Executive Summary

  • This is the Brightwork Research & Analysis software rating series.
  • We rate both the software and estimate the risk of implementing each application.

MUFI Rating & Risk for Actuate ActuateOne

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: Actuate (Select For Vendor Profile)


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.

MUFI Scores

Search for the vendor in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table. Shortening Key: 
  • Ma. = Maintainability
  • Us. = Usability
  • Fu. = Functionality
  • Im. = Implementability
Average Score for Big ERP5. ERP
Average Score for CRM6.
Average Score for Small and Medium ERP8.386.78.5Small and Medium ERP
Average Score for Finance8.88.888.8Finance
Average Score for Demand Planning7.67.277.1Demand Planning
Average Score for Supply Planning6.76.976.8Supply Planning
Average Score for Production Planning6.86.976.9Production Planning
Average Score for BI Heavy5. Heavy
Average Score for PLM77.26.87.3PLM
Average Score for BI Light7.78.798.3BI Light
Arena Solutions Arena PLM 10101010PLM
AspenTech AspenOne48107Production Planning
Birst 88.5108BI Light
ERPNext10107.510Small and Medium ERP
Delfoi Planner866.57Production Planning
Demand Works Smoothie SP910710Supply Planning
Hamilton Grant RM1098.59PLM
IBM Cognos2.731.53BI Heavy
Infor Epiphany7865CRM
Infor Lawson8767Big ERP
Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions9959Finance
JDA DM97.588Demand Planning
Microsoft Dynamics CRM2322CRM
NetSuite CRM6433CRM
Netsuite OneWorld7788Big ERP
Oracle BI4436BI Heavy
Oracle CRM On Demand4535CRM
Oracle Demantra533.54.5Demand Planning
Oracle JD Edwards World4136Big ERP
Oracle RightNow6745CRM
PlanetTogether Galaxy APS10101010Production Planning
Preactor8737Production Planning
QlikTech QlikView99109BI Light
Rootstock9899Small and Medium ERP
Sage X38878Big ERP
Salesforce Enterprise88.597.5CRM
SAP APO DP3432Demand Planning
SAP APO PP/DS2243Production Planning
SAP APO SNP3484Supply Planning
SAP BI/BW1.5242BI Heavy
SAP Business Objects32.573BI Heavy
SAP ECC336.53Big ERP
SAP SmartOps4475.5Supply Planning
SAS BI6.5796BI Heavy
SAS Demand Driven Forecasting7897Demand Planning
Tableau (BI)9101010BI Light
Tableau (Forecasting)10859Demand Planning
Teradata86.39.76BI Heavy
ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)7897Demand Planning
ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply)56107Supply Planning

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.

Likelihood of Application Implementation Success and Failure

Estimates are for a typical project. A specific implementation requires details from the project to make a project-specific estimate.

Search for the application in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table.
ApplicationProb of Implementation SuccessProb of Implementation Failure
SAP Smartops0.390.61
NetSuite CRM0.460.54
Sugar CRM0.620.48
Base CRM0.910.09
SAP CRM0.350.65
Salesforce Enterprise0.720.28
QlikTech QlikView0.820.18
Tableau (BI)0.980.02
SAP Crystal Reports0.460.54
SAS BI0.760.24
Oracle BI0.350.65
IBM Cognos0.230.77
Infor Epiphany0.580.42
Microsoft Dynamics CRM0.260.74
Oracle RightNow CRM0.410.59
Oracle CRM On Demand0.360.64
SAP Business Objects0.320.68
SAP BI/BW0.250.75
SAP PLM0.290.71
Hamilton Grant RM0.890.11
Arena Solutions0.960.04
Delfoi Planner0.70.3
PlanetTogether Galaxy APS0.960.04
AspenTech AspenOne0.550.45
SAP APO PP/DS0.270.73
Demand Works Smoothie SP0.930.07
ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply)0.820.18
Demand Works Smoothie0.960.04
Tableau (Forecasting)0.90.1
SAS Demand Driven Forecasting0.820.18
ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)0.860.14
JDA DM0.570.43
Oracle Demantra0.330.67
SAP APO DP0.280.72
Intuit QB Enterprise0.80.2
Microsoft Dynamics AX0.40.6
SAP Business One0.490.51
Sage X30.620.38
Infor Lawson0.580.42
Epicor ERP0.40.6
Oracle JD Edwards World0.310.69
Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne0.360.64
SAP ERP ECC/R/30.320.68
NetSuite OneWorld0.650.35

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.