“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 12/5/2016

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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.

This week set a record in terms of pure volume of big data industry buzz! There’s so much happening, but we’re committed to keeping pace for our readers. Let’s start with the growing number of new partnerships, alignments and integrations — Denodo, a leader in data virtualization, announced that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has tested and validated the Denodo Platform for integration with HPE Vertica, the advanced SQL database analytics platform. The integration of Denodo’s platform will enable customers to integrate HPE Vertica with the Denodo Platform as either a data source or a high-performance cache, with maximum interoperability and performance. Additionally, customers will be able to build a logical data warehouse architecture, which was identified by Gartner as a best practice … iguazio revealed that it is collaborating with Equinix (Nasdaq: EQIX) to power the Equinix Data Hub, enabling a critical advantage for the Internet of Things (IoT) and enterprise applications. iguazio delivers secure, compliant and efficient access to business-critical data wherever users are located. Enterprises using iguazio’s secure Enterprise Data Cloud platforms now have the flexibility to run applications either on-premises; hosted at the Equinix Data Hub; or in a public cloud such as AWS. iguazio’s Enterprise Data Cloud platforms offload critical data and analytics processing through a variety of APIs, eliminating redundant network communication to provide its advanced hybrid cloud model. The platform also accelerates analytics processing for real-time insights, while maintaining strict security and governance requirements …

VoltDB, the database purpose-built for fast data applications, announced it has partnered with Confluent and completed development and certification of its Sink Connector for Confluent Open Source, based on Apache KafkaTM, utilizing Kafka’s Connect API. VoltDB’s Sink Connector ingests data from Apache Kafka topics and streams it into VoltDB for real-time analytics and action on the data, enabling organizations to derive value from both real-time data and long-term big data architectures. By ingesting real-time data streams from Apache Kafka and providing a means for analysis and action on incoming data, VoltDB enables applications to make smart decisions with millisecond response times and full consistency to increase high-value interactions with customers. As a Confluent Partner Program member, VoltDB provides its customers who use Apache Kafka and Confluent to develop robust data connectivity based on Kafka’s Connect API, easily build stream processing applications with the streams API in Kafka, and promote solutions to customers worldwide … ScaleArc, a leading provider of database load balancing software, announced today that it has made its software compatible with Amazon Aurora. Customers of Amazon Aurora can now benefit from the seamless failover, faster application performance, and other capabilities of the ScaleArc software. With this update, customers can enhance the performance and availability of their critical applications. ScaleArc’s database load balancing software deploys between application and Amazon Aurora database servers to direct traffic into the database on behalf of the application. ScaleArc has now engineered its software to work with Amazon Aurora, a MySQL-compatible relational database engine that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. The ScaleArc software leverages Amazon Aurora’s application programming interfaces (APIs) to apply ScaleArc’s functionality to Amazon Aurora’s environment …

We heard of some new products, solutions and services starting with Dataguise, a technology leader in secure business execution, announcing that the Dataguise DgSecure® solution for global sensitive data governance now supports sensitive data discovery on Amazon Redshift and Amazon RDS, as well as Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). DgSecure helps data-driven enterprises move to the cloud with confidence by detecting, protecting, auditing, and monitoring sensitive information (e.g., PII, PHI, PCI data) across on-premises and cloud-based environments. With DgSecure, users organization-wide can tap into the data processing power and efficiencies of the AWS cloud to maximize the business value of their information while maintaining total ownership of all known and unknown sensitive data … Databricks, the company founded by the creators of the Apache® Spark™ project, announced it offers a fully Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant Apache Spark, cloud-based platform. After successfully completing an audit with an independent CPA firm, the Databricks platform is compliant with HIPAA security and breach notification rules with comprehensive technical safeguards covering access, encryption, auditing, and many other stringent controls. HIPAA is a national standard established to protect individuals’ medical records and health information. Traditionally, the healthcare, pharma, and government industries face stringent data security requirements, such as Protected Health Information (PHI), which has complicated cloud adoption. With HIPAA-compliance, Databricks’ fully managed Spark platform enables healthcare and government organizations to perform analytics and build production applications with Apache Spark, while satisfying necessary regulatory requirements.

The M&A category had some action this week with Syncsort announcing it will buy Trillium Software from Harte Hanks (HHS: NYSE). The acquisition ($112mm) will be the largest in Syncsort’s history. Trillium’s data quality solutions, a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the 11th straight year, and Syncsort’s data integration technology will let enterprises harness all their data by applying high-performance and scalable data movement, transformation, profiling and quality across traditional data management tech stacks and emerging Hadoop and cloud environments. Core data integration and data quality workloads are moving into Hadoop at a rapid pace, and this acquisition will extend Syncsort’s capabilities in combining traditional corporate data with new information sources from mobile, online, social and Internet of Things (“IoT”).

In new customer wins news, we’ll start with – Qlik®, a leader in visual analytics, revealed that RO-RA Aviation Systems GmbH, a supplier to the aerospace industry, is using Qlik Sense® to help its suppliers gain key insights into their company data. With Qlik Sense, RO-RA will be using analytics to visualize weekly and monthly stock trends. Instead of showing data on multiple reports as was done with the old system, the company now has all the data in one consolidated view. Qlik Sense was recommended to the aviation company by Qlik Elite Solution Partner Data GmbH, which demonstrated how Qlik can be easily implemented and leveraged by a range of end-users. What surprised RO-RA was how quickly the individual solutions could be created and used productively. Even after a short initial period of use, RO-RA is seeing the benefit of Qlik Sense – the company already has much better data transparency and has also seen an increase in sales due to the ability to make clearer business decisions … Datawatch Corporation (NASDAQ-CM: DWCH) announced that Earthlite®, the world’s No. 1 brand for massage tables and supplies, is using Datawatch Monarch to make accounts receivable analysis and reporting easier, faster and more efficient. Using Datawatch’s self-service data preparation platform, Earthlite has reduced the team responsible for collections analysis from three employees to one – saving the company approximately 200 hours per year.

In the special designations department we have Datorama, a global marketing analytics innovator, announced that it has been designated a Deloitte Israel Fast 50 Rising Star. The Rising Star ranking is based on 2014 and 2015 revenue growth rates, in which Datorama achieved an impressive 211 percent figure. This follows Datorama being named a 2015 Rising Star recipient with a two-year revenue growth rate of 694 percent for 2013 and 2014 … Natero announced that the company is included in Gartner’s Hype Cycle for CRM Sales, 2016 and in Gartner’s CRM Vendor Guide, 2016 in the Customer Success Management categories. This is the inaugural entry for Customer Success Management in the Hype Cycle for CRM Sales. Natero, launched in 2015, is the only Customer Success Management solution on the market today that truly merges machine learning with big data analytics, putting its customers on the leading edge of business transformation.

We learned of a number of people movements in the past week starting with Datawatch Corporation (NASDAQ-CM: DWCH) announcing that Ken Tacelli has been appointed chief operating officer. Reporting to CEO Michael Morrison, Tacelli is responsible for global sales and marketing, and aligning each discipline with corporate initiatives for 2017 and beyond. Tacelli joined Datawatch in May 2016 and was previously the senior vice president of worldwide sales. In addition to his global sales responsibilities, Tacelli is now also spearheading marketing efforts to properly position Datawatch in the analytics market, expand awareness and generate leads for the company’s market-leading data preparation solutions … Couchbase, a leader in database solutions for the Digital Economy, announced today the appointment of Greg Henry as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Henry brings more than 20 years of experience leading global growth and financial operations within the technology industry, including time at General Electric (NYSE: GE), Ernst & Young LLP, and most recently, ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) … Qumulo, a leader in data-aware scale-out NAS, announced the appointment of EMC Isilon veteran Bill Richter as chief executive officer. The announcement extends an impressive leadership team, which includes storage and business experts from Amazon Web Services, CA, Dell, EMC, Google and Microsoft, and follows last month’s appointment of Eric Scollard as vice president of worldwide sales. Qumulo’s leadership was always designed to drive an upward trajectory of growth, disruption, innovation and customer momentum, and the recent executive news sets the stage for what’s ahead …

And finally, our Vendor of the Week is Amazon for leading-edge announcements at its recent re:Invent conference. We received a number of commentaries about the big Amazon AI announcement this past week. Here is a sampling of the sentiment we’re hearing:

Amazon’s announced advances in AI demonstrate yet another example of the value businesses are putting on the power of machine-learning. Abilities like natural language processing (NLP) which power chatbots like Alexa, are markers of an industry-wide race to better serve customers through AI. When used in a retail context, AI automates assistance on the front lines of customer service, saving human agents for higher stake scenarios, such as for retention and up-selling purposes. These advances are not only applauded by businesses, but also by customers. according to [24]7’s new customer experience study, which surveyed 1,000 US consumers, two in five consumers are open to interacting with a chatbot in a retail scenario, and nearly one-third of them (28.9%) prefer it over the phone or email. This level of adoption points to a profitable opportunity for retailers as they consider future CX investments.” – Scott Horn, CMO of [24]7.

Incorporating AI into your cloud platform is no longer a suggestion, it’s a necessity if retailers want to stay competitive. With this recent announcement of Amazon AI, I think we’ll see even greater pressure on retailers to adopt this new tech and deviate away from traditional promotion methods. Not only is Amazon leading the way in the Cloud Wars, but they’re also the leader in web sales, with an estimated 40 percent of holiday weekend web sales coming from the online marketplace.” – Kerry Liu, CEO of Rubikloud.

Amazon also announced Athena, a serverless query service that makes it easy to analyze data stored in Amazon S3 using Standard SQL. Bob Muglia, former VP at Microsoft and current CEO of cloud data warehouse company, Snowflake Computing, has offered some of his own perspective on this news:

The announcement of AWS Athena provides further validation that the demand for data processing in the cloud has been exploding. In fact, data processing and analytics has become one of the most important workloads in the cloud.” said Bob Muglia, CEO of Snowflake Computing. “Customers are demanding fast, flexible, and easy ways to store, access and analyze data in the cloud to drive business results. Even as the number of data processing options in the cloud proliferate, the need for a true data warehouse has grown exponentially. To help customers avoid a complex proliferation of technologies and silos, Snowflake delivers a compelling, unified data warehousing platform built for the cloud that allows organizations to bring together their data in a single solution capable of supporting all of their data, users, and applications.” – Bob Muglia, CEO, Snowflake Computing.


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