Ken Rudin, CEO and co-founder of LucidEra
, subjected himself
and his company to the scrutiny of BBBT. In my humble opinion, all emerged from
this experience fill of insights into an emerging market segment called BI-as-a-Service.
I was impressed with the focus and depth that Rudin has instilled
into his company. This is a market for which it is so easy to deal with the
superficial, with making the next sale, without struggling with the larger issues. Rudin stressed that their service provides solutions with simplicity,
innovation and a time-to-value of days. Further, Rudin aptly argued that LucidEra
is not selling a data warehousing service that generates fancy reports. They
are selling access to the best business practices in key business processes,
which they call ‘analytic applications’. The reports are the means, but they
are not the ends.
For example, current focus of LucidEra is to leverage the
data from SalesForce.com with analytics about sales pipeline performance. The
reports vary across sales pipeline evolution, closed revenue comparison, sales
KPI, trends in new/repeat business and lead sources. One usually gawks at these
reports and thinks: “if we only had that information for our company. Where do
The wise manager realizes that their way of doing
business must incorporate the best practices embedded in LucidEra’s services.
This implies that the individuals involved must think deeply about key issues
and surface the false assumptions that they have carried for years. The best
information only has value if it is utilized in a critical business process.
That utilization is dependent on individuals who must understand the
information, connect its significance to the business, and execute the necessary
changes to the business.
An exciting future for BI-as-a-Service is the opportunity
for continuous incremental improvement of those best business practices. SaaS
offerings often change in small increments every day. LucidEra can evolve their
service easily because the software is managed within their data center. Further,
the application of social networking to the LucidEra customer base can build a
community that shares their ideas for better business practices. The existence
of such a community will become a major decision criteria whether to adopt a vendor’s solutions.
This is a development to watch, particularly with LucidEra and the other
Finally, is BI-as-a-Service complimentary to or disruptive of enterprise IT? See another blog for some thoughts.