REVIEWER: Bruce Belvin, resident of Software Solutions.

BACKGROUND:, headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, provides software and services to the quick-serve restaurant industry. The company brings solutions to restaurant owners and operators by combining open source technologies with a product philosophy that lets customer leverage existing investments in hardware and other technology infrastructure.

PLATFORMS:'s Web-based BI and business process automation platform is hosted in a Linux environment.

PROBLEM SOLVED: needed a powerful, flexible BI solution, with Web 2.0-like user interfaces and a wide range of reporting, ad hoc query and analytics capabilities. This kind of solution, combined with our QSR knowledge, would enable us to win more business from nationwide chains. is a successful regional provider, but we wanted to compete on a national level. In order to do so, we initiated a strategy to replace our existing LAMP solution with a newly architected data warehouse and BI solution while retaining our SaaS model. Among’s requirements for a viable solution was support for multitenancy – in which a single instance of software serves multiple client organizations. The nature of SaaS dictates that you have one implementation serving many different companies, which means that every application or infrastructure software component in the solution stack must accommodate this need. The requirement exists, in part, because of the highly variable nature of QSR business organization. Some of our customers have two or three restaurants and others have two or three thousand. Reporting and analysis layers and dimensions are plentiful as well; an ownership group might have three or four companies, each of which operated multiple restaurants. Our solution has to let owners consolidate, separate and analyze their store performance along a number of dimensions such as geography, product type, product grouping and a range of demographics. So the technology had to allow people to access things according to their current need. Managing input from thousands of different restaurants – with a wide range of POS technologies and data formats – posed another challenge, and required flexible capabilities for filtering and transferring data.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Jaspersoft's implementations multitenancy and access controls allow us to focus on the data aggregation and visualization rather than on an administrative framework. In addition, the well-designed selection criteria and filtering UI components are both visually appealing and intuitively designed. The ad hoc report builder is helping us to empower users with the ability to create their own reports, data extracts and analyses.

STRENGTHS: The multitenant support is very well-implemented, the iReport integrated development environment is powerful and easy to use, and creating topics for the ad hoc report builder is simple.

WEAKNESSES: The dashboard builder and the ad hoc report builder are both promising but in need of more refinement. Documentation could be more complete.

SELECTION CRITERIA: During the selection process, out-of-the-box functionality most closely represented the requirements for ease of deployment, reimaging and efficient development. Jaspersoft had the best out-of-the-box functionality of the products we evaluated and also delivered a higher comfort level for customer service and technical support than competing products.

DELIVERABLES: The Jaspersoft-based platform generates BI reporting for financial, customer and employee reporting as well as providing data mining capability via the ad hoc report capability. The analysis or OLAP functionality allows marketing to assess sales and product trends against advertising campaigns.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Vendor support was one of the major factors that led us to choose Jaspersoft in the selection process. In both pre- and post-implementation, the Jaspersoft professional service team treated us like we were their biggest customer and demonstrated through their response that they were knowledgeable, efficient and cared for the success of their clients. The best part of working with Jaspersoft is that they are available and responsive and actually listen to the voice of their customer.

DOCUMENTATION: After the initial Quick Start engagement, we have been able manage the development process without support. The developer guide is quite thorough.

Jaspersoft Business Intelligence Suite
539 Bryant Street, Suite 100
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 348-2300

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