“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 5/16/2017

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Above the Trend Line: your industry rumor central is a recurring feature of insideBIGDATA. In this column, we present a variety of short time-critical news items grouped by category 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 you a one-stop source of late-breaking news to help you keep 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.

After returning from the GPU Technology Conference last week, the insideBIGDATA team confirmed the importance of our current focus of AI, machine learning and deep learning. This technology is on fire! For this week’s rumor mill, let’s start with new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … Pivotal® and Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) announced a new joint initiative designed to accelerate the adoption of cloud applications and software platforms at enterprise scale. The combination of Cognizant’s application engineering expertise and industry knowledge, together with Pivotal Cloud Foundry®, will enable large businesses to rapidly deploy critical cloud-based applications and infrastructure. Building on a collaboration that began in 2015 to modernize software platforms for many of the world’s best-known brands, Cognizant and Pivotal are deepening their relationship and investing significant resources to help enterprise clients build and operate cloud applications and services at-scale. Advantages of building and running applications in the cloud include increased automation, efficiency, agility, security, resiliency and lower costs. In expanding their strategic alliance, Cognizant will license technologies from Pivotal and gain access to unique resources associated with Pivotal’s Platform Acceleration Lab. Cognizant will also train a significant number of consultants and customers on Pivotal’s leading cloud-native re-platforming approach. Cognizant’s global Digital Business capabilities will be integrated with Pivotal’s market-leading software development methodology, enabling clients to accelerate their digital transformation journey with rapid application portfolio migration and cloud-native platform development at scale … iFusion Analytics, a provider of integrated big data as a Service (iBDaaS), has partnered with Interoute, owner-operator of a global cloud services platform and one of Europe’s largest and most advanced networks, to deliver edge analytics. By combining iFusion’s iBDaaS platform and Interoute’s global network of interconnected Virtual Data Centres (VDCs), organizations will be able to process data closer to the original source so that analytic insights can be delivered in minutes, rather than the hours it could take running a query using solely a location locked physical server … Euclid Analytics, a leader in retail analytics and omni-channel engagement, announced a new integration with AgilOne, a leading enterprise customer data platform, to bring an enhanced, single view across the customer journey to retail marketers. For retailers, this integration provides the ability to build meaningful relationships with their shoppers across mediums, personalize the shopping experience, and influence their path to purchase. By integrating Euclid’s dynamic in-store profiles into AgilOne’s customer data and engagement hub, retail marketers can bridge the offline/online divide, delivering consistent, orchestrated personalization across channels … PROS (NYSE: PRO), a cloud software company powering the shift to modern commerce, announced an alliance with CognitiveScale, a provider of industry-specific augmented intelligence software. PROS will partner with CognitiveScale to leverage cognitive cloud technologies to enhance the value of PROS solutions across its portfolio. PROS applies data science and artificial intelligence to solve complex business problems, training its algorithms with best-practices data from real-world implementations. CognitiveScale will augment PROS rich data and science with AI software inputs to help end users with highly personalized, intelligent, contextual and evidence-based insights and recommendations. Designed on CognitiveScale’s open and extensible platform, and populated with knowledge graphs, data sources and trained models, the integrated solution will provide users with the right advice, at the right time and with the right evidence … IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Nutanix (Nasdaq: NTNX) today announced a multi-year initiative to bring new workloads to hyperconverged deployments. The integrated offering aims to combine Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud Platform software with IBM Power Systems, to deliver a turnkey hyperconverged solution targeting critical workloads in large enterprises. The partnership plans to deliver a full-stack combination with built-in AHV virtualization for a simple experience within the data center.

We heard of new customer wins … Crate.io, developers of CrateDB, a leading open source SQL database for real time analytics of IoT and machine data, today announced that Barcelona-based Roomonitor, which specializes in systems that monitor and control air conditioning for the hospitality industry, has selected CrateDB to store and enable analysis of massive amounts of IoT data generated by its sensors and controllers. CrateDB is an open source SQL database that enables real-time analytics for machine data applications. CrateDB makes machine data applications that were previously only possible using NoSQL solutions available to mainstream SQL developers … Denodo, a leader in data virtualization software, announced that Indiana University has implemented Denodo Platform to create a logical data warehouse for their Decision Support Initiative (DSI), a multi-year project for improved strategic decision making across all levels throughout the University. By delivering a logical data warehouse in less than half the time required by a traditional data warehouse solution, Indiana University demonstrated a novel use and adoption of the agile data virtualization methodology in support of an enterprise-wide data analytics and decision-making platform.

There were a number of new funding news items this past week, starting with FogHorn Systems, a leading developer of edge analytics and machine learning software (“edge intelligence”) for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications, announced that it has raised additional Series A funding from Dell Technologies Capital and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV). The extended funding brings FogHorn’s total Series A round to $15 million, excluding the conversion of $2.5 million in seed funding. Dell Technologies Capital added to its initial Series A investment. Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures is a new investor in the company … The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced a EUR 25m (approx $27 million USD) funding of MariaDB, the company behind the fast growing Open Source database, to support the company’s next stage of growth and database innovation. This EIB operation is guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a key element of the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe, aiming at reviving investment in strategic projects around Europe. This is the EIB’s first financing for MariaDB. The EIB funding will be used to further product innovation for MariaDB’s expanding global enterprise client base and increase its sales and marketing teams in Europe, America, and Asia. Specifically, within Europe, the company will expand its European operations with new engineering hires in Helsinki. Industry analysts provide different estimates on the database market, but they agree that it is in the midst of a massive shakeup that will disrupt established legacy vendors as businesses around the world look to adopt modern, open source databases. Companies like Telefonica, DBS Bank, Teleplan and more are re-architecting their infrastructure to reduce costs and modernize their business. Industry estimates on the adoption of open source and growth of the database market include:

  • IDC expects the overall database market to reach $50 billion by 2017, up from $40 billion in 2015, according to their worldwide database forecast.*
  • Gartner estimates that more than 70 percent of new in-house applications will be developed on open source databases, while 50 percent of existing commercial databases will convert to open source by 2018.**
  • The popularity of open source database systems has increased from 35 percent four years ago to a new record high of 46 percent according to DB-engines, which tracks database popularity.

*IDC: Worldwide Relational Database Management Systems Forecast, 2015.

**Gartner: Emerging Technology Trends Create Opportunities for DBMS Cost Optimization, April 21, 2016.

We learned of a number of new educational resources … Telit, a global enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT), announcing the official launch of Telit IoT University. Designed for IoT developers and integrators, Telit IoT University, part of the company’s IoT Know How suite of consultative services, teaches customers and partners how to succeed in launching IoT solutions that deliver measurable business outcomes. Located at Telit IoT Platforms division in Boca Raton, Florida, Telit IoT University features a broad curriculum, including courses and hands-on labs co-developed by Telit and Florida Atlantic University’s Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering (I-SENSE). The University, an expansion of the company’s original deviceWISE University program, includes an innovation and design lab that showcases Telit deviceWISE Ready partner applications and gives students experience with a variety of hardware components required for a successful IoT deployment … MapR Technologies, Inc., provider of the Converged Data Platform that enables organizations to create intelligent applications that fully integrate analytics with operational processes in real time, introduced MapR Academy Pro, a new program with comprehensive, advanced technical courses focused on training and certifying developers, data analysts and administrators. MapR Academy Pro builds on the success and adoption of the MapR Academy Essentials, a free educational program introduced by MapR in 2015. The easy to access on-demand format led to wide adoption with nearly 80,000 registered users and over 240,000 course enrollments. In addition to the free introductory curriculum, MapR Academy Pro is available now as an all-access subscription service and certification program … Dataiku , the maker of the enterprise data science platform Dataiku Data Science Studio (DSS), announced the Dataiku Academic Program – an initiative to provide completely free licensing, support, and learning resources for teachers, researchers, and students in data science and business analytics fields. The company looks to enable the next generation of data scientists by helping students learn data science concepts within Dataiku DSS, the software platform that companies around the world use to develop and run advanced data science solutions. The platform allows users to leverage the fundamental data science coding languages (R, Python, and SQL) as well as the most state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms and big data technologies (Scala, Spark, and Hadoop) to provide a complete tool for data science students as well as their teachers.

In the people movement category we heard that Alteryx, Inc. (NYSE: AYX), a leader in self-service data analytics, announced the appointment of Eileen Schloss to its Board of Directors. Eileen is a veteran executive who has worked as a human resource professional to help mentor and guide HR strategy and operations for more than 20 years. Eileen has held executive human resources roles at organizations from global brands in the Fortune 500 such as Apple Computer and Charles Schwab, to high-growth businesses needing to scale. Most recently she was executive vice president of Human Resources and Real Estate for Medidata Solutions, Inc. focused on executive recruiting, employee engagement and retention, and full real estate and facilities responsibilities. Eileen has also worked with many boards and committees on executive compensation and human capital elements.

In the cloud realm, there’s been a lot of speculation lately that Microsoft Azure may be outpacing Amazon Web Services (AWS). But before jumping to conclusions, it’s worth taking a look at these claims, says ParkMyCloud CEO Jay Chapel. After researching the headlines and earnings reports, Jay finds that Azure has not over taken AWS. But it is growing quickly. But where is Azure actually gaining ground with its 93 percent growth rate?

As companies grow beyond dipping their toes in the water of public cloud, they become more interested in secondary options for diversity and different business cases. Just from our own conversations, we’re finding that more and more AWS users are using Azure as a secondary option. Second, enterprises have been enmeshed in a variety of Microsoft products for years — Windows and beyond. Microsoft already has the foothold, relationships, and enterprise agreements with these organizations, so they’re pushing Azure as a cross-sell – which is something Azure is counting on as it targets the cloud migration market. AWS, on the other hand, lacks these pathways.”

In M&A news, we learned that NGDATA®, the customer experience management solutions company, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Eccella, a data management and analytics consultancy based in New York City, with offices in the London, UK and Mumbai, India. Eccella is a leader in the field of data-driven consulting and systems construction, and its team will join NGDATA as the company continues to execute its strategy for aggressive North American and global growth. Eccella works with organizations across the world to help them develop, deploy and execute data-driven strategies. The acquisition allows NGDATA to rapidly grow its presence in the UK and North America, and NGDATA and Eccella customers will benefit from access to top data-focused talent and expanded industry expertise. Partners of NGDATA will benefit from the combined global infrastructure of two leading data companies supporting their efforts to deliver solutions, and Eccella’s world-class partner ecosystem gives NGDATA the opportunity to further build out its strategic technology partnerships … TIBCO Software Inc., a global leader in integration, API management, and analytics, announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Statistica, a leader in data science. The acquisition will augment TIBCO’s analytics product offerings, adding new capabilities aimed at making it easier for data scientists to unlock the power of machine learning and leverage it in a variety of applications, such as those analyzing the often large amounts of data produced in IoT systems. The transaction remains subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the coming weeks. Statistica will enable users to more rapidly uncover insights from source data. It will also become part of the TIBCO® Insight Platform to empower a broader audience of business users with these analytical capabilities and allow actions to be triggered in related systems, ensuring insights turn into the best outcomes for the business. Statistica will provide rigorous modeling and validation tools for machine learning and deep learning, resulting in better answers, smarter decisions, and the right actions at the right time.

And finally, our friends over at StackShare compiled the StackShare DevOps Tools Index. StackShare is one of the world’s largest developer communities, with 100,000+ CTOs and developers at companies like Spotify, Airbnb, Instacart, and Dropbox sharing and discussing their tech stacks—conducted original research on which DevOps tools are most widely used right now, and which are most in-demand by recruiters. Drawing upon StackShare’s community of developers, the StackShare DevOps Tools Index measures the number of StackShare registered tech stacks that feature each DevOps tool, and the number of job openings that require knowledge of each tool.

Top 10 Most Popularly Used DevOps Tools
(ranked by the number of stacks containing each tool)
1. GitHub (7,800 stacks)
2. New Relic (4,070)
3. Docker (3,980)
4. npm (3,760)
5. Bitbucket (3,180)
6. Gulp (2,460)
7. Webpack (2,000)
8. Vagrant (1,880)
9. GitLab (1,670)
10. Travis CI (1,420)

Top 5 Most In-Demand DevOps Tools by Recruiters
(ranked by the total number of job openings that list each tool as a required skill)
1. Docker (1,260 job openings)
2. GitHub (1,120)
3. Ansible (517)
4. Webpack (271)
5. Gulp (239)


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