I was hesitant to jump on the news that SaaS BI player LucidEra might be closing up shop for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that I wasn’t sure if the rumors were true. Also, I really like the company head Ken Rudin and really liked his model of disrupting the very expensive and cost prohibitive BI models that permeated the market when Ken got LucidEra up and running a few years ago. In short, I really wanted the company to make it.
But in this economy – and I mean that in a general evolutionary sense not just in a “here and now” sense – it is going to take a lot to not only survive, but bring down entrenched players and established industry trends. SaaS is proving not to be a license to print money – far from it.
More important – as I see small and large BI providers scramble to offer LucidEra customers migration options – the value of an open cloud becomes ever more clear.
Think about this – had LucidEra also provided its customers with the capability to take a low-cost, low maintenance BI engine on site – then a lot (if not all) of its customers would not be forced to search for another data intelligence provider. Now, I know BI is slightly different that a CRM system – but at the same time the longer development cycle of BI engines (in my opinion) lends itself to open source.
I believe the stability of BI engines lends itself to being able to be run without major incident or upgrade decisions in-house for an even longer cycle than a CRM system, for example. So, given an open cloud model where users have the luxury of portability, these types of stories might not seem as tragic or as much of a pressing concern to end user organizations.
It’s tough to see any silver lining in a story like this, but at least it does show the value of offering choice and portability in cloud-based solutions.