“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 10/23/2017

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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.

Welcome back to another installment of our regular industry round up “Above the Trend Line.” It’s been a fast paced couple of weeks. I’ve been hard at work on a number of machine learning projects, and plus I spent last week in Hartford, CT for the Data Modeling Zone conference where I gave two talks – on data science and machine learning. I’m having a blast! Let’s start with some new funding news … AtScale, the company that provides enterprises with a universal semantic platform for BI on Big Data, announces that it has completed a $25M Series C financing round. The round, led by Atlantic Bridge, makes it clear that the investment community recognizes the strategic relevance of AtScale’s mission: stop making Big Data small and provide enterprises access to any data, anywhere, for any employee. According to the Economist, only 5% of the data enterprises capture make it to the decision makers who need it. This round also includes the participation from Wells Fargo Securities, Industry Ventures as well as returning investors Storm Ventures, UMC Capital, Comcast Ventures and XSeed Capital … FogHorn Systems announced it has received a Series B round of funding totaling $30 million to support its disruptive innovation in the Industrial IoT (IIoT) edge computing market segment. Intel Capital and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures led the round, with new investor Honeywell Ventures and all previous investors participating, including Series A investors March Capital Partners, GE Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Darling Ventures and seed investor The Hive. This new round brings FogHorn’s total funding to $47.5 million and will be used to significantly expand the company’s engineering resources and global go-to-market presence.

In new M&A news we learned … TIBCO Software Inc., a global leader in integration, API management, and analytics, announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Cisco’s Data Virtualization business (formerly Composite Software), specifically Cisco Information Server, a market-leading solution that powers enterprise-scale data virtualization, and associated consulting and support services. This strategic move strengthens TIBCO’s portfolio of analytics products, allowing businesses to get analytic solutions into production faster than alternatives, while continuing to adapt as data sources change from traditional databases and big data sources to cloud and IoT. The transaction remains subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the coming weeks. Data Virtualization helps knowledge workers to quickly discover and access their own views of corporate data in an automated, intelligent way. The Cisco technology can access a large, diverse, and complex set of enterprise data stores and create a “virtual” data layer for analytics without disturbing the source data. All this is done without extracting data via ETL in a separate data warehouse … Dimensional Insight, a developer of business intelligence (BI) solutions for complex and highly regulated industries, announced its acquisition of Infotool Norway (Infotool Norge AS). Through the acquisition, Dimensional Insight will open its newest office, Dimensional Insight Norway, thereby expanding the company’s footprint in Europe … Luciad, a leading provider of high performance geospatial situational awareness technology that powers the world’s mission critical operations, announces that it has been acquired by Hexagon AB, a global provider of information technologies that drives productivity and quality across geospatial and industrial enterprise applications.

We learned of a number of new partnerships, alignments and collaborations starting with … GPU-powered analytics leader MapD Technologies announcing that it is partnering with IBM Power Systems to deliver unrivaled analytical performance. MapD recently conducted a series of 18 benchmark tests which showed an acceleration range of up to 126 percent for SQL queries running on IBM Power Systems S822LC for HPC servers versus x86 based servers. The results showed an average 65% acceleration over the group of 18 benchmark SQL queries, with an acceleration range from 25%-126% across the group. The benchmarks harness the joint computing power of IBM’s POWER CPUs and NVIDIA® Tesla® P100 graphics processors, showing how customers can now query and analyze billion-row datasets in real-time. The POWER processor is a state of the art CPU that comes with NVLink technology and works together seamlessly with the NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPU. NVLink accelerates CPU-to-GPU analytic pipelines up to 2.5 times compared to systems without NVLink, and that gives businesses far faster insight. The partnership with IBM extends MapD’s pioneering work using GPUs to query and visualize billions of records with millisecond latency. MapD has also joined the OpenPOWER Foundation, an open development community based on the POWER microprocessor architecture. The OpenPOWER Foundation has more than 300 members, including many large companies developing processes and technologies for the OpenPOWER architecture … Jethro, provider of an acceleration solution that enables Interactive Business Intelligence (BI) on Big Data, announced a partnership with Hortonworks that will extend their enterprise data warehouse solution to include interactive BI on Big Data. The growing volumes of business data combined with recent advances in Big Data technology are introducing a market inflection point where enterprise legacy EDWs can no longer effectively address the scale, diversity, and usage challenges posed by the new EDW paradigm. For this reason Hortonworks has partnered with Jethro to address the scale and performance challenges of Enterprise Big Data warehousing … Informatica, the Enterprise Cloud Data Management leader accelerating data-driven digital transformation, announced the seamless integration of Informatica Enterprise Information Catalog with Tableau, the global leader in visual analytics. This integration enables governed self-service analytics—critical for any organization that provides analytics via agile, self-service tools. Data governance and trustworthiness are mandates for mission-critical, enterprise analytical applications and this new offering provides trusted insights based on IT-certified data assets while moving from a siloed, departmental model to a scalable enterprise model. It also further enhances the collaboration between lines of business and the IT department … Dataguise, a leader in data-centric audit and protection (DCAP), announced that Teradata has furthered its alliance with Dataguise to deliver DgSecure software to its global enterprise customer base. As a Dataguise partner, Teradata will benefit from Dataguise sales and engineering support for mutual customer accounts leveraging DgSecure for Teradata UDA and IntelliCloud deployments. Dataguise DgSecure simplifies data security regulatory compliance quickly and easily with an out-of-the-box solution that is administrator friendly and eliminates the need to program – saving time, resources, compliance costs, and complication. The solution allows for the identification of all personal and sensitive data, including names, identification numbers, location data, online identifiers or factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity of a natural person using a combination of machine learning and behavioral analytics so that organizations can be confident in the results. DgSecure then provides the ability to protect, monitor, and regularly audit this information … Aon Benfield, the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has established a partnership with CLARA analytics (CLARA) to deliver cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) tools to workers’ compensation insurers in the U.S. to help employees return to work as quickly as possible, while decreasing loss ratios and improving operational efficiency … Datawatch Corporation (NASDAQ-CM:DWCH) announced a joint technology partnership with Sage, market leader in cloud accounting software. Through this partnership, Sage validates the Datawatch Monarch self-service data preparation platform as a solution for its accounting, HR, payroll, payments and enterprise service offerings, enabling Sage and its partners to accelerate product implementations, and end customers to simplify data preparation … MapR Technologies, Inc., a leader in delivering one platform for all data, across every cloud, and DataScience.com, an enterprise data science platform provider, launched a certified joint solution powered by the MapR Converged Data Platform. With this partnership, DataScience.com customers can enjoy a truly collaborative workflow environment where their data science experiments can run directly on the MapR Platform without needing a separate compute cluster to access data.

In the people movement category, we heard … As one of the world’s biggest companies, AT&T processes a lot of data – more than 168 petabytes each day. To lead the 500-person team dedicated to mining that data, AT&T’s head of technology operations, Melissa Arnoldi, has appointed Steve Stine to the role of Chief Data Officer. The new head of AT&T’s Chief Data Office is responsible for analyzing data in new ways, and uncovering insights that enable the company to provide better customer service and improve business operations at scale. The company is on a journey to bring the following to life: (i) automation and workforce re-skilling; (ii) responsible data management; and (iii) customer impact and influence across global network … Databricks, provider of a leading Unified Analytics Platform and founded by the team who created Apache Spark™, announced the opening of its new EMEA headquarters in London to support the company’s international growth. As part of this, Databricks has appointed David Wyatt, who built MuleSoft’s EMEA Business over the last four and a half years, as Vice President and General Manager of Databricks EMEA. With a strong history in leading cloud and open source businesses in the region, Wyatt will oversee the company’s customer success programmes, recruitment, sales and business development efforts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Companies are looking to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning as technologies to support their strategies around reducing cost, improving customer experience and delivering better results back to the business. However, the lack of data science, machine learning and AI skills is holding back many organizations from investing in these areas today and it is often hard for data science and data engineering teams to collaborate closely with others in the lines of business. More than half the respondents to Gartner’s 2017 AI development strategies survey indicated that the lack of necessary staff skills was the top challenge to adopting AI in their organisation. Databricks’ Unified Analytics Platform provides a simplified approach for data science teams to collaborate with business teams to meet their needs around analytics and AI, bridging the gaps that exist around automating analysis of data and deploying this to suit the business. By reducing the issues around AI adoption and deployment, Databricks aims to make this technology suitable for all businesses. The company’s cloud-based platform is powered by Spark, the most popular open source technology for Big Data processing and analytic workloads and an invention of the six co-founders of Databricks.

In the customer wins corner, we found out that … DataStax, a leader in data management for cloud applications, announced that Equinix, the global interconnection and data center company, powers their IBX SmartView application with DataStax Enterprise (DSE), the always-on data platform. With DSE, IBX SmartView gives users unparalleled visibility into real-time operating data relevant to their Equinix International Business Exchange® (IBX®) data center footprint. By choosing DataStax, Equinix enables their customers to proactively make decisions through an integrated application, with continued performance and no downtime … SendinBlue is one of the leading relationship marketing companies in the world and works with over 50,000 companies across the globe, delivering more than 30 million emails and text messages each day. To ensure their customers’ emails reach the inbox and that SendinBlue’s delivery system maintains the highest reputation, the company created a machine learning platform with Dataiku to automatically validate new customer applications using historical data coming from over 1 billion emails and associated events. The resulting system saves time and money for SendinBlue by automating checks that filter out potential spammers before they are allowed access to the SendinBlue platform.

And finally, here are some observations we received about some recent industry happenings:

Tableau introduced HyPer, a high-performance technology for data analysis and visualization. Let’s understand why BI powerhouses like Tableau are actually lagging behind the curve when it comes to making data insights quickly actionable for everyday users:

As the amount of data continues to increase at exponential rates, outdated in-memory solutions fall short in providing companies with the actionable insights needed to inform decision-making quickly and effectively,” says Sisense Head of Product, Guy Levy-Yurista. “We congratulate industry veteran Tableau in joining the ranks of disruptors like Sisense with the introduction of HyPer, and recognizing the need for cutting-edge analytics solutions that can quickly crunch large volumes of complex, disparate data sets. The difference between processing large amounts of data in a matter of seconds versus hours with in-memory solutions, enables businesses to drive agile decision making, leading to enhanced business performance and ROI – something we’ve seen our customers experience often with our market-leading In-Chip analytics. Tableau’s announcement validates the technology approach Sisense has been leading for the last five years. Our data engine is already market tested in its in-chip vs. in-memory approach, and we’ll continue to introduce new avenues for radical innovation and enabling data-driven businesses.”

The exciting news centered around the MongoDB IPO (the stock began trading on Oct. 19 with an initial price per share at $24) makes a mark for the data management space:

The database is the last frontier of the re-platforming movement, and there’s tremendous interest in this transitioning market, as shown in MongoDB’s IPO,” said Matt Cain, CEO at Couchbase. “Couchbase is seeing record growth from companies like eBay, Marriott, Amadeus and Carrefour who are using the Couchbase Data Platform to compete effectively by creating leading digital experiences for their customers. These experiences are powered by new applications that engage customers with their responsiveness, personalization, flexibility, and speed. Couchbase is the trusted company that meets the core requirements that enterprises need to power their most strategic and mission-critical workloads.”

MongoDB’s anticipated IPO on Thursday is further validation that one size does not fit all in data management,” Dr. Yu Xu, CEO and founder of TigerGraph. “Today’s data is magnitudes more complex, and is growing at incredible speed – meaning that enterprises need to look beyond traditional relational databases to manage it. MongoDB has done considerable work in moving the database industry forward. Now, we are seeing real-time graph analytics develop as the next phase in this movement. Technologies that leverage graph databases – and the native parallel graph in particular – are ideal for powering enterprise AI and machine learning applications and will continue to see widespread adoption.”

MongoDB’s IPO debut further validates the story, not only around open source technologies and their adoption by the enterprise but the vibrant commercial success of open source-focused businesses,” said Joe McCann, CEO of NodeSource. “Forrester Research points out that open source comprises 80 – 90% of the code in a typical application. All Fortune 500 companies today are utilizing open source technologies more and more and organizations, big and small, are building applications using open source as their foundation because it decreases costs while accelerating time to market. That’s where companies such as MongoDB, NodeSource, and GitHub come into play. MongoDB’s is a great example of the market continuing to see value and opportunity in open source technology and the commercial vendors who support it.”

This event is a market statement that recognizes that there is a critical need for a new era of operational data management,” said Billy Bosworth, CEO of DataStax. “The relational database era is passing, and the new era will have the opportunity for mid-market players like MongoDB and companies such as DataStax with our focus on the enterprise. DataStax provides data management for geo-distributed, real-time applications for companies such as eBay, Sony, Netflix, McDonald’s, UBS, NYSE, and Walmart. We are powering the ‘right-now’ enterprise. And we are excited to see a post-relational company entering the public markets and wish MongoDB nothing but success.”

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