Startup Offers Free Version of Open-Source, On-Demand BI Software

Apr 07, 2007

A small startup, Adaptive Planning, has taken the next step in offering alternative application technology by combining on demand and open source to build business intelligence-based performance management software. The question is, now that the company has built it, will users come?

The goal for Adaptive Planning is to "dramatically expand" its base of users who will move forward from free, hosted versions of its software to paid subscriptions, according to William Soward, the company's president and CEO.

To do that, the company announced April 6 a free version of its namesake Express Edition On-Demand software.

The suite, available as a free download to companies with fewer than 50 employees, is designed to help users move budgeting, forecasting and reporting off of spreadsheets and onto a more automated solution, hosted by Adaptive Planning.

The thought - one that's tried and true in both the on-demand and open-source worlds - is that by getting users interested in free software first, they will eventually upgrade to a paid subscription.

"Today we have three versions - Express, Corporate and Enterprise," said Soward, in Mountain View, Calif.

"Corporate and Enterprise have more functionality, more services. So if someone downloads Express, after they've deployed that we think they will want to start doing more extensive financial reporting - analysis, workflow, adding users. To do that, they need to upgrade to subscription basis."

Soward said he is confident Adaptive Planning will win its fair share of customers, but the first step is to get them in the door.

So far, the company has amassed more than 70 paying customers, including some big names such as Triple A and NetSuite, itself an on-demand provider of ERP (enterprise resource planning) software.

On the open-source front, Adaptive Planning has had a fair amount of downloads - 38,000 in 71 countries - from SourceForge, an open-source community forum.

But its community, the folks who actually build open-source code around Adaptive Planning's software, is nascent at best.

"Our understanding is our community would come out of our partner channel, that would be sort of the first wave of this," said Soward. "That's started to happen."

The biggest number of postings on Adaptive Planning's community forum is indicative, perhaps, of the evolving open-source business applications model: There are 18 missives on post-installation run-time issues and a dozen on installation issues. The third runner-up, with 10 posts, is the area titled "Getting started with your model."

As for Adaptive Planning's open-source software downloads, Soward says the surprising thing is that he is seeing an increasing number of business users interested in the company's software, rather than the traditional SourceForge audience of developers.

He attributes the shift to a growing acceptance of open-source software as a viable alternative, driven by the relative success of companies such as SugarCRM and Compiere, an open-source ERP and CRM (customer relationship management) provider that announced in March 1.2 million downloads of its software from SourceForge since the company's inception in 2001.

"There have been a lot of business users going to SourceForge and surviving to talk about it," said Soward.

"A meaningful number of participants have finance titles. We have a CFO - chief financial officer - in the Midwest using our software. That world is changing."

Copyright 2007 by Ziff Davis Media, Distributed by United Press International

Explore further: Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Open software platform helps to save energy

Aug 11, 2010

Starting 2011, energy suppliers will be obligated to offer variable power prices. A new energy management software platform will enable customers in future to opt for fl exible electricity rates, so that they can purchase ...

Recommended for you

Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

Apr 18, 2014

The Google Android platform grabbed the majority of mobile phones in the US market in early 2014, as consumers all but abandoned non-smartphone handsets, a survey showed Friday.

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

Apr 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...