Successful Migration from Microsoft to Pentaho

Bart Maertens has flied to the moon and migrated from Microsoft to Pentaho
Bart Maertens has flown to the moon

For many organizations, flying to the moon is easier than migrating from Microsoft to open source-based solutions. At Pentaho Community Meeting, Bart Maertens will show that it is possible. He will present the case of energy supplier Essent Belgium who adopted a cloud-based approach with Pentaho. I talked to Bart about this exciting project.

Bart, who are you?
I’m a business intelligence consultant with close to 20 years of experience. After working with traditional BI platforms for a couple of years, I made the switch to open source BI in 2007, which turned out to be close to exclusively Pentaho. In early 2012, I started, my small (but growing) consultancy company.

What is your connection to Pentaho?
I’ve been actively involved with and contributed to Pentaho from the very beginning. It’s been great to witness how the small platform, built by and for a handful of people, grew into a strategic part of Hitachi Vantara, ready to take on the biggest data loads in today’s world.

I’m a happy member of the small club of people who attended all Pentaho Community Meeting editions so far. My team and I organized the 2014 and 2016 PCM editions and a couple of local events.

What will your talk be about?
I’ll talk about the Nova project at Essent Belgium, which involves the migration of on-premise Microsoft based applications to open source-based applications in the cloud (AWS) that has been ongoing at Essent Belgium for the last 1.5 years. has been involved in the BI leg of the project, moving all BI solutions to AWS and Pentaho. I’ll give an overview of the project organization, architecture and some of the hurdles we’ve had to cross in the process.

Leaving Microsoft is a big if not impossible step for many organizations. What were the reasons for Essent for going away from Microsoft?
The main goals in moving away from on-premise Microsoft solutions to a new cloud and open source based platform were increasing flexibility cost reduction. As the Nova project at Essent has proven, migrations like these may not be trivial, but they definitely aren’t impossible.

What do you expect from Pentaho Community Meeting?
Being the 10th edition, I expect PCM17 to be nothing but spectacular! Apart from the usual product announcements and use cases, I’m especially looking forward to the informal part: catching up and having a (or too much) beer with the PCM crowd. Nelson, you still owe me one!