As the BI markeytp lace rapidly consolidates among the original pure play players (Business Objects, Hyperion, ProClarity among other being gobbled up); there is a curious emergence of more Open Source players. This gives more emphasis to software as Services (not just the Salesforce.com hosted service model), but more the Redhat/MySQL/Trolltech model.
Snap Logic is in the footsteps of SugarCRM, Talend, and Pentaho. A data integration player whose capabilities may get a lot more acceptance in the SMB marketplace than some of the big players like SAP+Business Objects or Oracle+Hyperion. And the reasons are not hard to see why:
1)BI is still one of the best ROI propositions for all levels of IT management;
2)BI is still undergoing rapid change as it transitions to the Web 2.0 and Super-data availability worlds;
3)So BI still represents technologically challenging IT for all shops;
4)Thus the cost of entry and getting started are high;
5)So users are looking for ways to lower those cost and for many, Open Source is viable.
So expect to see BI innovators to take either the Activate, Jaspersoft or SugarCRM partial Open Source approach (basic parts of the software and services are free; the full deal and services quickly approximate commercial prices). Or the Pentaho approach that makes money on services, support, and education.
Hey this is not just happening in the BI world, its the natural reaction to the formation of huge IT monopolies/oligopolies like Cisco, IBM, HP, Microsoft, SAP etc. Price at zero to gain desktop/server share – and then make your services and products so good the customer cannot afford but to come back. Note services and product are in the right priority order, that is Open Sources competitive advantage along with much lower start-up costs versus the BigBoys.