Interview with Len Rust – The Rust Report
RUST: Please begin with an overview of Yellowfin
RABIE: Yellowfin was established in Melbourne in 2003 by partners Glen Rabie and Justin Hewitt. Having come from a business intelligence background they recognised that the cost and complexity of traditional BI tools restricted them from being rolled out to the broader user community.
Web-based BI tools were also in their infancy at the time and the founders believed that there was a major gap in the market – a BI solution that made mass deployment easy via a functionally rich, easy-to-use Web interface. Yellowfin has subsequently invested heavily into this space both from a technology and marketing perspective. In Yellowfin 4.0, launched on August 1, we have incorporated location intelligence, which allows organisations to introduce location-based reporting into the business decision-making process without requiring geographic information systems expertise.
RUST: Describe the competitive landscape.
RABIE: Unlike other sectors, such as the database market, the BI sector is not highly saturated. Five major BI providers represent 70 per cent of the market with the remaining 30 per cent allocated to more niche specialist BI players — of which Yellowfin is one. It is from these smaller, more agile players that analysts expect the major innovations in the sector to come from. For Yellowfin the market opportunity is based upon the idea of pervasive BI. This means delivering BI applications to thousands, not tens of users. Traditional platforms with limited Web delivery or high complexity are struggling to meet this need.
RUST: Who are some of your current customers and partners?
RABIE: The company’s initial customers were Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Telstra in Australia, Plumbing World in New Zealand, and AlterPoint in the US. The company has experienced a phenomenal 300 per cent growth for each of the past two financial years and more than 80 per cent of our revenue comes from sales in Canada, China, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, the UK, and the US.
Yellowfin now has more than 40 partners in Australia, New Zealand, North America and Japan with a combined total of over 300 direct and indirect customers across a diverse span of industries and geographies.
RUST: What industry challenges will the BI sector face in the next two years?
RABIE: The major challenge in the marketplace is the steady march towards pervasive BI. Oracle has recently come out to say that it sees BI as the next ERP. Depending how you read this it might not be a such good thing, but the intent that BI is the next major infrastructure requirement for all business is accurate.
For vendors such as Oracle, SAP, and IBM this has clearly been the driver for their recent acquisitions of Hyperion, Business Objects, and Cognos. However, the question is can they fulfil the expectations of the market? Probably not. I think in the next couple of years we are going to see a number of new vendors emerge in the market that do fulfil the demand that is there.
Yellowfin is a software development company whose Business Intelligence solution can be easily integrated into any third party application or delivered as a stand alone enterprise platform. Yellowfin is an innovative and flexible 100% Web-based solution for reporting and analytics, providing a full range of data access, presentation and information delivery capabilities. www.yellowfin.bi