Last week, Birst announced its new Embedded BI program specifically designed for software companies looking to differentiate their products by turning data into a strategic service for their customers. Paul Staelin, Birst’s Chief Customer Officer, shares his thoughts on this new program below. Here are a few interesting details we wanted to share:
Q: Tell us a little about why Birst designed and launched its Embedded BI Program.
A: We have seen an increase in demand from the world’s leading companies to embed our platform into their own cloud applications. Many of these companies are building an analytical application for the first time so they want our advice and guidance on the best way to develop, launch, market, support and enhance their application. Our goal is to provide our embedded partners with a pragmatic way to rapidly and profitably grow their business while differentiating their offerings using analytics. This embedded analytics program is designed with these goals in mind and we have been receiving phenomenal feedback about its successes thus far, and we absolutely plan to continue to move this program forward.
Q. What is included in the Birst Embedded BI Program offering?
A. The Program offers support for all phases of a new product launch, from development and go-to-market, to production and customer support. Here is how it maps out:
- In the development phase, we help our embedded BI partners define their business drivers for analytics and develop a product roadmap. We also offer training for any implementation services required to develop the application.
- While in development, we offer partners go-to-market assistance, including the ability to disseminate necessary content that could be leveraged by end users.
- In the production phase, we provide tangible monetization strategies including a referral program.
- Last but not least – and what is essentially at the center of it all – is a dedicated customer success team that ensures our embedded partners are well connected with Birst resources throughout all phases of their implementation.
Q. What companies benefit most from embedding Birst into their application?
A. Birst embedded BI software is ideal for companies with information-centric software or packaged applications that want to increase the value of their solutions. It’s a great fit for software companies that are building analytic applications as well. We have seen companies from various vertical markets be successful, from ad tech, financial services and mobile analytics to life sciences, healthcare and high tech, among others.
Q. What ensures a successful go-to-market strategy when embedding BI?
A. Offering analytical capabilities as part of any application has become quite popular. However, the approach to integrating a best-of-breed analytical platform versus building your own is quite different.
A couple of things to remember:
- While most companies understand that this is an engineering project to integrate the two products, the key to success lies in understanding it is also a strategy and business development project. It is the combination of the embedded partner’s domain expertise and Birst’s analytical expertise that will make it work.
- Second – a phased approach is key. Start with defining the goals and key metrics for success. Break those metrics into meaningful groups and start delivering in an agile way. Wire-framing your dashboards at the start of each sprint is a great way to ensure you are on target for the sprint. A strategic approach occurs in phases so trying to tackle everything at once is not advised.
- And lastly – remember that in most cases, the business intelligence platform is a well-established product with many customers. This presents an opportunity to learn from companies similar to you – even if they are not in the same industry. Work on a strategy that incorporates that. See if the BI vendor has resources that allow you to easily share and collaborate on ideas with others. Look for an active community and a dedicated customer success team who has worked with lots of customers like you.
Q. What’s unique about the Birst Embedded BI program?
A. While other BI vendors view enablement as offering product training, technical support and professional services work that is focused on report development, Birst has a different approach. Birst starts from the perspective of creating business value. The first two questions we ask every embedded BI software company are:
- What decisions do your users need to make using your software?
- How do they want to make those decisions?
If you start there, everything else will fall into place. When we hear requirements such as, “I need to replace our manual reporting process,” or, “I need to provide my customers with interactive dashboards,” we shift the conversation. We want our embedded partners to focus on the business side of this equation because that needs to be defined clearly for the project to be successful. They needn’t worry about getting wrapped up in the technology. We’ve got that covered. We know analytics.
The best way to picture the partnership between Birst and an embedded BI partner is to think of Birst as an extension of the product team. A good product team knows that its go-to-market strategy and business requirements will define successful leadership in the market. Birst empowers software providers to quickly and seamlessly embed business analytics into their applications so they can drive incremental revenue and differentiate their products with the industry’s leading cloud BI.
To find out more about Birst Embedded BI program, click here.