Project Planning Package – Actuate ActuateOne (On Premises)

How it Works

Fill out the form below for your project planning estimate. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust. See this link for ActuateOne SaaS project planning estimate.

Details

  • Vendor Name: Actuate Corporation (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: BI Heavy
  • Company Headquarters: 951 Mariners Island Boulevard, San Mateo, CA 94404
  • Site: http://www.actuate.com
  • Contact number 650.645.3000
  • Delivery Mechanism: On Premises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, go to this link to see other analytical products for Actuate ActuateOne.

References

Risk Book

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

Enterprise Software TCO Calculator – Actuate ActuateOne (On Premises)

How it Works

Fill out the form below for a your customized TCO calculation, as well as each of the supporting cost components that make up the TCO. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust. See this link for ActuateOne on premises TCO analysis.

Details

  • Vendor Name: Actuate Corporation (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: BI Heavy
  • Company Headquarters: 951 Mariners Island Boulevard, San Mateo, CA 94404
  • Site: http://www.actuate.com
  • Contact number 650.645.3000
  • Delivery Mechanism: On Premises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, goto this link to see other analytical products for Actuate ActuateOne.

MUFI Rating & Risk – Actuate ActuateOne

MUFI Rating & Risk – Actuate ActuateOne

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: Actuate (Select For Vendor Profile)

Introduction

Actuate builds tools for developers as well as applications all based on the BIRT open source platform. Actuate offers BIRT Designer/Studio – which is an application development environment, BIRT Visualization Platform, and BIRT Analytics – which are the self-service applications, BIRT Content Services, and BIRT iHUB onDemand, their SaaS offering. As such Actuate is not entirely in the same category as many other BI applications or set of applications as it is partially a development environment.

Application Detail

Actuate offers easy to download versions of quite a few of its applications, although we wish they would offer a trial of their BIRT On Demand, as this is much easier to test rather than having to install some different applications.

ActuateOne offers performance capabilities that are one of the best in the BI category. However, Actuate does not have the same marketing budget as most of the BI Heavy software vendors that it competes against, so while SAP, Oracle, and IBM produce a steady stream of (usually misleading) BI performance achievements, Actuate is far lesser known for its performance. You have to talk to ActuateOne users to gain this insight. ActuateOne is a respected solution, particularly among those technical knowledgeable in the area – which is always a good sign as these individuals have the hands-on experience and are less susceptible to vendor marketing hyperbole. However, ActuateOne’s dashboard and report capabilities are the weakest areas of its BI platform – which strangely enough is most frequently how Actuate tends to compete. To us, this is a flawed sales strategy, and buyers should not be misdirected by the fact that Actuate does not seem to know how to showcase its application capabilities during the sales process best. Although this is currently the “hot” area of the BI market, you have to have the functionality to compete effectively. ActuateOne is not only exceeded by Tableau and QlikTech in this area but even by other BI Heavy software vendors like Birst.

ActuateOne’s natural strengths and weaknesses make us use to wonder if Actuate should redirect its sales focus more on its BI Heavy capabilities. This does present a marketing challenge, as it means discussing their capabilities that are less demonstrable during the sales process. However, if they put out the marketing effort, the buyers that they did obtain would more likely be high-quality implementations as the buyers would be buying and using ActuateOne’s closer to its core strengths.

Actuate is based upon BIRT, which is an open source project and has an active community of developers. Actuate’s customer satisfaction is high. Even so, Actuate is one of the few small BI software vendors that have suffered declines in sales over the past few years. Of course, most of the recent growth in the BI market has been in the BI Light area. It seems very likely to us that Actuate is losing business to other small software vendors. However, we see this as less related to product quality than to the fact that Actuate’s management has not yet recognized how to best position its application, which is to stop marketing Actuate’s applications against BI Light software vendors and go after more of the BI Heavy software vendors. Actuate could be a good combined solution with any of the BI Light applications. This would be an appealing BI solution architecture for buyers looking for a high degree of flexibility and customizability.

According to our TCO calculations, Actuate is one of the best BI Heavy values in the market. Unlike MicroStrategy, SAP or IBM, which will be aggressive in attempting to convince buyers that they are a one-stop shop, Actuate will be more flexible in fitting in wherever the buyer sees fit to use them. With the right resources, Actuate can be more efficient than most of the other BI Heavy vendors and can do so at a lower cost. Therefore, we consider Actuate to offer a very compelling combination of flexibility, BI Heavy functionality, and cost.

Actuate is offered as either on-premises or SaaS, called BIRTonDemand.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

Actuate ActuateOne is a relatively low-risk implementation. Experienced consultants can do very impressive things in ActuateOne. The biggest risk that we see concerning ActuateOne is concerning how the application is used. Actuate presents their products as covering both BI Heavy and BI Light applications – and while they do, we don’t think this is their best use. Instead, we recommend a combination of AcuateOne along with a BI Light application. A buyer that followed this approach would be in a perfect position to both have an efficient and powerful backend and a front end with high user adoption.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

Buyers must work with the application, thoroughly analyze it and determine its fit within their BI reporting infrastructure.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the BI Heavy software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for Actuate ActuateOne.

Enterprise Software TCO Calculator – Actuate ActuateOne (SaaS)

How it Works

Fill out the form below for a your customized TCO calculation, as well as each of the supporting cost components that make up the TCO. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust. See this link for ActuateOne on premises TCO analysis.

Details

  • Vendor Name: Actuate Corporation (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: BI Heavy
  • Company Headquarters: 951 Mariners Island Boulevard, San Mateo, CA 94404
  • Site: http://www.actuate.com
  • Contact number 650.645.3000
  • Delivery Mechanism: On Premises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, goto this link to see other analytical products for Actuate ActuateOne.

Project Planning Package – Actuate ActuateOne (SaaS)

How it Works

Fill out the form below for your project planning estimate. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust. See this link for ActuateOne on-premises project planning estimate.

Details

  • Vendor Name: Actuate Corporation (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: BI Heavy
  • Company Headquarters: 951 Mariners Island Boulevard, San Mateo, CA 94404
  • Site: http://www.actuate.com
  • Contact number 650.645.3000
  • Delivery Mechanism: On Premises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, go to this link to see other analytical products for Actuate ActuateOne.

References

Risk Book

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

Honest Vendor Ratings – Actuate

Introduction

Actuate was founded in 1993, however since 2004 Actuate’s strategy is around providing value-added applications and support for the open source BI platform called BIRT. BIRT was proposed by Actuate in 2004, and this has been the main thrust of the company since that time.

Quality of Information Provided

Actuate has historically provided better than average quality of information to its customers. However, the short-term orientation of the company, combined with the great pressure placed on salespeople is a concern for the future quality of information provided, particularly by sales.

A topic which we discuss in the MUFI Rating & Risk entry for ActuateOne is that Actuate’s management does not seem to know how to position its application during the sales process. Of all the software vendors we analyze, we find Actuate’s one’s decision to position ActuateOne against BI Light vendors, when its strengths are clearly in the BI Heavy area to be the poorest sales strategy we can recall evaluating. This should be of little concern to buyers, as our entry on Actuate recommends that buyers look beyond this flawed positioning, however, it should be a concern to investors in Actuate. Actuate is clearly following a strategy of “what is hot,” rather than based upon Actuate’s actual strengths. We evaluate software for a living, and it took far too long for the picture on Actuate to come into a clear focus. Most buyers are not going to spend as much time as we do evaluate every software vendor, and most will assume – incorrectly as it turns out – that Actuate is simply a lagging BI Light software vendor.

Clarity of Information Provided

We don’t typically have this category for most software vendors, but in this case, we think it’s quite appropriate for Actuate. One issue with Actuate is that it has one of the more complicated messages. There are of course a number of various Actuate products, but then there is the whole BIRT open source issue. Actuate often presents information to prospects as if they want to become deeply attuned to open source, to the BIRT Project, to upcoming BIRT conference, when in fact most are simply looking for a BI solution that can be implemented simply. It took us a significant amount of time to navigate through all of the information regarding Actuate – all to come to the conclusion that it does not matter that much. Actuate has a different way of doing things, but that is less important than the specific performance of their applications. Part of what product marketing is supposed to do is create a clean message. Now, this can be taken to the extreme, such as with SAP or Oracle who is so intent on producing an easily digestible message that their message becomes inaccurate. However, we would have to give low marks to Actuate marketing as they have not been able to simplify a message that really does not need to be as complicated as it is currently.

Consulting and Support

We rank Actuate as better than average in consulting and support. Actuate is not implemented by any of the major consulting companies, a major plus. However, their loss of experienced consulting resources is a cause for concern.

Internal Efficiency

Actuate has a weak management which under revenue pressure has frequently applied low-quality approaches to the company that has come home to roost. Actuate is disorganized internally, and has lost many experienced employees. It is difficult for us to understand what Actuate’s strategy actually is because as discuss with different buyers we get different storylines. We rate Actuate’s internal efficiency as average.

Innovation

Innovation at Actuate was better in the past, but we have scored Actuate as just average in Current Innovation Level because the current management does not seem to understand how to manage a software company.

What Actuate should do in regards to innovation is so obvious it is amazing that Actuate’s management has not made it the dominant strategy for the company. Actuate’s management is wasting its time making acquisitions and trying to offer a “complete offering.” This strategy, we have to admit is marketable to low information buyers, but it has never “worked” in practice for any BI vendor, although it has worked to help software companies market what is a poorly functioning solution. However, the companies that have effectively done this have had major marketing and channel advantages over Actuate. IBM and SAP can push poor quality BI suites because they have these advantages. Large software vendors play by a different set of rules than do smaller software vendors. Actuate is not large enough to follow a strategy employed by the major vendors, and must actually provide solution quality. Actuate’s strengths are in the back end of BI, not the front end. Having Actuate salespeople try to provide demos to customers and impress them with the Actuate’s front end is not working. Actuate needs to rebrand itself as what it actually is, a backend Heavy BI solution that can work in conjunction with a Light BI solution, and can do so at a competitive cost.

Vendor Score

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Software Selection Package for BI Heavy