Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Domo to Disrupt the BI Software Industry

Serial entrepreneur Josh James is ready to shake up the Business Intelligence software industry with a company called Domo.

Last year, Josh launched this new SaaS venture with the following statement:
"The BI market is ripe for disruption. Tens of billions of dollars have been spent on collecting data, yet no one has found a way to deliver value. SaaS is an ideal approach. For decades, the priority of enterprise software vendors has been to lock in customers though steep upfront investments and then sit back and collect maintenance fees. The SaaS model forces technology vendors to have a maniacal focus on customer satisfaction because it's relatively easy for customers to abandon you if they aren't happy. At Domo, we will work to keep our customers satisfied. And we will keep working until they say one thing, 'Thank you,' which translates to 'Domo' in Japanese."

John Thompson of Symantec has partnered with James:
"As CEO, I can relate to the problems that Josh and his team have set out to fix. Getting real-time data from across the enterprise into one place is such a simple and straightforward idea, but it's never been easy or possible. Today the infrastructure has been primed for a solution like Domo to come in and help customers get value from their data assets which live in disparate systems across the enterprise."

Attendees at the 2012 Gartner BI Summit liked what they saw of Domo. One executive commented:
“I've looked at a lot of solutions and, for the past couple of years, this is how I envisioned BI should look. I just haven't seen it until now."


Today's BI products have been challenged to keep up with changing technology eras, quickly transitioning from Web 1.0 (the desktop web browser era of 1994 to 2001) to Web 2.0 (the social era of 2002 to 2009) and now on to Mobile (2010 to the present).

Several big BI vendors have spent the last few years just trying to acclimate into their mega-vendor parent organizations after being acquired. After being sucked up into a Borg mothership like IBM or SAP, who has time to keep up with changing technologies?

Josh blogged recently on the problems of today's BI products, which he sees as the following:
  • Designed for use by IT staff, data scientists, or geeks; not for business users
  • IT's data warehouses only contain part of the story 
  • Initial offerings for Cloud BI are not good enough 

Josh and a team of very smart people plan to use $43 million of funding to fix the broken BI industry.

Here is a nice video where Domo throws out the warning to other vendors that they will turn the BI industry on its head. While the marketing video shows little "real product," it implies that Domo will provide a cloud-based mobile analytics engine for real-time Big Data.

Better, bigger, faster, cheaper so that every company struggling with BI today will be able to say to Domo, "Thank You!"

Is this really THE company that will enable firms to toss existing BI products such as IBM Cognos, SAP Business Objects, MicroStrategy, Actuate, and WebFOCUS onto the trash heap?

We'll have to wait and see, but Josh James and his investors sure seem excited about the possibility. 

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About Me

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I am a project-based consultant, helping data-intensive firms use agile methods and automation tools to replace legacy reporting and bring in modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics. For several world-class vendors, I led services teams specializing in providing software implementation and custom application development. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven methodologies and automated software tools.

During twenty years of technical consulting, I have been blessed to work with smart people from some of the world's most respected organizations, including: FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, graduating summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders, the vendor of WebFOCUS BI and iWay enterprise integration products, and for over a dozen years served in branch leadership roles. For several years, I also led technical teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting.