“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 10/24/2016

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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.

Whew! So much is happening over here at insideBIGDATA, we had to miss last week’s installment of Above the Trend Line, but that just means there are even more happenings to report this week. We’ll start with new industry alignments and partnerships – ODPi, a nonprofit organization accelerating the open ecosystem of big data solutions, announced that solution and application providers DataTorrent, IBM, Pivotal, SAS, Syncsort, WanDisco, and Xaivent have committed to the ODPi Interoperable Compliance Program. This makes it easier for enterprises to choose and adopt big data technologies and ensures these applications are interoperable across a wider range of commercial Apache™ Hadoop® Platforms …  Tegile Systems, a leading provider of flash-driven storage arrays for databases, virtualized server and virtual desktop environments, announced a partnership to run Splunk analytics on Tegile IntelliFlash. Through the integration, businesses of all sizes are able to capture insights from the explosion of machine-generated data (MGD) and Internet of Things (IoT) data by combining Splunk’s operational intelligence platform with Tegile’s unique storage infrastructure, which scales both storage performance and capacity without disruption … Versium, a leading predictive analytics company, unveiled plans to collaborate with Microsoft on the integration of Versium Predict, Versium’s automated predictive analytics solution, into Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales. The integration will allow Dynamics 365 for Sales users to quickly build customized predictive models that score and prioritize leads, enabling sales and marketing to know in advance which consumers and businesses are most likely to purchase their products or services. The integration will also generate new, highly targeted prospect lists from the predictive model to drive campaigns, including email, phone, direct mail and display audiences, with increased customer conversion … Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI), a global technology company that provides innovative products and solutions to power commerce, announced that it is working with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to deliver deeper location-based insights for enhanced customer experiences. IBM selected the world boundaries data from Pitney Bowes to supplement the geospatial capabilities of the IBM Cognos Analytics and IBM Watson Analytics platforms … Linguamatics, a world leader in NLP Text Mining, and Sinequa, a leader in Cognitive Search and Analytics, announced a partnership based on a tight integration between I2E and Sinequa ES. This integration will provide life sciences and healthcare organizations with deeper insights from their ever-increasing volumes of enterprise unstructured textual data content across the entire enterprise … MapR Technologies, Inc., provider of the industry’s only converged data platform, today announced the formation of a Federal Advisory Board to help align U.S. government agencies with next generation technologies that will enable them to immediately harness the power of their big data. Advisors include former government executives from the defense department, intelligence community, and civilian agencies. Members of the MapR Federal Advisory Board were selected for their expertise and insights into the issues impacting IT platform modernization efforts. The objective of the Board is to educate, simplify, and obtain value to the government’s data collection and data analytic stakeholders … Alteryx, a leader in self-service data analytics, takes a step in giving users a leg up in analytical skills by partnering with Udacity, an online educational organization, to launch the Predictive Analytics for Business Nanodegree. The program provides students with the knowledge needed to solve business problems with predictive analytics without requiring the time or resources to take a statistics-heavy degree program. The curriculum also provides students with lessons in hot topics such as problem solving, time series forecasting and data visualization, making them more valuable to their current or prospective employers … Dimension Data has signed a three-year technology partner agreement with UK-based sports management company Madison Sports Group to deliver data and analytics for their Six Day indoor cycling series in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen and Majorca. The first Six Day cycle event takes place from 25 to 30 October at the Lee Valley Velodrome, London. The Six Day Series is an elite indoor track cycling competition featuring some of the world’s best professional riders. Teams of two riders participate in multiple races across a variety of sprint and endurance disciplines. The team that takes the most laps on the rest of the field will lead the general classification … Attivio unveiled an OEM agreement with Dell EMC™ to integrate the Attivio Semantic Data Catalog and the Attivio Data Unification Platform into the new Dell EMC Analytic Insights Module. With this agreement, Attivio provides the engine that enables Dell EMC customers to more easily find and understand the right data to drive more effective analytics. Analytic Insights Module is designed to meet the growing needs of today’s enterprises by combining self-service data analytics with cloud-native application development into a single cloud platform. It empowers organizations to transform data into actionable insights with high business value in weeks rather than months. To accomplish this, Dell EMC created an open platform designed to address the full analytics lifecycle through key components: Data Curator, Data Governor, Data and Analytics Catalog, Personalized Workspaces.

The insideBIGDATA sleuths heard of a number of compelling new solutions, services and solutions starting with London based startup Ai Build  presenting “Daedalus Pavilion”, a 3D printed architectural installation built by robots, as part of the GPU Technology Conference in Amsterdam on Sept. 28 and 29. Ai Build teamed up with Arup Engineers for this project to showcase how the future of construction will be transformed by  robotics and artificial intelligence. Daedalus Pavilion measured 5m wide x 5m deep x 4.5m high, and it consisted of 48 pieces that are 3D printed using  a KUKA industrial robot. All pieces were 3D printed within 3 weeks, using 160 kg of biodegradable filament material supplied by the Dutch  manufacturer, Formfutura. Ai Build made use of NVIDIA GPUs for running a combination of computer vision and deep learning algorithms to  increase the speed and accuracy of large scale 3D printing.

We’re tremendously excited to premiere “Daedalus Pavilion” at our first GTC in Europe,” said Jack Watts, NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Start-up Business Manager for Northern Europe. “This collaboration between Ai Build and Arup is a  strikingly tangible taste of how even established industries like construction will be transformed by artificial intelligence.”

Igneous Systems, a venture-backed startup based in Seattle, announced its first offering, the Igneous Data Service, designed to deliver the value of IT cloud services for data that organizations need to keep within their own data centers. The Igneous Data Service offers true cloud for local data.   It supports the S3 API – an emerging de facto standard for cloud-based object storage, designed for usage by enterprise application developers managing large data sets along with a rich ecosystem of third-party applications.  Also, like the public cloud, the Igneous Data Service offers Zero-Touch Infrastructure™ where customers do not purchase capital equipment or manage the equipment on an ongoing basis.  Igneous handles all monitoring, maintenance, software updates and troubleshooting of on-premises equipment used by the Igneous Data Service … Columnar database analytics company Infobright is announcing the general availability of its Approximate Query (IAQ) solution at the end of Q4 this year. The rise of sensors, machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies has forced companies to find better and faster ways to collect and analyze their data to make smarter business decisions that impact their bottom lines. Traditionally, sampling has been the method of data analysis up until this point, but now proves outdated and provides its own sets of challenges because it doesn’t account for the sheer volumes of data enterprises now have to sift through. Infobright designed IAQ exactly for this new need … Continuum Analytics, the creator and driving force behind Anaconda, a leading Open Data Science platform powered by Python, announced the launch of the AnacondaCrew Partner Program. Following the recent momentum in revenue and Anaconda growth of over three million downloads, this program is focused on enabling partners to leverage the power of Open Data Science technology to accelerate time-to-value for enterprises by empowering modern data science teams. The AnacondaCrew program is designed to drive mutual business growth and financial performance for Technology, Service and OEM partners to take advantage of the fast-growing data science market.

Just surfaced in M&A news, we learned that Sutherland Global Services, one of the world’s leading privately-held BPO firms, has acquired Nuevora, a leading top 10 big data analytics firm.



In people news, we heard that Progress (NASDAQ: PRGS) announced the appointment of Yogesh Gupta as its new chief executive officer. Phil Pead, Progress’ current CEO, is retiring but will continue to serve on the Progress board of directors. Pead has been CEO since December 2012 and has led Progress through its strategic transformation to becoming a global leader in application development, empowering the digital transformation organizations need to create and sustain engaging user experiences in today’s evolving marketplace.

We uncovered some compelling customer wins for big data vendors including Qlik® (NASDAQ: QLIK), a leader in visual analytics, announcing that PSCU, an award-winning and leading provider of financial services and payment solutions to credit unions, has deployed Qlik Sense® to drive greater efficiencies across the service organization. By leveraging Qlik Sense, PSCU is able to aggregate large amounts of operational performance data from various sources such as frontline applications, databases and surveys. That data provides decision makers near real-time information to make tactical, data-driven business decisions that support PSCU’s vision of providing an unparalleled member experience … Solix Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise data management solutions, announced that a Top 10 Forbes Global 2000 bank has selected the Solix Big Data Suite to provide enterprise archiving, data lake and advanced analytics on Apache Hadoop. Banks are embracing big data as an enterprise data management transformation to control data growth, improve infrastructure utilization, and provide the advanced analytics necessary to become data-driven. The Solix Big Data Suite enables this leading bank to capture, manage and analyze critical information such as what services customers are buying and what security and business risks the banks faces such as check or credit fraud … BlueTalon, a leader in Data-Centric Security, announced that Dell EMC™ has chosen BlueTalon to deliver data security and governance for  the newly announced Dell EMC Analytic Insights Module. As part of this collaboration, BlueTalon has also become a Dell EMC Select partner.  Customers deploying Analytic Insights Module gain immediate access to BlueTalon’s award-winning Policy and Audit Engines. Analytic Insights  Module accelerates organizations’ ability to deploy enterprise data lakes by offering a pre-packaged solution. Analytic Insights Module integrates  multiple data stores – Hadoop, NoSQL and RDBMS – along with the tools that simplify end-to-end data governance and data access auditing.  BlueTalon brings unified access controls, security policies, and auditing capabilities that can be applied across these diverse data platforms without impacting data flows, response times, or user experience.

In the financial results category, we learned that – Greenwave Systems, an Internet of Things (IoT) software and managed services leader, announced a host of milestones and revenue highlights, affirming its global leadership in the connected technology space. By collaborating with impressive partners, the company has integrated its award-winning AXON Platform® into millions of advanced networks and connected devices. Other notable accomplishments include the launch of compelling new capabilities, strategic acquisitions that further enhance its technology and distinguished industry awards that have followed the company’s $60M funding round earlier this year, cementing Greenwave’s position as a global IoT and managed services platform forerunner. Greenwave’s recent acquisition of Predixion Software has bolstered the AXON Platform with real-time visual data analytics that deliver a more intelligent IoT experience. This new technology provides customers with the ability to uncover and take action on data insights from nearly 8 million households and 4 million mobile devices deployed with the AXON Platform worldwide … MapR Technologies, Inc., provider of the Converged Data Platform, announced that HelloFresh, a global subscription-based fresh meal delivery business, is using MapR to carry out deeper data analysis with greater scale and flexibility. The MapR Converged Data Platform enables HelloFresh to leverage weekly subscriber touch points, consistently manage supply chains and demand, and optimize customer experience as well as business operations.

A number of members of the big data ecosystem communicated with us regarding their views of important trends in the industry, specifically AI. For example,  Kerry Liu, CEO of Rubikloud, believes that AI presents a unique opportunity for economic growth across the US. The jobs that it will create and enhance, as well as the purchasing decisions that it inspires, will help improve commerce within the US:

Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming a necessity in personalized commerce. Major retailers are incorporating machine learning technology to create tailored offerings that reach consumers at every touch point, and their competitors are quickly following suit. Consumers are highly incentivised by products, offers, and content that is personalized to their needs. As AI enhances personalization and the customer experience, we can expect to see an uptick in purchasing across industries, impacting purchase intent and, in turn, company revenue. However, we can also see increased downward pressure on retailers who maintain traditional promotion methods. Though many are worried about the impact of machine learning on jobs, I believe that this technology is most effectively used to enhance human interactions, not replace them. The human experience and consciousness is something that can’t be executed exclusively by a robot or smart machine. Data scientists, for example, will be crucial to the execution of AI and machine learning technology. This will create a shift in the types of jobs and level of expertise required across industries. I think that artificial intelligence will fuel economic growth by increasing the number of jobs in industries that touch AI and by enhancing purchasing experiences to spur greater buying opportunities. Artificial intelligence has a lot of potential and I believe that as long as we direct that potential into an effective commerce system, while still keeping the human element alive, the U.S. economy will experience exponential growth.”

And finally, our Vendor of the Week is MapD, a leader in graphics processing unit (GPU) powered analytics for the enterprise, reporting that In-Q-Tel, Inc. (IQT), the non-profit strategic investor that identifies innovative technology for the U.S. Intelligence Community, participated in the company’s Series A round. IQT joins previously announced investors GV (formerly Google Ventures), Nvidia, Vanedge Capital, and Verizon Wireless. Under the terms of the agreement, MapD and IQT will collaborate on the acceleration of certain features of MapD’s GPU-powered database and visualization platform. MapD’s software is purpose built for the parallel processing power of GPUs and delivers speedups of 75 to 1,000 times over traditional databases. By leveraging the rendering capabilities of the graphics processor, MapD can also visualize billions of rows of data in milliseconds, orders of magnitude faster than the current state of the art.


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