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“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 10/3/2016

Above the Trend Line: machine learning industry rumor central, is a recurring feature of insideBIGDATA. In this column, we present a variety of short time-critical news items such as people movements, funding news, financial results, industry alignments, rumors and general scuttlebutt floating around the big data, data science and machine learning industries including behind-the-scenes anecdotes and curious buzz. Our intent is to provide our readers a one-stop source of late-breaking news to help keep you abreast of this fast-paced ecosystem. We’re working hard on your behalf with our extensive vendor network to give you all the latest happenings. Heard of something yourself? Tell us! Just e-mail me at: daniel@insidebigdata.com.  Be sure to Tweet Above the Trend Line articles using the hashtag: #abovethetrendline.

Let’s start this week’s roundup with all the new product releases, services, and solutions beginning with Realm, the mobile database powering the world’s most responsive applications, today announced the Realm Mobile Platform, a giant step forward for any organization that must build highly responsive mobile apps that deliver unmatched user experiences. The Realm Mobile Platform, which is available immediately, combines the Realm Mobile Database, the most popular mobile third party database in the world, and the new Realm Object Server to deliver live data synchronization between users. As a result, any company in any industry can now build mobile apps that offer real time features like messaging and collaboration that were previously only possible for organizations with virtually unlimited IT and developer resources. The Realm Mobile Database, originally launched in 2014, is used by hundreds of thousands of developers and with over one billion user installs, is a leading third-party mobile database … Pyramid Analytics, the next-generation business analytics platform for the enterprise, announced new functionality in BI Office that delivers streamlined and governed access to all data sources in the SAP system, including SAP HANA and SAP BW. Using an SAP®-certified connector, customers can unify their SAP data with other critical enterprise data sources within BI Office, empowering both executives and business users to make more informed, data-driven decisions … Tata Consultancy Services (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, unvealed new software that enables retailers to leverage insightful data either from in-store sensors or other Internet of Things (IoT) devices to deepen relationships with customers through more personalized customer engagement strategies. Available from TCS’ Digital Software & Solutions Group, ‘TCS Customer Intelligence & Insights for Retail’ helps established retailers compete more effectively for the loyalty of today’s connected and increasingly empowered and demanding consumers. It is designed to counter the bombardment of today’s consumers with random, irrelevant and untimely offers, which occur when retailers lack granular insights about individual customer preferences or can’t capitalize on real life situations, such as in-store shopping … Striim, provider of an end-to-end, real-time data integration + streaming analytics platform, announced their collaboration with Google Cloud Platform, and seamless integration between the Striim platform and Google BigQuery, Google’s fully managed, petabyte scale, low-cost analytics data warehouse. This integration helps companies seeking to move toward a hybrid cloud infrastructure to easily move large volumes of enterprise data to Google Cloud Platform. Google BigQuery is a powerful Big Data analytics platform used by all types of organizations, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. With BigQuery, companies can store large amounts of data (transactional, IoT, application logs, batch, streaming, etc.) and quickly perform ad hoc queries to produce fast results and provide analytics on petabyte-scale data sets. With Striim’s support for Google BigQuery, users can now ingest and process data from virtually any data source – including transactional data from enterprise databases such as Oracle, MS SQL Server and MySQL – and deliver that data in near real time into their BigQuery environment … The Qt Company, which provides a cross-platform framework for companies to write their applications only once, yet run them anywhere and on any device, introduced the Qt Lite Project, a major expansion of its framework that makes software and device development faster, easier and more lightweight than ever before. Built into Qt’s existing framework, Qt Lite contains a wide range of enhancements that enable developers to streamline the creation and delivery of software and devices for all relevant platforms and any thing – regardless of its size. Qt’s technology is currently in use by millions of developers across the world and eight of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies … State Street Corporation (NYSE:STT) announced the launch of State Street MediaStats, quantitative investment insights derived from digital media and other large consumer data sets. The new solution collects unstructured data from more than 30,000 curated sources as well as other “Big Data” sources to quantify leading indicators of market behavior with respect to price and risk. Company-level insights can be aggregated to understand broader industry and macroeconomic trends … With updates to its Sailfish platform, Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) is leading commercial and government organizations to learn more from their data and to spur business and mission success. For the first time, users can try their own hand at analytics by accessing Booz Allen Hamilton’s Sailfish trial that is fully available to the public. Through work at the highest levels of the federal government, military, and dozens of Fortune 500 companies, Booz Allen’s team of 600+ data scientists have developed algorithms to improve vehicle safety, increase access to vaccines, and combat human trafficking. This experience has been applied to the Sailfish solution, first introduced in January 2016, to deliver a number of improvements including: Easy Analytics for Beginners and Experts, Access to Open Data Sets in a Collaborative Environment, and More Powerful Analytics Modules … Hortonworks, Inc.® (NASDAQ: HDP) announced updates to the Microsoft Azure HDInsight Hadoop Cloud solution. As part of its collaboration with Microsoft, these updates will allow customers to achieve big data query speeds that approach data warehousing performance, provide a highly secure Hadoop solution in the cloud, and allow for an easier experience for administrators to spin up third party ISV applications. HDInsight in Azure has emerged as a leading option for today’s modern organizations as they embrace a cloud-first approach to Big Data workloads. Customers have already experienced key benefits, as they take advantage of flexible connected data architectures to deliver real-time insights and positive business outcomes … Organizations can now tap into impactful predictive analytics on employee turnover with ADP’s Turnover Probability powered by the ADP® DataCloud which helps employers detect employees most likely to leave so they could take preemptive action. ADP’s new predictive model is built into ADP’s human capital management (HCM) offerings and uses ADP’s Big Data to enable companies to more accurately identify the likelihood of future voluntary turnover. By helping to identify those employees most at risk of leaving, the model helps eliminate the guesswork from identifying likely hotspots of attrition within an organization, and mitigates the business risk of losing valued employees in key jobs, departments and locations …

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New VC funding for the big data space continues at a rapid pace starting with Kinetica, provider of the fastest, in-memory database accelerated by GPUs, announcing it added $6 million in acceleration financing. Funds raised total $13 million­, which is fueling the company’s entry into the commercial space after 6 years of development and selling to the government sector. Ray Lane, Managing Partner of GreatPoint Ventures and former Oracle President and Managing Partner of KPCB, is the company’s primary backer who funded $7 million in April 2016.  Kinetica also expanded its management team, bringing top talent from big data leaders Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR and Platfora to drive growth. Kinetica, formerly GPUdb, was built from the ground up initially for the US Army Intelligence and Security Command to track terrorist and other national security threats in real time, producing instant results while visualizing insights across more than 200 sources of streaming datasets. With the growth of data from IoT, transactions and other sources, business users are running up against similar computational bottlenecks amidst the challenge of streaming and analyzing data in truly real time … Bonsai announced its $6M Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates along with the formal introduction of the Bonsai Private Beta Program. Founded in 2014 on the premise that intelligence should be a core component of every hardware and software application, this new funding will go toward continued investments in both its technology and team. In conjunction with the funding, both Harry Weller and Forest Baskett from NEA have been added to Bonsai’s board of directors. On the product front, with the introduction of the private beta program, the company is now actively onboarding qualified early access partners to use the Bonsai Artificial Intelligence Engine to teach, connect, and use AI models in their applications … Codefresh, the end-to-end Docker and other container lifecycle management platform, revealed it has raised $7 million in funding. The investment was led by Carmel Ventures and included Hillsven Capital, Streamlined Ventures and UpWest Labs. This new round will allow Codefresh to extend its leadership in the container-based development market. Codefresh is at the forefront of bringing Docker and other containers to the enterprise with a CI/CD platform built for Docker from the ground-up.

On the financial results front, we found out that Infer Inc., a leading provider of predictive technologies that help companies win more customers, announced significant growth across the business, including doubling its customer base year-over-year and increasing average deal size (ACV) by 50 percent in its most recent quarter. In addition, the company announced a 41 percent increase in bookings quarter-over-quarter, marking the highest bookings achieved to date in the company’s history. This continued expansion underscores the accelerating market demand for artificial intelligence and for Infer’s solutions, as well as the consistent success Infer customers experience from infusing predictive into their own growth strategies across sales and marketing.

In the special designations category we learned that RippleNami, Inc., a provider of a map-based data visualization platform accessed via the cloud, revealed that it has been selected to participate in the fall 2016 Capital Innovators program, one of the top 10 seed startup accelerator programs in the U.S. Capital Innovators provides startups with the resources and connections needed to get to the next level. As one of only six companies selected from hundreds of applications submitted, RippleNami will initially receive a capital investment from St. Louis-based Capital Innovators, along with mentorship from a seasoned pool of knowledgeable experts, access to educational and social events and the opportunity to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalist firms at the end of the program.

We learned of some significant people shuffling around the industry including Infoworks.io Inc., a pioneer of modern data warehousing on Hadoop, announced two key additions to its go-to-market team. Grant Bodley joins as vice president of global sales, and Jeff Monk joins as director of sales. Mr. Bodley is a proven strategic sales leader with over 25 years of experience at some of the world’s most innovative companies, from high-growth startups to global industry leaders. He joins Infoworks from Hortonworks (NASDAQ: HDP) where, as general manager, he led the exponential growth of Hadoop adoption. Prior to Hortonworks, Mr. Bodley was vice president, Strategic Customer Program at SAP, where he led a team responsible for SAP’s strategic enterprise accounts. Mr. Monk has over 18 years of experience in data warehousing and analytics sales at companies such as IBM (Netezza), Teradata, SAS, Hyperion, and Cognos. He brings a breadth of knowledge in helping enterprise customers leverage data warehousing for business insight.

In the new partnership and alignment department, we found out that Symphony EYC, a leading provider of software and services for retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, has partnered with 1010data, the big data technology company offering the only unified platform that combines self-service data management and analytics at scale with ready-to-use data. This partnership gives supermarkets and CPGs the ability to seamlessly and rapidly integrate multiple data sources, enabling smart, simple-to-use and flexible predictive analytical tools, resulting in increased value generation across omni-channel, hyper-personalized CRM, category and vendor management … DST (NYSE: DST), a leading global technology, strategic advisory, and operations outsourcing company and Frost Data Capital (“Frost”), a combined incubator and venture capital firm, announced a strategic alliance to accelerate innovation and advance big data analysis for healthcare businesses. Under this new alliance, DST and Frost will use their combined expertise, funding and resources to turn transformative ideas into startup companies focused on value-based care. DST and Frost are targeting the creation of two to four startup companies over the next twelve months.

There was some BIG news this week on the M&A front with SAP officially announcing its completed acquisition of Altiscale, which provides a high-performance, scalable Big Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS) solution that uniquely includes full operational services. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Altiscale has been named a leading provider of BDaaS by Forrester Research. Altiscale will operate as a focused and integrated BDaaS offering from SAP to help accelerate and operationalize Big Data deployment in the enterprise.

We also had an IPO in the enterprise storage space, with Nutanix Inc. debut closing 130% above the issue price Friday, marking the biggest first-day pop after a technology company’s initial public offering since 2014. Nutanix stands out as a leader in the hyperconvergence field, which consolidates storage and servers for enterprises. Peter Godman, co-founder and CEO of Qumulo, regarding Nutanix’s IPO today gave us a statement on the IPO:

The IPO tech market is turning the corner and there is definitely a shift to fresher and newer storage offerings vs. old guard, inflexible and repackaged solutions. This is total validation that the market wants and needs better storage alternatives. Qumulo sees this with new customers routinely and we expect to see a lot more disruption in enterprise storage.”

We also learned of some principal business strategy coming from SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) that announced investment plans of €2 billion over five years to help business and government entities benefit from the proliferation of sensors, smart devices and Big Data that is transforming business with the Internet of Things (IoT). SAP plans to accelerate innovation in its IoT solution portfolio, increase sales and marketing, scale service, support and co-innovation, and grow its ecosystem of partners and startups in the IoT market, which is estimated to reach €250 billion by 2020.

And finally, our Vendor of the Week is Salesforce that just introduced its AI solution Einstein that works to remove the complexity of AI, enabling any company to deliver smarter, personalized and more predictive customer experiences. Salesforce Einstein is a set of best-in-class platform services that bring advanced AI capabilities into the core of the Customer Success Platform, making Salesforce the world’s smartest CRM. Shawn Belling, VP of product development at CloudCraze, has this to say about this new AI offering:

When it comes to commerce, AI through Salesforce Einstein will give organizations greater insight into customers – for example, leveraging big data to identify when customers are most likely to buy. Even better, AI will enable businesses to forecast purchasing trends and inform their ability to target commerce promotions, streamline subscriptions, and more. Ultimately, Einstein will help Salesforce users extend their personalization efforts and predict market demands within a single platform that will enable a better experience for their customers.”

 

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