If you’re expecting a logical, factual and rational write-up, forget it. Close this tab and move on. I’m passionate and absolutely biased.

A while back I was given the opportunity to attend a pentaho’s EMEA team meeting. Even though this event was very much focused in the Sales and Marketing team’s activities, I was invited because… hum… to be honest, I have no idea. Looking back, I may have made myself invited… Oh well, I was there, and it’s always a huge opportunity to learn more about these two areas. It may be easy to think that as an enginner (or should I say “former-engineer” cause nowaday all I do is meetings and emails?) I’d look sideways at those. On the contrary, over the years I genuinely grew to respect sales and marketing a lot, as it’s now clear they (can) have even a bigger impact in an organization than engineering or product related efforts.

One thing that make me think a lot was Paul Scholie’s presentation based on The Challenger’s Sale (the other thing was Amsterdam’s “aroma”, but I better skip that part). Simply put, the Challenger’s Sale was a consequence of a deep study about the sales process and customer behavior, aimed, obviously, at improving that sales process. It’s a book that I’d highly recommend reading it, specially if (like me) you know nothing about the theories behind the sales processes and activities and have the idea (like I had) that it’s a bit of a game of chance. It’s not, it’s a predictable science, full of method, where luck has little to do with it - at least not more than in any other area.

Not directly related, but got me thinking: Why did I “buy” pentaho in the first place? I started by saying that I’m biased. But… why? Ok, I now work for pentaho, but it hasn’t always been like that; There was a time where I had zero affinity with the company, had a small kid, unemployed wife, and quit my job over a 4 month project implementation with pentaho.

There was a huge factor that made that decision possible: without the open source core approach I wouldn’t even be here - my grandmother lend me the money to even register the webdetails company, using or being trainind on one of the proprietary tools was simply out of my league. But this was clearly not why I chose pentaho over the thousands of open source product alternatives out there in several IT areas.

I also didn’t chose it because it was clearly the best product out there. I know I’ll be flamed internally for saying this (it’s not like I care or actually stops me from saying what I think). No one will ever hear me say that Pentaho is God’s gift to Data Analytics software. Like all others, the software has flaws! There’s huge room for improvements and the day I stop believing this is the day I’ll have nothing more to offer to this company / community. So, this was also not it.

In hindsight, The Factor for me to choose pentaho is that it’s an extremely extensible, end to end Data Platform, that allows me to do virtually, whatever I dare to imagine. It may be trivial, easy, difficult or next to impossible, but it’s always possible! Personally, I get no motivation at all to build something that I know in the end will be, look and behave exactly like thousands of things out there and if I want to do something different, I’m stuck. I don’t want to be like all others.

With pentaho, there’s no limits on what can be achieved in Data Integration / Business Analitics related activities. And if there’s no hard limits, there’s absolutely nothing that stops us from engaging a project with the mindset of delivering the absolute best, something stunning to the end user / customer - and this is, or should be, always the ultimate goal of building a product / delivering services.