation is crowdsourced, solution implementation cannot be crowdsourced. Customers want solutions to a problem not code.
Just as open source as a production and licensing paradigm threatens to disrupt enterprise software, it will lead to newer ways to marketing software given the hostility of existing status quo.
I just checked out this new software for making PMML models. It is called Augustus and is created by the Open Data Group (http://opendatagroup.com/) , which is headed by Robert Grossman, who was the first proponent of using R on Amazon Ec2.
Probably someone like Zementis ( http://adapasupport.zementis.com/ ) can use this to further test , enhance or benchmark on the Ec2. They did have a joint webinar with Revolution Analytics recently.
Augustus is a PMML 4-compliant scoring engine that works with segmented models. Augustus is designed for use with statistical and data mining models. The new release provides Baseline, Tree and Naive-Bayes producers and consumers.
There is also a version for use with PMML 3 models. It is able to produce and consume models with 10,000s of segments and conforms to a PMML draft RFC for segmented models and ensembles of models. It supports Baseline, Regression, Tree and Naive-Bayes.
Augustus is written in Python and is freely available under the GNU General Public License, version 2.
Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML) is an XML mark up language to describe statistical and data mining models. PMML describes the inputs to data mining models, the transformations used to prepare data for data mining, and the parameters which define the models themselves. It is used for a wide variety of applications, including applications in finance, e-business, direct marketing, manufacturing, and defense. PMML is often used so that systems which create statistical and data mining models (“PMML Producers”) can easily inter-operate with systems which deploy PMML models for scoring or other operational purposes (“PMML Consumers”).
Change Detection using Augustus
For information regarding using Augustus with Change Detection and Health and Status Monitoring, please see change-detection.
Open Data Group provides management consulting services, outsourced analytical services, analytic staffing, and expert witnesses broadly related to data and analytics. It has experience with customer data, supplier data, financial and trading data, and data from internal business processes.
It has staff in Chicago and San Francisco and clients throughout the U.S. Open Data Group began operations in 2002.
The above example contains plots generated in R of scoring results from Augustus. Each point on the graph represents a use of the scoring engine and a chart is an aggregation of multiple Augustus runs. A Baseline (Change Detection) model was used to score data with multiple segments.
Augustus is typically used to construct models and score data with models. Augustus includes a dedicated application for creating, or producing, predictive models rendered as PMML-compliant files. Scoring is accomplished by consuming PMML-compliant files describing an appropriate model. Augustus provides a dedicated application for scoring data with four classes of models, Baseline (Change Detection) Models, Tree Models, Regression Models and Naive Bayes Models. The typical model development and use cycle with Augustus is as follows:
Identify suitable data with which to construct a new model.
Provide a model schema which proscribes the requirements for the model.
Run the Augustus producer to obtain a new model.
Run the Augustus consumer on new data to effect scoring.
Separate consumer and producer applications are supplied for Baseline (Change Detection) models, Tree models, Regression models and for Naive Bayes models. The producer and consumer applications require configuration with XML-formatted files. The specification of the configuration files and model schema are detailed below. The consumers provide for some configurability of the output but users will often provide additional post-processing to render the output according to their needs. A variety of mechanisms exist for transmitting data but user’s may need to provide their own preprocessing to accommodate their particular data source.
In addition to the producer and consumer applications, Augustus is conceptually structured and provided with libraries which are relevant to the development and use of Predictive Models. Broadly speaking, these consist of components that address the use of PMML and components that are specific to Augustus.
Augustus can accommodate a post-processing step. While not necessary, it is often useful to
Re-normalize the scoring results or performing an additional transformation.
Supplements the results with global meta-data such as timestamps.
Formatting of the results.
Select certain interesting values from the results.
Restructure the data for use with other applications.