Cloud business intelligence provider BIME has released version 6 of its platform after 12 months of development, built and architected to run completely on cloud.
Business intelligence remains one of the last bastions of the on-premises software world. The space is ruled by enterprise software from the likes of SAP and IBM. While many BI apps are becoming offered as Software-as-a-Service, the SaaS counterparts to on-premise apps are generally viewed as underpowered. BIME, however, believes BI can be done in the cloud without compromise.
BIME CEO Rachel Delacour said that there still remains some psychological barriers to performing BI in the cloud, but in terms of technology, SaaS BI has surpassed on-premise offerings. The goal is to be able to perform sophisticated BI but keep it simple to use. “As a SaaS vendor, it’s your responsibility to mask complexity,” said Delacour.
BIME allows users to consume and connect data sets across the web, query and build dashboards on tablets and mobile devices. Because it runs in the cloud, there is no need to invest on servers to upload and refine data. It looks like a consumer app, but is a fully functioning BI solution.
The BI is able to tap into a wealth of cloud application data in addition to on-premises data. A drag-and-drop interface allows a user to connect to big data in the cloud, such as Google Big Query and Amazon Red Shift. It connects to consumer web apps like Dropbox or Facebook and business web apps like Salesforce.com and can connect to on-premise data securely. “If you told me a few years ago that I would be able to look at billions of rows across different technologies, I would have been skeptical,” said Delacour.
It connects to these data sources using a security protocol. For on-prem data, BIME uses a proxy from the cloud. "We have created a way where we are not obliged to connect the data where it resides, while we are able to ask to work in a sort of delegated mode, sending queries to the database,” she said.
Alternatively, customers can duplicate on-premise data and bring it to the cloud. “It’s about providing options.”
Architecting for cloud offers several advantages, according to BIME. It means the company has access to a lot of usage patterns as a SaaS vendor that on-prem BI vendors don’t have, allowing it to further refine the application. “We are able to iterate and understand so much more quickly than on-prem BI vendors,” said Delacour.
For customers, performing BI in a SaaS model means there is no financial risk, opening up BI to a larger swath of companies.
Delacour’s roots are as a cost controller. In that role in the past, she used several BI tools and was frustrated. “We need to bring BI to the cloud to make it modern, to take advantage and leverage multi-tenancy," she said. "Just because you are on the cloud, you can’t be a simple pre-packaged solution. That’s not BI. You need the same level of features of traditional on-prem BI. We enable customers to connect the data where it is."