One of the ongoing debates concerning business intelligence software has been around how to drive more adoption. Obviously, there is a wide gap between the number of people using business intelligence applications today and the number of people that could benefit from this software.
The two biggest efforts being made to increase adoption come in the form of a variety of approaches to deliver BI-as-a-service and the availability of open source implementations of BI software. The former approach is still fairly nascent and highly fragmented in terms of the number of vendors in the category, while the open source approach has been led mostly by Jaspersoft.
As a result, Jaspersoft CEO Brian Gentile now feels comfortable enough to claim that his company's BI software is now the most widely used on the market. Of course, it's hard to track usage of open source software, so let's examine how Gentile backs up this claim.
At the moment, Gentile says Jaspersoft should surpass the 10 million downloads mark for its software around the beginning of the year. No one knows if that software is actually being used, but Gentile does know that by following "heartbeat data" generated by that software, there appear to be about 150,000 commercial production deployments of the company's software, and that about 11,000 entities have bought something from Jaspersoft, ranging from basic documentation to full support. The number of companies paying Jaspersoft for support is still below 1,000, but the point remains that there is a lot of Jaspersoft software out there that probably exceeds the amount of BI software sold by any other commercial BI vendor by a good margin.
Open source software is clearly having a dramatic impact across the entire enterprise software spectrum, but this is the first time we might be seeing an open source application vendor become a market leader.