March 25, 2009

Aleri update

My skeptical remarks on the Aleri/Coral8 merger generated some pushback. Today I actually got around to talking with John Morell, who was marketing chief at Coral8 and has remained with the combined company. First, some quick metrics:

John is sticking by the company line that there will be an integrated Aleri/Coral8 engine in around 12 months, with all the performance optimization of Aleri and flexibility of Coral8, that compiles and runs code from any of the development tools either Aleri or Coral8 now has. While this is a lot faster than, say, the Informix/Illustra or Oracle/IRI Express integrations, John insists that integrating CEP engines is a lot easier. We’ll see.

I focused most of the conversation on Aleri’s forthcoming efforts outside the financial services market. John sees these as being focused around Coral8’s old “Continuous (Business) Intelligence” message, enhanced by Aleri’s Live OLAP. Aleri Live OLAP is an in-memory OLAP engine, real-time/event-driven, fed by CEP. Queries can be submitted via ODBO/MDX today. XMLA is coming. John reports that quite a few Coral8 customers are interested in Live OLAP, and positions the capability as one Coral8 would have had to develop had the company remained independent.

I’m a bit confused about how new or mature Aleri Live OLAP is. Although a “5.0” version was announced last May, John seemed to describe Live OLAP as a new technology just coming to market.

Generally, the applications that kept coming up were anti-fraud and ad/interaction-targeting, across multiple markets (including online gaming). An energy management deal to be announced soon seems to be an exception. I’m a little unclear as to how much is dashboards and how much is integrated operational BI. John views a natural progression as being dashboard-to-hard-coded-operational-BI. But I’m not year clear as to whether the initial dashboards provide much business value, or whether they are more just tools to get executive buy-in for the real opportunities.


4 Responses to “Aleri update”

  1. Hans Gilde on March 26th, 2009 2:03 pm

    I think that the streaming OLAP products (the two that I know of) could do better in communicating their value proposition. You seem to sort of imply this in your post. What is their core marketing messages? What specifically are they offering to BI users over the tools that exist now? What are some really compelling and interesting specific use cases? I mean use cases beyond “it can be used in such-and-so field”.

    At the moment, we get lots of bits of information thrown out there: 100,000 per second of this or unlimited dimensions of that. Sometimes it does seem to boil down to “you should want it because it gives you information now as opposed to later”. But if it needs to be queried, then that’s getting information on demand. If it’s on demand… how is that more up-to-date then another solution?

    So I can see why you are wondering exactly what is the deal with these products – it will be enlightening if you continue to dig into this topic.

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