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Businesses continue to try to increase productivity and simplify tasks in order to use their time smarter. Our recent business technology innovation research found that, when it comes to analytics, 44 percent of organizations spend the most time on data-related tasks. With lack of resources being the largest issue impeding the adoption of technology, IT must operate efficiently while getting business the data it needs on a timely basis. Scribe Solutions has a business-centric data integration solution that operates in the cloud. Over the last 15 years Scribe has accumulated more than 12,000 customers worldwide that span from Fortune 500 to midsize to small organizations. Scribe enables business to access marketing and sales data (part of CRM) like that in Microsoft Dynamics. It has built a strong presence indirectly and through Microsoft partners; it claims to have more than 1,000 partners, and has been expanding efforts to broaden its position by supporting a range of data sources, including Salesforce.com. Scribe focuses on what I call information optimization, providing value from information management investments, as I outlined in our research agenda.
Scribe addresses multipoint integration that cuts across departments and across on-premises and cloud computing environments. Our research into data in the cloud found lack of implementation resources to be the major obstacle in 31 percent of organizations. Scribe’s product Scribe Online operates in the cloud and facilitates the integration of on-premises and cloud-based environments. It provides a replication service that helps get a copy of data from one point to many and ensures that data is available when users need it. This is especially important when you have a multitude of applications in the cloud for marketing, sales and customer services that need to interoperate, and if you need data that is generated in another application or is in a legacy on-premises application.
Scribe’s latest release simplifies the visual integration environment and provides some core functionality to expand its value to business. Its Integration Service enables synchronization processes to update as data is generated and provides methods to transform data to a form used by an organization’s business intelligence or analytics software. Scribe enables these capabilities through integration agents deployed with the applications.
I got a product demonstration that provided insight to the usability of the product, which our data in the cloud benchmark found was the most important evaluation criteria according to 56% of organizations. Scribe has built an approach that is usable by business. It lets users position graphical blocks that comprise integrations, eliminating the need for a DBA, though data-savvy professionals can set up the configuration of the blocks to enable business to access to data at any time in a safe and governed manner. Business analysts can easily adjust parameters to the blocks and change them to meet their needs. I also tried out Scribe’s free trial software, which was easy to activate and use. I do think the software trial could have pre-built demonstrations of integration to make it easier to get started. Its approach is especially nice for those who need to quickly get data into their spreadsheets for analysis. Our latest research into spreadsheets found that combining spreadsheets is time-consuming in more than half (56%) of organizations, mostly due to getting the data into the right shape for combining – a process Scribe Online can assist with.
Scribe provides a range of connectors to applications and systems, and a new Connector Development Kit that can help partners and customers extend the technology to meet a range of custom and specific application needs. Scribe has also announced a marketplace for partners that can be found embedded within the software to make it easy to use these connectors. I would like the company to highlight the marketplace outside of the software and on its website, as it is a significant part of Scribe’s value.
Scribe works well for marketing and sales teams that need to integrate marketing automation and sales force automation systems. Its software integrates with a broad spectrum of applications other data integration providers can’t manage, such as Exact Target, Silverpop, On24 and customer billing systems such as Intuit and FinancialForce. Scribe just announced support for Marketo, one of the fastest-growing marketing automation applications in cloud computing, which supports the demand and revenue generation needs of organizations, and for Xactly, which is used for sales compensation and incentives. It is expanding the number of connectors to applications through partners such as Datix, which resells Epicor.
I was impressed by the way Scribe’s offering makes data integration simpler for business while providing integration into applications for marketing, sales, customer services and accounting systems. Today, when organizations have systems dispersed across online environments that need data shared across applications or integrated into a unified environment for analytics, Scribe Online is a great step forward. Having software that can align business and IT is essential, as less than a fifth (19%) work together well for the information needs of an organization, according to our information management research. Scribe can provide significant value here, empowering business to do its own integration in a secured and governed manner. If it continues to expand its application connectivity to the providers that deliver value to the SMB market, it will have a great growth opportunity.
If you are looking to empower business to access and integrate data, take a look at Scribe Software and its latest Scribe Online release. It is pretty easy, and you should try it for yourself.
CEO & Chief Research Officer
Business is starting to realize that taking advantage of big data is not just technically feasible but affordable by organizations of all sizes. However, as outlined in our agenda on big data and information optimization, the technology must be engineered to the information needs of business. Hortonworks has been steadily advancing its big data technology called Hadoop and contributing its developments back to the Apache Software Foundation for a range of projects. The company performs enterprise-level testing to ensure Hadoop not just operates but scales across operating systems, cloud computing, virtual machines and appliances. Over the last year Hortonworks has released a number of certifications and benchmarks for an enterprise-ready version of Hadoop for which it provides support and services. These are important steps forward in meeting the needs of IT management, which is the audience evaluating big data technologies in 66 percent of organizations according to our big data research.
Hortonworks Data Platform, the enterprise offering that I analyzed last year, is a Hadoop technology stack that is being adopted because of its enterprise readiness. At beginning of this year, Hortonworks released its latest version, which advanced management and monitoring through the use of Apache Ambari and improved security and authentication. It supports multiple concurrent query connections to Hive, making it more scalable in support of business intelligence and applications. While many of the competitive approaches to Hadoop and Hive point to its performance challenges, Hortonworks points out the improvement they are contributing to advance it and these competitive benchmark are significantly flawed in their design. It also offers improved SQL access to Hadoop, and while it is not the only application that provides it, Hortonworks worked with Simba to provide a Hive ODBC connector to support SQL-92 access from business intelligence tools. Hortonworks also includes Talend Open Studio to help with Hadoop integration needs. To support testing and development for enterprises, the company released Hortonworks Sandbox at beginning of 2013.
Hortonworks is working with Microsoft to have Hadoop operate on Windows platforms. It’s now available for download in beta and is expected to be generally available in the second quarter. By working with Microsoft, Hortonworks helps IT organizations that use Windows Server as the platform for their big data initiatives. Microsoft HDInsight Server and Windows Azure HDInsight Service are built on Hortonworks Hadoop Data Platform and make Hadoop readily available on Microsoft Windows. This strategic alliance helps IT organizations bring the power of Hadoop to Microsoft platforms. It is important for Hortonworks to broaden its reach to the large and global audience that uses Windows, especially given that our research on big data finds that 89 percent of organizations today use RDBMSes like SQL Server, and they can now use Hadoop more closely on a Windows platform.
This new approach with HDInsight can then connect with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 for sourcing or accessing data into Hadoop. Microsoft Excel can easily direct access to Hadoop through SQL which opens up further support for a large number of organizations. Microsoft HDInsight provides integration with Microsoft Systems Center for management of deployments, and security is integrated with Windows Server Active Directory. Making Hadoop available from Hortonworks on Windows is a significant step forward for Microsoft and its big data efforts. The company is not usually part of the discussion in the big data market though its technologies are used in many deployments that easily could be described as big data in nature. Both Microsoft and Hortonworks are highlighting this alliance and technology availability at the Strata 2013 conference in Silicon Valley this week.
In addition, Hortonworks has announced new Hadoop initiatives to further advance its potential. It has a project underway to improve Hive performance through support of interactive queries and a new project with Tez to get a newer-generation runtime to improve performance of Hive and not depend on MapReduce. It is also working on Hadoop Gateway to provide a single point of secured authentication to Hadoop that will help in operations across clusters. Part of Hortonworks approach is that each of these new advancements are contributed to the open source community where other developers and organization can contribute and help or use it once finalized and ready for distribution. This is a much different approach than others in the market who source Hadoop from the community and make proprietary extensions to it or embed it in their software and sell the license to the customer.
Hortonworks operates in a very competitive Hadoop market, let alone the broader market for big data technologies. Within the Hadoop market it has many competitive forces but Hortonworks states their pure support for working through the open source community and having not just their large number of committers to Hadoop but the power of all the developers and organizations that work to advance this big data technology is their competitive advantage. The company previously partnered with Teradata to have its Hadoop technology integrated with the Teradata Aster Big Analytics Appliance, a device that we awarded the 2012 Technology Innovation Award for Big Data for its sophistication in blending Hadoop and AsterData into one appliance. I expect Hortonworks to continue investments into partnerships in areas from integration to analytics, as it has done to support data integration with partners like Talend and Informatica; as I have pointed out, big data is broken without having an array of support for integration technologies.
I like the work that Hortonworks is doing to supporting Hadoop deployments. Our research on big data finds that 43 percent of organizations prefer on-premises deployments and 24 percent prefer it in the cloud, which Hortonworks addresses with a partnership with Rackspace and now with Microsoft and Windows Azure. Hortonworks offers many opportunities to help IT organizations use Hadoop across platforms and environments, and supports existing technology interoperating with it, allowing organizations to use employees who are already trained and ready to be leveraged. Organizations that are interested in examining certified and supported Hadoop should evaluate Hortonworks. Businesses looking for Hadoop support on Microsoft Windows will find Hortonworks their only option, as it is the strategic choice by Microsoft for operating Hadoop on its platforms. Hortonworks support for contributing to Hadoop openly, its significant sized partner ecosystem to complement Hadoop and the flexibility of operating across Linux and Windows to on-premises and in cloud computing environment make it a strategic provider of big data technology.
CEO & Chief Research Officer