Licence /   Subscription   Costs     
          Why pay more when you can pay less?  




Open-Source up to x25 Cheaper


If you want to get a perspective on the potential cost savings that might arise from moving to Pentaho (or indeed to any open-source vendor) from a proprietary BI Suite (by Oracle, IBM, SAP, or Microstrategy), then the 2010 report by Third Nature entitled:


*  Lowering the Cost of Business Intelligence with Open Source


might well be of interest (bear in mind that this report is somewhat out-of-date, and that product pricing will vary considerably depending on your specific circumstances). Figure four from this report:



gives a rough idea of the potential cost savings per user after moving to Pentaho, broken down by BI suite vendor and organisation size.


For small organisations (25 users), medium organisations (100 users), and large organisations (500 users) transitioning to Pentaho reduces software costs on average by factors of 2.2, 3.6, and 18.2 respectively. For a large organisation, moving to Pentaho reduces software costs compared to the Big-4 vendors by factors of 10.9 (Cognos), 16.1 (Microstrategy), 21.5 (Oracle), and 24.4 (SAP).


While the relative costs of licensing BI suites from different vendors will depend on your particular circumstances (beware of initial offers with no long-term commitments on price that seek to bind you to a particular product), it’s clear that if you’re a large organisation then moving to open-source effectively reduces your software costs to zero relative to what you were paying before.


However, as the move to open-source gathers pace, we can expect the prices charged by the Big-4 to drop and those charged by the open-source subscription-based vendors to rise. But this consolidation will take quite some time, given the difficulty and reluctance on the part of the Big-4 to change their revenue models, so if you’re minded to “jump ship” now would be good time to do so.