Open Source BI On the Cloud

I was reading up on the BI solutions & stumbled upon Rightscale. It is an interesting offering - a combination of open source software (Talend, Jaspersoft, Vertica) running on Amazon's Virtual machine infrastructure.
So, what does this mean for an average customer - Well, I think the answer is stereotypical "It depends". If you are a small business that was not even thinking BI because Oracle, SAP, IBM & Microsoft licensing scared the bejesus out of you, this could be pretty interesting. Especially, if your business has a Franchise model & your data is not tightly regulated (HIPAA, SOX, DOD don't mean anything to you), this may be a cool tool to offer to your franchisees.

You can do an enterprise agreement with these guys, integrate local data systems (if they are not integrated already) & pretty soon each one of the "Lube & Oil Change" Managers (who are willing to spend $50 a month) can have a BI solution to look at & answer questions like who is your most profitable customer that has not returned in the last 6 months.

The part I like about the emerging technology landscape is that it continues to lower the entry barriers for competitive edge between the big guys & the small ones. In the end though, all these are beneficial only to those that are a well oiled machine to begin with. Yep, no amount of BI is bringing back the customer who got her car back with grease marks on the hood.