Pentaho, the Big Data analytics provider with a strong focus on open source, has stepped up R&D as well as its consulting business and engagement with the channel. All of this comes through its acquisition of Webdetails, a consulting and interface-design firm. Here's what it means for the channel.

Webdetails, which is based in Portugal and operates internationally, has worked closely with Pentaho in the past. But the acquisition, the financial details of which were not disclosed, promises to achieve three major goals, according to Pentaho:

  • First, by building upon Webdetails's expertise in visualization and dashboard developmentm, the company plans to accelerate its research and agenda development to prepare for the next generation of data analytics.
  • At the same time, Pentaho hopes to expand its consulting services. According to a statement, "As demand for advanced, Big Data and embedded analytics services continues to soar, Webdetails provides an experienced, international team to bolster Pentaho’s existing consulting services."
  • Finally, as part of the acquisition, Pentaho is creating a new position for Webdetails's founder Pedro Alves. Although he will remain general manager at Webdetails, he will also become senior VP for Community at Pentaho, where he will help interface with the open source ecosystem surrounding Pentaho.

With 20 employees, Webdetails is a relatively small company. But the acquisition could help push Big Data analytics at Pentaho in new directions. Besides allowing the vendor to redouble its research and development efforts to continue competing in a tight market, it will beef up the consulting end of Pentaho's business. That focus speaks to demand within the channel for more direct advising services for reporting and interpreting the ever-larger streams of data with which organizations are grappling.

And the strong community engagement that is a key part of the news surrounding this acquisition is also important. By establishing a new executive role for liasons with the community, Pentaho is reaffirming its commitment to its open source roots. That's a move that promises not only to raise Pentaho's profile within the channel, but could also pay significant dividends by encouraging more independent developers to engage with Pentaho's software.