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Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) meets embedded BI

by Lyndsay WiseWednesday, March 19, 2008

SaaS based solutions are becoming more mainstream within the world of business intelligence.  Aside from best of breed vendors coming to market with a series of hosted offerings for their customers, traditional BI vendors are also following suit with on-demand solutions that go beyond reporting, to store and manage an organizations data sets.  In addition, organizations are looking for more than just traditional BI suites.  Instead of having historical data to identify and analyze trends, organizations want the ability to use BI tools within their operational environment to manage sales and operations proactively. 

With market shifts and vendors such as Oracle, SAP, and IBM working to consolidate and build their BI platforms, SaaS and Embedded BI vendors have come to the forefront to address the needs of the market in two ways:

  1. By enabling organizations without strong IT infrastructures and those who do not want to manage the data side of implementing a business intelligence infrastructure the ability to benefit from BI without having to change the internal IT architecture
  2. By developing offerings that can be embedded within operational solutions, moving away from a data warehousing environment, towards a business model that pulls operational and real-time data.  This way the analytics capabilities sit on top of the CRM, ERP, etc. solution instead of as a separate solution, and give end users the ability to seamlessly interact with BI on a regular basis for analysis in a way that promotes interoperability between the BI tools used and in-house operational systems.

A good example of a vendor taking advantage of both of these market needs is LucidEra. LucidEra, a SaaS vendor offering embedded business intelligence, recently announced its LucidEra Winter ’08 release of three applications - LucidEra Enterprise edition, LucidEra for Salesforce.com, and a new on-demand application for Oracle Order Management. 

The goal of LucidEra’s applications is to allow sales, operations, and finance managers the opportunity to identify sales opportunities, eliminate bottlenecks in the bookings-to-shipment process, and uncover new revenue and growth opportunities. By embedding analytics on top of Salesforce.com and Oracle Order Management, LucidEra enables organizations to enhance their current operational systems without the need to manage their own IT environment, by allowing them to access CRM and ERP data as a service.

In addition to new pre-built analytic and metrics content with the new release, LucidEra has added collaboration tools as well.  Organizations can develop schedules and send actionable information via email to enable up-to-date decision making.  With this combination of new features and a strict focus on embedding BI within operational systems, LucidEra’s offerings highlight the increasing requirements for embedded BI and analytics.

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