The Boulder BI Brain Trust


Composite Software Virtualizes Data

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Composite logo.pngPresenting for Composite Software are: Robert Eve, EVP Marketing, and David Besemer, CTO along with customers from Compassion International (CI), based in Colorado Springs, represented by Kenny Sargent, Product Manager, and Steve Horne, Project Manager.

Compassion Intl logo.pngWe started with the Compassion Intl talk by Kenny. He presented the overview mission and activities of their ministry. Then, Steve took us into the IT architecture, shown on the right. (click for hi res) Note the lower right labeled Kitchen using the metaphor of Ratatouille movie. Data customers in the dining room should stay out of the data kitchen! Don't watch the sausage being made!

composite IT arch.pngWe touched on several critical success factors to CI, such as when is a sponsor is 'pass due' or when is a sponsor continuing sponsorship of a new child. CI is using Composite in three ways:
  • Simple data federation among a diverse of sources
  • Extension or augmentation of data that is mostly in their enterprise DW
  • Sharing or distribution of enterprise DW, especially in Web2.0 compatible formats
We continued by drilling into the Composite business. Robert argued that there are two tipping points. First, EDW are definitely necessary, but they are not sufficient for satisfying all the business requirements. Second, data virtualization (or federation) is becoming mainstream. ...driven by pragmatic business reasons. Composite is trying to be the technology leader within this area.

Composite market.pngWhere does Composite compete? Using the framework of Ted Friedman of Gartner, Robert positioned the company in the center of the figure to the right. (click for hi res) That is, they are not doing CDC on the left or messaging on the right.

David continued by explaining the product suite as shown in this figure. The blue boxes are included as part of the Composite Info Server, while the red boxes are optional add-ons. David then explained a detail pieces to the server in this figure. Robert lead a good discussion into five patterns of data virtualization.: simple data federation, 

My Take...
The feeling that I got from the Composite briefing is that they are NOT focusing on Business Intelligence but on Data Integration, which is part of BI and other IT functions. If you accept the argument that EDW is necessary but not sufficient, then the functionality like Composite becomes a key component in a BI architecture.

Final thought... This discussion has the flavor of stimulating business innovation because the Composite products allows easy tittering of data integration possibilities for various business use cases.

Final suggestion... Sponsor a child through Compassion International!

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