“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 7/24/2017

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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.

As editor of a popular big data news source, I hear from so many companies! They tell me all about their announcements of new products, and lately just about everyone of these new products contain “AI” in some manner. The new AI-powered sippy cup? Well, not quite that bad! Let’s start off this week with a slew of new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … Cloudian, Inc., a leader in hybrid-cloud object storage systems, announced it is working with ScaleMatrix and OnRamp BioInformatics to improve efficiencies of data analysis and storage for life sciences companies focused on human genomics. ScaleMatrix, a hybrid-cloud services provider, operates a 14,000-square-foot life-sciences incubator that couples a CLIA-certified genomics laboratory with a state-of-the-art datacenter powering Cloudian object storage and OnRamp BioInformatics genomic analysis software. The incubator helps reduce the barriers to entry for early-stage companies in the fields of genomics, molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics. Using an on-site Illumina sequencer at the incubator, researchers and biologists can generate genomic data then use genomic software from OnRamp BioInformatics to rapidly process and interpret data in ScaleMatrix’s GPU-enabled high-density compute farm and efficiently store valuable insights and data to Cloudian object storage. The Cloudian deployment enables researchers to store, tag, track and retrieve large amounts of data intelligently and cost-effectively, while the OnRamp BioInformatics software streamlines and simplifies genomic data analysis so that biologists, clinicians and drug developers can unlock valuable insights … Mioying Technology (MioTech), a big data solutions provider for asset management firms, announced an agreement with Silverhorn Investment Advisors to deliver its industry-leading big data asset management platform in assistance of managing Silverhorn’s client assets. According to Jason Tu, CEO and Co-founder of MioTech, the AI-enabled asset management platform will enhance Silverhorn’s Client investing experience to a new level and will also revolutionize the financial industry in Hong Kong, transforming the way financial institutions visualize and analyze data in an elegant and unique way … Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) announced that it will work with artificial intelligence (AI) company Neurala to develop intelligent cameras for public safety users. The goal is to enable police officers to more efficiently search for objects or persons of interest, such as missing children and suspects. The companies will work together to integrate Neurala’s AI capabilities with Motorola Solutions’ software and cameras, including its Si500 body-worn camera. The integration will create intelligent cameras that can learn “at the edge” and automatically search for persons or objects of interest – significantly reducing the time and effort required to find a missing child or suspicious object in environments that are often crowded or chaotic … Rackspace® announced that it is aligning efforts with Pivotal® to deliver Managed Pivotal Cloud Foundry to enterprise customers. This new Rackspace solution will help enterprises use Pivotal Cloud Foundry®, one of the world’s most powerful cloud-native platforms, to quickly build and deploy applications at scale. Rackspace will manage Pivotal Cloud Foundry on any public or private cloud, as well as on customer-owned infrastructure, backed by deep technical expertise and by the results-obsessed Fanatical Support® for which Rackspace is famous …

We also heard of a number of people movements this past week beginning with … Rigetti Computing, a full-stack quantum computing company, announced the appointment of retired Marine Corps General Peter Pace to its board of directors. General Pace served as the 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2005-2007 … DriveScale, a leader in delivering Software Composable Infrastructure (SCI) for modern workloads, announced several expansions to its leadership team: naming Jeff Raice as the company’s vice president of Marketing, and appointing Ingrid Burton and Whitfield Diffie to its advisory board. Raice joins DriveScale as an entrepreneurial executive with more than 20 years of experience leading strategic business and marketing initiatives for startups as well as large, established firms. Prior to DriveScale, Raice served as vice president of Business Development at Natero, where he led the big data analytics SaaS vendor’s initiative to refocus its technology on the customer success market, while leading their sales and marketing efforts … 6sense, a leading AI and big data-powered intelligent marketing cloud, announced the appointment of Jason Zintak as CEO to lead the company as it moves the marketing technology world away from outdated tools and ushers in the next generation of B2B marketing platforms. Zintak has spent over two decades leading enterprise technology companies, most recently as CEO of Platfora, a leader in big data analytics, and as CRO of Responsys, a pioneer in enterprise marketing technology. He is taking the helm at 6sense at a time when the marketing technology industry recognizes the critical need to capitalize on the power of big data and AI … Big Data and Data Analytics mover Zetaris, looks to further develop their marketing strategy by appointing Stephanie Collis as Head of Product Marketing & Communications. Stephanie brings with her a versatile breadth of knowledge across digital, above-the-line, and direct marketing, and her experience in market analysis and strategic marketing is seen to play a key role in the anticipated growth of Zetaris.

In the new customer wins department we learned …. Cray Inc. (Nasdaq: CRAY) announced the Company will provide a Cray® Urika®-GX system to the Alan Turing Institute through a collaboration between Cray, Intel, and the Institute. Hosted at the University of Edinburgh in the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), the Cray Urika-GX system will provide researchers at the Alan Turing Institute with a dedicated analytics hardware platform, enabling the development of advanced applications across a number of scientific fields including engineering and technology, defense and security, smart cities, financial services and life sciences. The Alan Turing Institute is the United Kingdom’s national institute for data science, and brings together researchers from a range of disciplines to tackle core challenges in data science theory and application. The Institute is named in honor of Alan Turing, whose pioneering work in theoretical and applied mathematics, engineering, and computing are considered to be the key disciplines comprising data science. With the addition of the Cray Urika-GX system, the Institute’s researchers will have access to Cray’s agile analytics platform, which fuses supercomputing technologies with an open, enterprise-ready software framework for big data analytics … IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) has integrated IBM Watson Analytics to help create new services and programs based on data-driven insights to improve students’ academic achievement and development. The university used IBM’s Watson Analytics Professional to unearth insights from millions of student data points to help improve student retention rates and keep them on a path to graduation. It also adopted the solution as the core of an innovative new internship program designed to enhance the University’s relationships with local businesses while helping prepare the students for possible careers in data science … Birst, an Infor company and a leader in Cloud Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics for the Enterprise, announced that Zodiac Aerospace, a world leader in aerospace equipment and on-board systems, has deployed Birst’s cloud-based networked business analytics platform to help address order-fulfilment bottlenecks in its supply chain, enable self-service analytics across its business units, and generate reports in minutes instead of weeks … Sutherland, a process transformation company that helps businesses rethink and rebuild processes for the digital age, has signed an enterprise-wide analytics agreement with Guardian Group to offer Sutherland’s Big Data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications on its Nuevora Cloud Analytics Platform. The agreement allows Guardian Group, an integrated financial services organization with a focus on life, health, property and casualty insurance, pensions and asset management, to access easily custom-built Sutherland AI solutions to monetize rapidly its data assets to meet their business needs … Semarchy, the Intelligent Master Data Management (MDM) company, announced that BAE Systems, provider of some of the world’s most advanced, technology-led defense, aerospace and security solutions, has employed its innovative xDM platform to harness the enormous amount of operational and engineering data the business relies upon. BAE Systems looked to Semarchy as a disruptive solution that would provide a greater consistency of data for the back-office systems at a level of granularity which dusty legacy MDM solutions are incapable.

And the funding spigot remains open for the big data ecosystem starting with … Insight Engines, the company that lets anyone ask questions of machine data and get insights in seconds, announced that it has raised $15.8 million in Series A funding led by August Capital, with participation from Splunk, Real Ventures, Data Collective and industry luminaries Erik Swan and Simon Crosby. August Capital General Partner David Hornik, an original investor in Splunk, and Swan, a co-founder and the former CTO of Splunk, will join the board. Insight Engines has quickly gained market traction within Fortune 500 and major government organizations since releasing its first product — Insight Engines Cyber Security Investigator for Splunk — in the Fall of last year. The funding will be used to accelerate its product roadmap and expand its sales and marketing teams … Alation Inc., the collaborative data company, announced it has closed a $23 million Series B funding round led by Icon Ventures with participation from Harmony Partners, Costanoa Ventures, and Data Collective. In addition, Michael Mullany, a general partner at Icon Ventures, has joined the Alation board of directors. This round of funding positions the company to scale rapidly to meet enterprise demand for collaborative data catalogs. Alation’s data catalog is the leading choice for chief data officers (CDOs) transforming their organizations into data-driven enterprises …

In some new M&A activity, we learned that Infogix, a data and analytics software provider, announced it has acquired Data Clairvoyance, a leading data strategy consultancy. Data Clairvoyance helps organizations adopt new approaches and methodologies to maximize the value of their data. Its deep experience and proven frameworks will further support Infogix as a complete “one-stop” provider of solutions for all big data needs, from management to implementation.

And finally, we received a commentary about Microsoft’s plans to set up a new research lab focused on artificial intelligence with the goal of creating more general-purpose learning systems. The new lab, called Microsoft Research AI, will be based at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and involve more than 100 scientists from across various sub-fields of artificial intelligence research, including perception, learning, reasoning and natural language processing. In entering the race to develop more general learning systems, Microsoft will be competing with other AI research companies, such as London-based DeepMind and San Francisco-based Google Brain, both divisions of Alphabet Inc., as well as OpenAI, whose founders include Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, and GoodAI, a small research outfit in the Czech Republic.

Neuroscientist, Pascal Kaufmann, Founder of Starmind comments on Microsoft’s plans:

When it comes to what we are trying to achieve within AI development— from where I sit, it is not about having many scientists, it’s about having the right scientist. This trend we are seeing with massive companies, like Google (and now Microsoft,) is they are hoarding as many data scientists as possible and then hoping they have the right people for whatever projects they are working on. Less is sometimes more, especially when trying to ‘crack the brain’ so to speak. Microsoft may find itself with too many cooks in the kitchen, which will actually delay AI development, not advance it. I do think, however, Microsoft getting on board with an AI lab is a promising move for the AI industry and massive adoption— I think we’ll start to see a surge here, and the other large tech companies will start to get on board in the near future…”


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