2014-09-October-jet-Pack.jpgSalesforce boss Mark Benioff better have a pretty remarkable rabbit in his hat next week when he makes a much anticipated announcement about how his company will deliver big data analytics in the cloud. If not, Birst and SAP have just partnered to steal his thunder.

This morning Birst announces that it has leveraged the lightning fast, agile SAP HANA platform to offer “Instant Analytics in the Cloud.” Though this may sound somewhat familiar to an announcement Birst made in June, the relationship between the two companies is now formalized and we should expect them to work closely together to deliver what Birst cofounder Brad Peters calls the “fastest and most agile” solution on the market. “There’s nothing that even comes close to it,” he says and he doesn’t think that anything Benioff will announce will cast a shadow.

With Salesforce you have to pre-decide what you’re looking for, it seems. With Birst you can ask questions, and keep asking questions, in your data. With Birst plus HANA you get answers back fast.

Speed Matters

Sure, Oracle’s now CTO, Larry Ellison would no doubt argue that his company’s flagship Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition is now available on the cloud; in fact, he announced that just last week. But Peters says that all that Oracle has done is forklifted its old stuff into the heavens.

Birst, on the other hand, was built for the Cloud: it’s agile, analytical and scalable from the get-go, and was built specifically to meet the needs of the business user, or in other words, the 99 percent of us who aren’t data scientists. It operationalizes analytics for “real people” and gives them the data they need to make decisions about running their businesses.

The places that Birst can grab data from to create a business layer, without the pains of ETL, include Salesforce, SAP and Hadoop -- you name it. And while “the guys with logos” -- a.k.a. Salesforce and Oracle -- handle simple problems pretty well, they make it a tad more complicated. Birst on HANA will beat them to the punch, according to Peters.

If this is the case, then it’s significant because speed matters. Having the right data with which to make decisions is becoming as important as having the best product.

Title image by Elvert Barnes (Flickr) via a CC BY-SA 2.0 license