“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 2/6/2017

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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.

Due to a tight editorial calendar, we had to skip last week’s edition of “Above the Trend Line” so we’ll just have to double up this week. There’s much going on! Let’s start off with new products, services and solutions … Looker launched support for Amazon Athena – the new interactive query service for data in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) that AWS unveiled at its re:Invent conference in November. The Looker connection to Amazon Athena is available immediately. Because Looker’s unique platform design is built to leverage modern data architectures, it can scale effortlessly – even to massive scale – by taking advantage of the newest database technologies. By using Looker with Athena, businesses can now leverage the power and speed of AWS’s newest query engine to easily explore vast amounts of data stored in Amazon S3 … Hazelcast, a leading open source in-memory data grid (IMDG) with hundreds of thousands of installed clusters and over 17 million server starts per month, announced that Hazelcast is now available as a Tile on Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF). Hazelcast for PCF 1.2 is an on-demand service broker that dynamically creates and scales Hazelcast clusters without pre-provisioning blocks of VMs (virtual machines). The Tile integrates with Cloud Foundry to provide a frictionless user experience, requiring no PCF operator intervention … MDCPartners launched ta-Scan 5, an update of its global web-based platform that analyzes clinical trial data. The new platform is set to revolutionize the way pharmaceutical researchers plan for the future, by providing unrivaled insights that will help inform future business decisions. The new ta-Scan 5 is the first software of its kind to allow pharmaceutical companies to analyze clinical data from multiple global public sources. It has been designed to bring more real-world data into analytical scenarios, and its patented Trial Cloud® is dedicated to consolidating public and private data sources. The software will allow companies to go into more detail on clinical trial research than ever before, with access to over 250,000 clinical trials and 7 million scientific and clinical experts. This will provide unique insights on specific compounds, research institutes, clinical centers, patient populations, key investigators and competitor analysis to help strategic decision making … Cluvio, a modern SaaS analytics platform based on SQL and R, is launching a new pricing scheme. The updated pricing includes the new Cluvio Free plan which is unique within the industry and allows companies to use their advanced analytics platform on their business data completely for free, forever.

In the new partnerships, alignments and collaborations category we’ll start with Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI), a global technology company that provides innovative products and solutions to power commerce, announcing that it has entered a partnership with Cloudera to deploy geospatial processing and data quality solutions to end users on top of Cloudera Enterprise. Clients will now have access to powerful location-based technology to enrich their Big Data investments. Data is everything, especially in a world where consumers interact with businesses both physically and digitally. However, traditional data processing relies on hardware and on-premise deployment, which can result in tedious and costly data analysis. Cloudera has eliminated the challenges that often come with traditional infrastructures by providing a fast, easy to deploy, and secure data management and analytics platform … Greenwave Systems, Inc., a global managed services and Internet of Things (IoT) software leader, and GAME GOLF, provider of the first wearable golf game tracker, will partner to provide the most advanced smart sports platform. With Greenwave’s award-winning AXON Platform®, GAME GOLF users can reach new heights in performance. The scalable, carrier-grade software will further enhance access and management of golfers’ data, highlighting actionable insights for improving their game. GAME GOLF will continue to provide real-time data; while this partnership will enable the company to address markets beyond golf. It will further enhance digital sports metrics and enable seamless interoperability between connected devices. This collaboration uncovers a new realm of opportunities for IoT to enhance, not only golf, but a variety of recreational activities … Sopra Steria, a European leader in digital transformation, announced that it has become a SAS Managed Analytic Services Provider (MASP). The deal – the largest agreement of its kind in the United Kingdom – will enable Sopra Steria to offer high end analytic capabilities to new entrant banks at a cost-effective price point. The new cloud-based banking analytic capabilities will form a part of Sopra Steria’s Modular Digital Banking solution. New entrants joining the banking market need to have a deep understanding of their customer base – to achieve this, access to high quality and flexible analytic solutions is essential. Sopra Steria’s new offering will provide these banks with business specific analytic solutions on-demand that will support and develop in line with their business growth.

We also learned of some compelling customer wins including Accenture (NYSE: ACN) that has helped the Seattle Police Department (SPD) build and deploy a new data analytics platform that provides the Department with reliable and rapidly accessible data to meet its management and governance objectives and support insight-led policing. By enabling the Department to consolidate, prepare and analyze critical data relating to a wide variety of operational matters — including police calls and incidents, interactions with the public, use-of-force incidents, administrative processes, officer training and workforce management — the new data analytics platform provides the Department with enhanced reporting capabilities and insights into its day-to-day operations and investigations. Among these new capabilities is a system of alerts that enables the SPD to make data-driven decisions based on analytics insights and informs leadership of incidents and cases of complaints that are outside established parameters and might require further inquiry — thereby enabling the Department to improve leadership monitoring and oversight of policing activities and administrative processes … C3 IoT™ announced that it has been selected by Con Edison and Orange & Rockland (O&R) Utilities, both regulated operating companies of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE: ED), to provide the enterprise analytics foundation for the companies’ digital transformation initiative. By standardizing on the C3 IoT Platform™, Con Edison and O&R will unlock business insight from the vast data across its enterprise to reduce operating costs, ensure the optimal deployment and operational health of 5 million smart meters, and develop new products and services for improved customer engagement … Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization and Gfi Informatique, a major vendor of value-added IT services and software, announced a Proof of Concept for the City of Belfort, France using big data analytics to optimize urban bus transportation. The solution is a collaboration between the city’s Board of Public Transportation, Gfi Informatique and TCS. It will support Belfort’s smart city strategy, which aims to help local authorities deploy digital transformation projects. This innovative smart city initiative is a result of a joint investment by Gfi Informatique and TCS Digital Software & Solutions Group. The companies are deploying TCS’ Intelligent Urban Exchange software to help city administrators and public transportation planners make more informed decisions through insights from historical and real time data. The companies have worked with the city to enhance the capture and treatment of large amounts of information using big data analytics solutions designed specifically to help public sector customers, with the overall goal that this proof of concept will lead to larger scale digital innovation across the city.

Several big data companies revealed recent financial results starting with Zaloni, the data lake company, had a strong 2016, tripling the number of new product customers and GAAP product revenue as compared to 2015. Zaloni attributes a portion of this remarkable growth to the market’s readiness to embrace production data lakes, particularly in financial services, telecommunications and healthcare, including compliance, fraud prevention, Customer 360, and advanced analytics – all of which require Zaloni’s data management products and services for successful implementation. Zaloni Bedrock Data Lake Management Platform was recently selected by a Fortune 50 enterprise to enable big data solutions for advanced analytics. The company signed a three-year multi-million dollar software contract as a first step in building out their vision of a consolidated enterprise-wide data lake platform. This deal is indicative of overall growing enterprise demand for a more strategic, streamlined and transparent way to manage the enterprise data lake … GridGain Systems, provider of enterprise-grade in-memory computing platform solutions based on Apache® Ignite™, highlighted its continuing strong momentum and industry leadership in the second half of 2016. Key achievements include maintaining triple-digit annual sales growth, releasing two major product updates, being named to the 2016 Red Herring Top 100 Global list, completing its oversubscribed Series B funding round, and announcing the first ever In-Memory Computing Summit in Europe … AtScale, the company providing enterprises with a fast and secure self-service BI platform for Big Data, announced record results for 2016, successfully closing its second year of operations since it emerged from stealth in April, 2015. The company grew revenue by 10X since inception and has delivered explosive growth across all business metrics. In 2016, AtScale expanded its offerings from BI on Hadoop to BI on Big Data – On Premises and in the Cloud. The company also inked a global reseller agreement with Hortonworks in the summer … We also heard that 2016 was a pivotal year for Confluent and Kafka with the following results:

  • Confluent grew subscription bookings 700% YoY and tripled headcount
  • They signed companies like Priceline and TiVo as customers
  • Kafka spread from the Yelps, Ubers and Airbnbs of the world to more than a third of the Fortune 500, including 7 of the top 10 global banks, 8 of the top 10 insurance companies, 9 of the top 10 U.S. telecom companies and 6 of the top 10 travel companies

In new funding news, we learned that KenSci announced that it has raised $8.5M in a series A funding led by Ignition Partners with participation from Osage University Partners and Mindset Ventures. The funding will accelerate innovation for KenSci’s machine learning platform and expand operations to support the company’s rapidly growing customer base. KenSci’s healthcare data platform and machine learning-powered applications are built collaboratively with practicing physicians, data scientists, machine learning developers and computing and biomedical researchers. Incubated at the University of Washington (UW), Tacoma, KenSci was spun out in 2015 after more than four years of research and industry-academic collaboration. KenSci leverages Microsoft’s Azure and Cortana suite to power secure, cloud-scale machine learning, and was previously part of Microsoft Accelerators’ Data Science program.

There have been a number of people movements in the big data ecosystem starting with Alteryx, Inc., a leader in self-service data analytics, announcing that Seth Greenberg has joined the executive team as chief marketing officer (CMO), along with Scott Jones who has taken on the chief revenue officer (CRO) role. Greenberg will oversee all marketing management activities for Alteryx, including corporate brand, and demand generation, along with corporate and partner events, international marketing, product positioning and analyst relations. Jones will be responsible for the global growth of the sales and professional services teams. Before joining Alteryx, Greenberg was the CMO of LifeLock, where he successfully repositioned the brand to reach a much wider market. Earlier, he spent seven years at Intuit, including as the digital marketing leader for TurboTax, Quicken and Mint. Most recently, he was vice president of Intuit QuickBooks, responsible for social, brand, advertising and digital strategy … Cambridge Semantics, a leading provider of graph-based Smart Data management and exploratory analytics solutions, announced the appointment of Sam Chance as Managing Director, Pre-Sales in the Solution Engineering organization. In this newly created position, Chance will work closely with the Sales and Engineering teams to accurately define and communicate the value of the company’s Anzo Smart Data Lake™ (SDL) platform to the marketplace and its growing roster of customers, while also architecting a customized solution for their environments. Chance brings more than 34 years of information technology (IT) experience to the Cambridge Semantics team, specializing in Semantic Web technologies, software systems engineering, architecture development, lifecycle management and intelligent agent design … Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA), a global leader in visual analytics, announced that it has appointed industry veteran Dan Miller as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Field Sales, Services and Support effective February 13, 2017. Miller has a stellar track record as a global technology sales executive, with more than 30 years of experience at Oracle, Juniper Networks, HP and Sun Microsystems … Semarchy, a master data management (MDM) firm, announced that Michael Hiskey will join the executive leadership team as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Mr. Hiskey brings with him almost 20 years of experience from a range of data-focused disciplines, including enterprise business-to-business database management, big data, and analytical solutions. Mr. Hiskey benefits from a long history in the data industry, having grown his career and deepened his knowledge of databases, master data, analytics, data preparation, business intelligence, big data, and information management over 15 years. His experience includes leadership roles in the US, Europe and Latin America for leading data and technology organizations including Informix, IBM, Kognitio, MicroStrategy, and Trifacta, among others. In his most recent role, Mr. Hiskey served as Vice President of Marketing for Socure, an innovative Silicon Alley financial technology growth firm.

The M&A drumbeat continued in our industry starting with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) announcing it has acquired Niara Inc., a Sunnyvale, California-based leader in the emerging User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) security market segment. Niara will operate within HPE Aruba to enhance the company’s ClearPass network security portfolio for wired and wireless network infrastructure. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed … We also heard some insights on the Cisco AppDynamics acquisition by Ramin Sayar, CEO of Sumo Logic—a company that works day-in and day-out with the types of users this big news will affect:

As every company grapples with digital transformation, they are increasingly dependent on modern applications that leverage the cloud and require a different approach to building and management. Cisco’s purchase of AppD at 18 times revenue signals both the broad demand for new visibility and monitoring technologies and the likely start of major consolidation in the industry as there are only a handful of vendors that have cracked the code on this new era of tooling at scale for thousands of customers. This acquisition is the latest proof point that the data analytics market is really rocking right now and the chess game is intensifying.”


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