Lowering the barriers to BI
Australian-based Yellowfin Business Intelligence has arrived in Africa, with a formal launch of its Johannesburg office set for later this month.
Yellowfin CEO Glen Rabie, visiting South Africa ahead of the launch, told Biztechafrica that the company had been working with customers in South Africa, Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa over the past few months, and had seen an overwhelmingly positive response. The support desk in South Africa will serve the EMEA region, while Yellowfin’s partner network will deliver services across Africa.
“The response has been fantastic,” he says. “What’s intriguing to me is that there is a proportionally far higher interest in our products here than we’d see elsewhere in the world.”
Rabie speculates that this may be because many global BI vendors tend to focus on the US market. In addition, Yellowfin’s BI solutions have the advantages of being web based, light, and aimed at business users, not just IT. Importantly, they lend themselves to mobile BI – with Yellowfin’s mobile platform ranked number two in the world – and the upfront costs for a deployment are deliberately kept low.
This is not BI for major enterprises only, says Rabie. “Our biggest deployment has over 150,000 users, while our smallest has only three users. Our sweet spot is anywhere in between,” he says.
Rabie notes that in addition to a low upfront cost, Yellowfin lends itself to smaller enterprise use in that it has been designed for ease of management. “Depending on the state of an enterprise’s data and the outcomes they want, a business could see value from a deployment in as little as one to two weeks. But BI is not like an ERP system – you don’t just configure it and leave it. Because what businesses need to know changes all the time, it’s a dynamic environment that would typically be managed by a specialised team. However, in smaller enterprises, where the data and operations are generally less complex, the configurability of Yellowfin enables them to adapt their BI systems quite rapidly and manage the tools easily.”