I have covered JackBe for a number of years and like their evolution from a mashup engine to making use of this capability for bringing business intelligence to the average business user (see for example, JackBe Expands Real-Time Operational Intelligence with its New Offering and JackBe Presto Provides Self-Service Business Intelligence on a Mobile Basis). I spoke with John Crupi, their CTO, and Sandra Hamorsky, Director, Product Marketing about their latest moves.
Presto 3.5, their latest release, provides business users with direct access to real-time KPIs and analytics through ease of use features, allowing them to move quickly without the need for IT support. This enables users to assess the business impact of changing conditions as they happen. Sandra gave a great example, a dashboard for hardware stores to best serve their customers during a storm situation. In this case it was Hurricane Sandy. Sandra had recently joined JackBe and saw the need to help hardware stores as she was having trouble getting the right tools in preparation for the storm.
This is a good example of a highly important support tool that is urgently needed quickly but will only be used for a short period. It is not a good candidate for a long wait for IT to produce something. So Sandra developed a dashboard in 45 minutes to help stores track the storm using the new DIY features of Presto 3.5. You can see the results below.
There are inventory checklists, along with the probable impact on supplies for each store, weather forecasts, a Twitter feed on the storm and other relevant data sources. This was all very useful as Sandy brought rain to the East and snow to the Midwest. I know these transitions from personal experience as I drove through the entire length of Sandy moving my belongings from Cambridge MA to New Orleans (see Driving Through Hurricane Sandy To New Orleans).
With Presto 3.5, business users can easily create real-time operational and key performance indicator (KPI)-driven apps and dashboards such as the one above that combine data from many live enterprise and social media information sources. John said that they had learned from customers that their IT departments were often not able to keep up with the demands of business users. Once the IT security, governance and protocols are in place - users can take advantage of Presto's self-service capabilities without having to go back to IT every time they want to create new real-time apps and dashboards.
Presto 3.5 extends its user-friendly interface to include new options to create dashboards through drag-and-drop, to add custom visualizations as easily as plugging in the view, and to customize Presto with a customer’s own logo and colors. There are also pre-built KPIs.
Once created, all Presto dashboards are portable with HTML5 apps that run anywhere, including SharePoint, portals, websites, tablets and mobile phones with the same look-and-feel of the native device. Presto 3.5 also has enhanced security for mobile devices and a more secure single-sign-on experience for social media sites. This includes support for OAuth, used by many social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook. It allows you to combine social media with your enterprise data securely. The interface adapts to multiple devices. You can see the tablet and smart phone interfaces below.
John also covered their latest news, the collaboration with Terracotta to provide better support for the use of Big Data using the Terracotta BigMemory, capability. Big Data is an in-memory solution that delivers performance at any scale. The JackBe-Terracotta collaboration provides compatible tools and a platform for real-time Big Data analytics with:
- Real-time Big Data visual exploration, using in-memory analytics
- Analytic snapshots for instant visual trending and KPI insights
- Apps that visualize live and historical enterprise data mashed with Big Data
- Dashboards that business users can easily assemble quickly and share, with no programming
John said that Presto 3.5 with Terracotta BigMemory can make use of input from Hadoop, as well as other data sources including, Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, and Windows Azure. Users are able to construct and make use of data directly from multiple sources without having to set up and feed a data warehouse. This is a huge time and cost saver.
John feels that analytics are the killer app for both social media and Big Data and I would agree. Putting the creation and use of business intelligence apps under the control of those who understand and need them is the key for adoption. JackBe is making great moves in this direction.