Zack Urlocker, the EVP for Products at MySQL before it was acquired by Sun (and now an executive at Sun) has written an article at InfoWorld suggesting that the recent rash of articles looking at how IBM's acquisition of SPSS is affecting the BI market dominated by SAS are downplaying the real agent of change in the space: R. According to Urlocker, the BI battle isn't between IBM and SAS, instead "the little known open source project R may be the disruptor in this billion-dollar market". He goes on:
R continues to gather momentum, just as Linux, Apache, MySQL, and JBoss have in recent years. It's disrupting the market from the bottom, attracting new users who cannot afford the expensive license fees from IBM or SAS. R claims dozens of books on Amazon about the topic, 2,000 open source packages and extensions, and an estimated million users worldwide.
Recently, an open source company that provides an optimized version of R, Revolution Computing, received an injection of capital from North Bridge Ventures and Intel. Who would be equipped to lead a company competing against billion-dollar incumbents? None other than Norman Nie, founder and former CEO of SPSS. Game on.
InfoWorld: The BI battle isn't between IBM and SAS