Jitterbit joined the ranks of integration companies offering data integration as a cloud-based service last week. The new solution is called Jitterbit Enterprise Cloud Edition, and it runs on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). It includes 250 connectors for databases and applications.
One thing worth noting about Jitterbit's offering is that it uses a subscription license fee, which starts at $799 a month, rather than charging per-connection. On the blog post about the new release, Jitterbit argues this can help contain cloud integration costs:
One of the great things about cloud applications is the flexible monthly pricing where you pay only for what you use. However, some integration vendors have taken this to the next level by charging per connection. While this makes sense in theory, the reality is that most organizations need to connect more than the minimum two systems. What's more, this per connection pricing balloons 10x when it comes to "premium" systems (aka, common enterprise systems like Oracle, JD Edwards, and SAP).
Jitterbit CTO Ilan Sehayek said the new solution will appeal to smaller enterprises that are less concerned about on-premise solutions and more likely to embrace the cloud, rather than the Fortune 100-level enterprises, according to Cloud Avenue.
Sehayek specifically mention AWPRx as the type of company expected to embrace Jitterbit's open source SaaS tool. AWPRx is a Florida-based pharmacy benefits-management company that handles workers compensation cases. Forbes featured the company-and, as a side note, its use of Jitterbit-in a May article.
It's actually a good morality tale, especially for old-school programmers. AWPRx's CEO, Jay Roy, actually fired any IT staffer whom he felt was more focused on creating overly complex IT systems rather than choosing the simplest, most business-friendly solution. It's unclear whether he fired his entire staff or just a few, but the whole company only has 25 people. When Forbes asked him what he did about the bad seeds, his exact quote is, "I fired every last one of them." So, I suspect he cleaned house.
Roy simplified his IT systems by using Jitterbit, and now a clinical pharmacist handles most of the data-integration work.
Jitterbit also offers an on-premise and hybrid solutions. Cloud Avenue notes the cloud edition supports data connections over VPN, which should address some security concerns companies might have about a cloud-based solution. You can see part of the new solution's interface over at CTO Edge.
Talend, another open source company, offers a data-integration-as-a-service solution, called Talend on Demand, which launched in 2007. I'd love to be able to tell you the difference between offering a cloud-based solution and a SaaS-based solution, but I'm still trying to figure that one out. Obviously, Jitterbit's solution runs on Amazon EC2, whereas Talend is a subscription service that requires you to download a management product, but beyond that, I'm not sure. I'll have to get back with you on that one.
At any rate, the SaaS/open source combo seems to be taking hold, in part because their business models both rely on a "freemium," or a pay-for-greater-functionality approach, according to Jeff Kaplan, managing director at strategic management consultancy THINKstrategies.