What I've always liked about the Salesforce.com offering was the ease in which a person or company could start using CRM software - "pure" SaaS. You could use CRM without even talking to a salesperson or IT person -- sign up, load your contact data and start using CRM.
Can BI be done in the same way? From my experience in multiple industries with SMEs to large government departments, the business of analysis and gauging performance really isn't... well, that different. Ironically though, people usually feel their business is unique until you open their eyes to the similarities.
So where is an equivalent "pure" SaaS offering for BI?
Aaron Burnett recently shared with me how SeaTab picked up $9M in second round funding muchly based on their innovative approach to BI and PivotLink Now -- their "pure" SaaS suite of BI tools.
Their innovative approach brings the "full power of Pivotlink BI to customers in 24 hours". They are hoping the price point is disruptive to the marketplace. And they impress with their proprietary technology querying billions of rows in less than 5 seconds.
Even if you're only slightly intrigued you may want to check out their online, live demo (use the Test Drive link). I like that you can test drive the tools with actual information. No flashy sales videos. Real hands on test drive. I'll leave the review and impression of their tools in your hands.
The BI industry is changing in many ways with cookie cutter "pure" SaaS BI and significant acquisitions to make this a changing landscape -- far from the old Decision Support System days.
This begs a question in my mind. Where is the next big innovative, paradim shifting, Web 2.0, BI 2.0, multi-billion dollar valuation going to come from within BI?