BI group partners with AWS in Ireland, answering to European NSA concerns
Thu 28 Aug 2014
Cloud-based business intelligence leader, Birst, has announced a partnership with Amazon Web Services in Ireland, boosting its European public cloud offering.
Reports suggest that the move stems from Birst’s efforts to appease European concern about hosting data on US soil, prompted by Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA.
EU expansion is a growing trend among SaaS providers, such as Oracle and NetSuite. However, Birst, unlike the others, has stated that their European strategy has been directly influenced by reports that companies in Europe do not want their data hosted in North America following the Snowden affair.
Speaking with Diginomica, Birst’s VP Product Strategy, Southard Jones, explained: “What we had heard from customers and many other folks in Europe was that they were wary about having their data hosted in the United States.
“So there was two options for us – build our own data centre in Europe, or partner with Amazon and leverage their capabilities. This is a clear signal to the market and for Birst to make a pretty large investment to ensure that we can service the [EU] customer. There is no connection to here in the US, it is totally separate.”
CEO Jay Larson also added that there was a direct link between the NSA revelations and European concern about their US-hosted data.
“Clearly Snowden and NSA propelled this demand. I think there was always an undercurrent, but between Snowden and the NSA and the spying, it has since been brought to the fore and people definitely wanted a resolution to it.
“If it wasn’t for NSA and Snowden, I don’t think we would be doing this with the data centre in Ireland.”
Existing Birst customers will now be given the choice to migrate their stored data to the Irish AWS data centre free of charge, and new European customers will immediately have the option to store their data on EU soil.
European firms, The Financial Times, Itsu Sushi and EAT, have all recently partnered with Birst to build their business intelligence capability.