Some consolidation in the area of cloud services for enterprises: Intuit, the business services company that targets SMEs, is buying Elastic Intelligence, creators of Connection Cloud, a product that helps SMEs create DIY cloud-based apps. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Elastic Intelligence was founded by Roger Sippl, the serial entrepreneur who also founded Informix (sold to IBM for $1 billion), Vantive (now a part of Oracle) and Visigenic. He’s also an investor in IFTT, among other things. Sippl is joining Intuit as part of the deal.

Intuit says that it plans to integrate the Connection Cloud technology with Intuit QuickBase, web database software platform. The idea, says Sippl, will be to attract more SMBs to the platform with the promise that apps will be easy for them to develop, “without the need for expensive developers or complex API programming.”

Indeed, this move underscores a wider trend, which follows the larger one of the consumerization of IT, to make services like cloud computing more accessible to the common person — in this case the average SMB user, who will not be an IT professional per se and will be less likely to have the resources to hire engineers for jobs like these. “The Connection Cloud product is a breakthrough solution that makes it much easier to access and share data in the cloud,” Allison Mnookin, VP and GM Intuit, notes in a blog post. “Through this acquisition, we’ll help solve a huge pain point: building applications that integrate and access data across multiple systems without having to custom code to increasingly fragmented APIs.”

Sippl additionally hints that there will be more on the cards going forward. “The team is excited about what the future holds for us,” he says. “Together we’ll be on the leading edge of cloud computing, offering a platform where resourceful employees can easily create customized SaaS applications that access and share the data in their other business systems to drive productivity.”

There have been a number of other companies emerging that are trying to help take ideas like big data, cloud services and apps and create products that help make them more accessible to users less au fait with IT. Looker, for example, raised $2 million earlier this year from First Round and PivotNorth for their “sequel to SQL” to make business intelligence down to ground level.

And GoDaddy, which also approaches the SME market but from another angle, bought mDot this year to offer those taking domains with GoDaddy an easy way to take those sites to mobile platforms.

Prior to this, Elastic Intelligence had raised $3.4 million in funding from Alsop Louie Partners and

Elastic Intelligence is the developer and marketer of the Connection Cloud, the first and only real-time SQL-based Platform-as-a-Service for connecting to your SaaS data for reporting, BI and application development. The Connection Cloud greatly simplifies access to business information. Using Connection Cloud, business users and application developers can access their data from where it resides, eliminating the need for a data warehouse, or additional IT support. Elastic Intelligence also develops and markets the Data Liberator Toolkit,…

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Intuit Inc. is a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses; financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; consumers and accounting professionals. Its flagship products and services, including QuickBooks™, Quicken™ and TurboTax™, simplify small business management and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. ProSeries™ and Lacerte™ are Intuit’s leading tax preparation offerings for professional accountants. The company’s financial institutions division, anchored by Digital Insight, provides on-demand banking services to help…

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Source: Intuit Buys Elastic Intelligence, Will Use Connection Cloud To Help SMEs Build Apps


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