10 enterprise software companies to watch

Every vendor has a sales pitch - here are 10 worth watching

6. Panoratio

Founded: March 2003

Location: Munich, Germany, and San Francisco.

What does the company offer? The Dynamic Data Discovery Solution, which enhances business intelligence with technology that creates dense images of complex data sets, thus allowing large amounts of data to be analyzed in files small enough for a PC or laptop. Data files are reduced to a fraction of their original size without any analytical detail being lost, the company says. The product has been available since late 2004.

Why is it worth watching? Panoratio, a spinoff from German industry giant Siemens, makes "a precise and complete image of the entire complex data set in a file format that can be easily managed and distributed for use by individuals and applications across the organization," analyst firm Gartner wrote last year in its "Cool Vendors" report.

How did the company get its start? When Panoratio founders Reimar Hofmann and Michael Haft were at Siemens' Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Laboratory, they developed software to address the problem of sensors throughout Siemens Westinghouse power plants creating data sets so complex they could not be analyzed efficiently. The software Hofmann and Haft created to reduce the size of the data set without losing its detail or complexity led to the founding of Panoratio.

How did the company get its name? "Panoratio" is a combination of Greek and Latin words that roughly make up the phrase "all-seeing method," says President and CEO Brett Kilpatrick. "Pano" is similar to the Greek word "pan-", which means "all," and that reminds Panoratio executives of their mission to be "all-seeing." "Ratio" is Latin for "method."

CEO and background: Kilpatrick has more than 20 years of technology experience at Accrue Software, Alterian, AvantGo, Determine Software, IONA Technologies, Narus, Oracle and Versant.

Funding: More than US$10 million from sources including DVC Deutsche Venture Capital and Siemens Venture Capital .

Who's using the product? More than 40 customers, primarily in healthcare, e-commerce, electronic media and industrial businesses. Customers include Siemens, AOL Germany, and Yahoo.

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