INTERVIEW: Jack Norris, Chief Marketing Officer, MapR Technologies

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MapR Logo - New 2014_FEATUREMapR is a major player in the Hadoop distribution marketplace that seems to be growing in leaps and bounds. I caught up with CMO Jack Norris to get his perspectives on the Hadoop ecosystem. In the interview below Jack talks candidly about MapR’s recent round of funding and how the company is priming itself for an IPO. Read on for more important insights from MapR!

insideBIGDATA: MapR was widely publicized as having recently received a significant new round of funding led by Google Capital. What does this funding mean to your company’s future in the Hadoop ecosystem?

Jack Norris: Google Capital leading our $110M financing round is a testament to the technology advantages of the MapR Distribution including Hadoop, and how it enables the success of our customers. MapR helps companies around the world deploy Hadoop rapidly and reliably, and generate immediate business benefits.

With this additional funding, MapR will further accelerate in this high growth market with investments in go-to-market, engineering, and general administrative areas. MapR is the recognized technology leader and additional engineering resources will further expand our market and technical lead. General and administrative areas are growing modestly to support MapR’s drive towards IPO-readiness.

insideBIGDATA: Can you say anything about any recent wins in the marketplace, partnerships, or successful use cases that MapR is particularly proud of?

Jack Norris: MapR recently shared details about our rapid growth which continues to more than double. The demand for our enterprise-grade Hadoop technology extends across industries, and in seven of the top 10 industries we have at least one customer that has purchased more than a million dollars of MapR product.

Large and fast growing companies around the world have chosen MapR based on the strength of our technology and breadth of our Hadoop offering to increase revenue growth, reduce costs and mitigate risk. One enterprise customer has generated more than one billion dollars of incremental revenue from the use of MapR technology. MapR has expanded operations to ten countries outside of North America.

insideBIGDATA: In the very competitive Hadoop market, how does MapR differentiate itself? How does MapR shine over the other distributions?

Jack Norris: The MapR Distribution combines open source software with MapR-developed intellectual property resulting in a differentiated Hadoop distribution that supports the broadest range of use cases from analytics to operational to business-critical applications.

MapR makes systems easy to manage and use and eliminates the complexity of Hadoop. This solves the problem of skill shortage in this fast growing area.  Those new to Hadoop will find MapR the fastest pathway to learn Hadoop. Experts will find it dramatically easier to manage complexity and provision Hadoop. Some examples include:

  • MapR allows users to use NFS to get data in and out of the cluster and make it radically easier to do real-time analytics with a dynamic, read/write storage infrastructure.
  • MapR makes Hadoop dependable for mission critical use, making possible broader business use of big data analytics for competitive advantage.  MapR is the first and only company to bring features such as Snapshots with point-in-time-recovery to Hadoop and mirroring for business continuity.
  • MapR speeds up analysis by 2X to 5X, enabling even more creative uses of big data analytics
  • MapR cuts the cost of Hadoop infrastructure making it more affordable to more businesses

insideBIGDATA: Have you identified any specific industries that tend to benefit from MapR products?

Jack Norris: In today’s competitive environment, companies across every industry are faced with the challenge of processing, storing and analyzing rapidly growing data. With the MapR Distribution for Hadoop, they have an advanced, reliable, secure and scalable architecture that can run their business-critical applications and help them gain a competitive advantage in their industry.

MapR is used today by leading Global 2000 and Web 2.0 companies across industries including advertising, media and entertainment, financial services, government, healthcare, internet, manufacturing, oil and gas, retail, and telecommunications. MapR customers receive rapid business results and 80% of customers expand the MapR cluster within the first year with the majority expanding within the first six months. There are many potential uses and applications with MapR and many of our customers are running multiple applications.

insideBIGDATA: Give us a brief history of MapR and its future directions.

Jack Norris: MapR was founded in 2009 with the aim of applying engineering innovation so that more businesses could benefit from the power of big data.  The MapR Distribution combines over a dozen open source packages including Apache Mahout, Hive, Pig, ZooKeeper and others.

MapR believes open-source software (OSS) is important as well as our patented technology. MapR invests heavily in participation and contribution to OSS, furthering the viral adoption of Hadoop and we’re on the same OSS technology wave of innovation.

One of the reasons Hadoop is rapidly gaining in popularity is that we’ve transformed it from being limited to batch, to support real-time analysis. MapR has also expanded the supported programming and data access interfaces. MapR added a POSIX-compliant storage layer, along with the ability to access Hadoop using file-based interfaces.

We continue to invest heavily in our technology and in-Hadoop database to support real-time operational analytics so customers can impact business as it happens. MapR also continues to invest in engineering resources for data agility by decreasing time to value from data, including investing heavily in open source projects such as Apache Drill. Apache Drill is the only interactive SQL project that is architected for both centrally structured and self-describing data.


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