Today Oco announced a partnership with Business Objects. I'm not going to reiterate what the announcement says since you can read that elsewhere. To me the key point here is that a major trusted BI supplier, Business Objects, is (and has been for a while now) heavily investing in OnDemand/SaaS/hosted deployment, and they've recognized that Oco's solution provides value for their customers through the integrated information content Oco creates accessed by way of the Business Objects OnDemand hosted environment.
To Oco this partnership is great because it legitimizes what we do and really reduces the shock-factor that our prospective customers see. Let's face it. Oco is an innovator (read "small" -- though growing!) company which by itself sells a solution which is delivered "shockingly" quickly (6 to 10 weeks), financial "risk free", delivered via a "radical" new deployment model (SaaS), and it provides only a UI targeted at the business-user. This is all pretty unfamiliar stuff for a conservative BI customer. Keep in mind that the track record on Data Warehouse/BI projects is historically pretty poor - hence many people have become conservative about them.
Business Objects changes the balance considerably: You replace the small company risk-factor with a major trusted supplier like Business Objects. You replace this radical SaaS deployment model with the fact that Business Objects OnDemand represents this SaaS trend going mainstream. Finally, you get what I like to call "design headroom" that the broad suite of Business Objects tools offers which caters to the complete user community that traditionally consumes BI spanning from the business users (who depend on Crystal Reports and Xcelsius dashboards) to data analysts performing ad-hoc analysis (for example via Web Intelligence).
What was shocking, new, and risky, is now a pretty safe bet, and customers can focus on what the new value is that the solution provides, not on all the seemingly risky new-ness of the way it is created and delivered.
My thanks go out to my colleagues at Business Objects who examined Oco, saw the value here, and worked to add us into their partnership sphere. Everyone at Oco and myself will be working hard to make sure we deliver great solutions to our joint customers.