Global systems integrators (GSIs) and other Cloud solution providers are positioning now to serve the Analytics-as-a-Service market. Many have made significant investments in attacking this nascent market for Cloud Analytics. Saugatuck Technology has been interested in developing an understanding of this emerging market and the role monetization will play. We approached four leading vendors of monetization solutions — Aria, MetraTech, SafeNet and Zuora – and requested an interview on the monetization strategies likely to emerge in the market for Analytics-as-a-Service solutions. The monetization vendors made these executives available for our interviews:

One question we asked these monetization experts to address was about “Collaborative and Collective Analytics.”
The aggregation of customer data across the multi-tenant data stores of Cloud solutions provides an opportunity for monetization that Aria’s O’Brien and Zuora’s Saha remarked on. Salesforce.com has for years encouraged customer to customer data sharing of a collaborative nature, as SafeNet’s Weiss pointed out, but Cloud solution providers are starting to monetize customer data in aggregation, according to Saha. O‘Brien commented on platform vendors being able not only to aggregate, but to slice data across the market for industry, size or geography.

For MetraTech’s Swartz, this provides an opportunity to monetize and differentiate analytics capabilities. Benchmarking of aggregated anonymous data could be provided in summary at no cost or for a flat fee. Premium access or pricing by membership category, could offer basic reports and analytics tools. Swartz hypothesized that a member might pay compute fees, but not content fees, while a non-member pays both, citing, such as airports, telcos, and smart grids, as specific examples.

Those enterprises desiring, but not yet able, to develop, implement, and manage Advanced Analytics capabilities will be looking for partners in the Cloud to complement their business solutions, to assess their effectiveness in serving markets, delivering services and competing against other providers of goods and services.

Analytics-as-a-Service providers have an opportunity now, while the market is still in its early days, to experiment with monetization strategies, including the value metric, third-party synergies, additional pricing variables such as perk/off-peak and premium/basic, as well as the role aggregated data may play going forward.

As we have observed, Analytics-as-a-Service platforms can be challenging to manage, both from a platform and a monetization point of view. This is the time to learn how business strategies will align with platform capabilities and monetization, before unwanted and poorly-architected complexity sets in and before adopting monetization solutions that may constrain new business opportunities.

This blog was originally published at Saugatuck's Lens360 blog on January 23, 2014. Published with permission.