“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 11/20/2017

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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 a busy 2017 covering the big data ecosystem, we’re quickly approaching year end. We have some exciting new plans for 2018 and just unwrapped our brand new Partner Program which will allow us to further focus on the industry’s movers and shakers and how they’re shaping what’s coming next. This change will be a boon to our audience since we’ll be bringing you all the same quality of coverage, but more in depth. It should be a fun ride. But now, let’s get into some new tech scuttlebutt beginning with some new funding news … Qubole, the big data-as-a-service company, announced it has closed a $25 million strategic round of funding led by Singtel Innov8 and Harmony Partners with participation from existing investors Charles River Ventures (CRV), Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Institutional Venture Partners (IVP). Singtel Innov8’s investment provides an important anchor for Qubole’s APAC expansion. Qubole is committed to the Asia Pacific region with a central office in Bangalore, India and a sales office in Singapore, led by Joydeep Sen Sarma, cofounder and CTO. APAC has become a hotbed for big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning talent, and Qubole already services customers across India, including Ola Cabs, Saavn and Indix. With Singtel Innov8’s support, Qubole looks to expand its presence across South East Asia including India, Australia and Singapore … LeanTaaS, Inc., a Silicon Valley software innovator that increases patient access and transforms operational performance for healthcare providers, announced that new investor Insight Venture Partners, a leading global venture capital and private equity firm, has invested $26 million in a Series B round of financing. The company’s solutions — relied upon by more than 40 of the nation’s leading hospitals and infusion centers — use lean principles, predictive analytics, machine learning and the cloud to dramatically improve the patient experience. LeanTaaS customers have reduced wait times for appointments and surgeries by up to 50 percent, increased patient access by as much as 30 percent and improved operational performance up to 20 percent through increased revenue and reduced costs … Syapse, a leader in precision medicine solutions, has raised $30 million in Series D financing, which will enable more healthcare providers to use precision medicine to improve care for their cancer patients. Participants include existing investors Ascension Ventures, GE Ventures, Intermountain Healthcare Innovation Fund, Safeguard Scientifics, and Social Capital, as well as new investors Amgen Ventures, Medidata Solutions, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, and Roche Venture Fund — a group that demonstrates Syapse’s success in uniting key organizations across the industry to make precision medicine a reality and improve how cancer is treated … SenseTime, China’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) unicorn, announces that it has signed a strategic investment agreement with global communications giant Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), which is pending closing. Last month, SenseTime and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, announced a collaboration for on-device AI solutions, which follows SenseTime’s July announcement that it had raised $410 million in its Series B round of funding, setting the then-record for the highest single round of financing in the global AI industry. Boosted by this collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies’ collaboration and pending investment from its Qualcomm parent, SenseTime’s proprietary AI algorithms will likely be deployed in even more smartphones and devices, while the “algorithm + chip” strategy behind the collaboration is set to redefine the next generation of intelligent terminal devices … Logz.io, a leading provider of AI-powered log analysis, announced it has raised $23 million in Series C funding led by OpenView, with participation from investors 83North, Giza and new investor Vintage Investment Partners, bringing total capital raised to-date to $47 million. The funding, amidst rapid company growth including more than tripling revenue YoY, cements Logz.io’s position as the leading AI-powered log analysis platform. The company also announced the release of two market-transforming capabilities – Logz.io Data Optimizer and Logz.io Application Insights – designed to help companies derive more value from machine data. This latest funding round will support Logz.io’s go-to-market expansion and allow the company to continue aggressively investing in product innovation to serve the needs of its customer base, which has roughly tripled YoY to more than 400, and includes leading enterprises like Oracle, Intel, British Airways and Electronic Arts. The company also plans to double its current footprint in Boston, its US headquarters where 25 of its 100 employees are based, over the next 12 months … Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has formed a strategic alliance with and made a minority investment in Paxata, a company empowering businesses to transform raw data into ready information. The alliance aims to help clients provide enterprise end users with exceptional data control across multiple data sources. This will speed time-to-business-insight and free up IT resources, allowing scarce data talent to work on strategic data architecture, rather than tactical data preparation. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

We learned of a number of new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … Cavium™, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAVM), announced that they are collaborating with Microsoft to contribute the ThunderX2™ mother board specification to the Open Compute Project (OCP) as part of the design specification for Microsoft’s Project Olympus. The contribution enables the adoption and iteration by members of OCP, a global community of technology leaders who are reimagining hardware to make it more efficient, flexible, and scalable … Databricks, provider of a leading Unified Analytics Platform and founded by the team who created Apache Spark™, announced it has become a partner with Microsoft to expand the reach of its Unified Analytics Platform and address customer demand for Spark on Microsoft Azure. Databricks’ Unified Analytics Platform will be offered as an integrated service within the Azure Portal as Azure Databricks. The new Azure service makes it easier for organizations around the globe to derive value from their Big Data and realize the promise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) … Arcadia Data, provider of the first native visual analytics software for big data, announced the Arcadia Accelerate Partner Program to support resellers, independent software vendors (ISVs), and systems integrators (SIs) as they work with Arcadia Data and joint customers to develop unique solutions that maximize the value of big data. The program allows ISVs to integrate, test, and certify their software with Arcadia Data, and provides training for SIs and resellers worldwide to scale their knowledge base and ease deployment, ultimately accelerating time to value for joint customers … Esri, a leader in spatial analytics, announced a collaboration with Mobileye, an Intel Company and a leading provider of advanced driver-assistance systems software, to integrate Esri mapping, analysis, and visualization with Mobileye’s Shield+™ product. This collaboration will provide cities with the ability to visualize and analyze real-time location data from Shield+, improving safety for all road users in urban environments. Mobileye’s Shield+ will stream road safety data retrieved from city fleets into Esri’s ArcGIS platform, where information such as pedestrian and cyclist detection in blindspots can be viewed on the Mobileye Smart Mobility Dashboard. Shield+ alerts will be updated to the dashboard in real time, providing a city-wide view of pedestrian and cyclist safety. Amongst other things, this will allow users such as municipal bus drivers to then receive alerts about imminent hazards seconds before a potential collision, and to have a better, safer awareness of the roads they travel … BlueData®, provider of a leading Big-Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS) software platform, announced that it has signed a reseller agreement with Dell EMC, becoming a Select partner in Dell EMC’s Technology Connect Partner Program. The two companies will deepen their go-to market relationship to deliver the BlueData EPIC software platform to Dell EMC’s enterprise customers across the globe. BlueData EPIC software uses Docker container technology to help simplify and accelerate the deployment of Big Data analytics and data science environments in the enterprise. Together, Dell EMC and BlueData provide a comprehensive solution to accelerate time-to-value and reduce TCO for Big Data infrastructure. With Dell EMC and BlueData, enterprises can deliver exceptional simplicity, speed, efficiency, and performance for their Big Data implementations.

In people movement news, we heard … DataScience.com has added former U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil — co-creator of the term “data science” — to its board of advisors, the body of experts who guide development of the company’s enterprise data science platform. In his new advisory role, Patil will work with DataScience.com’s product, engineering, and R&D teams as they build new features that boost the ability of enterprise companies to scale data science work … DataStax announced the appointment of Deirdre Toner as the company’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales. Deirdre will lead DataStax global sales efforts and is a strategic hire as the company continues to grow and focus on delivering the best data management for the right-now enterprise. She will oversee the DataStax’s sales force focused on serving our enterprise and public sector customers in the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific … Cambridge Semantics, a leading provider of connected data access and analytics solutions, announced that Jit Saxena, founder and former CEO of Netezza, has joined its board of directors, bringing over 35 years of industry and entrepreneurial experience. Saxena is an internationally-recognized business leader who founded Netezza in 2000, a provider of data warehouse appliances and analytics applications, and served as CEO until 2009. In 2010, he served as chairman of Netezza’s board of directors and led the initial public offering and acquisition by IBM for $1.78 billion. He joins Cambridge Semantics after its recent launch of Anzo Smart Data Lake 4.0, its flagship platform product that builds a semantic layer at scale on all enterprise data, creating a data fabric that empowers users to extract powerful insights at record speed … Terbium Labs, the premier dark web intelligence company, announced the appointment of Munish Walther-Puri to Chief Research Officer and Head of Intelligence Analytics. Walther-Puri brings his expertise in security, intelligence analysis, cyber risk, and fraud to his new role, where he will oversee a team of research and intelligence analysts responsible for dark web data monitoring. His team will continue to produce accessible, automated intelligence to help clients minimize the risk of data exposure.

In the M&A category we heard … TIBCO Software Inc., a leader in integration, API management, and analytics, announced the acquisition of Alpine Data, an innovative, cloud-based data science and social collaboration platform. This addition will bolster TIBCO’s leading data science technology and analytics portfolio, complementing solutions like TIBCO Statistica™, TIBCO Spotfire®, and TIBCO StreamBase® to help companies accelerate their time to data-driven insight and action. Alpine Data provides data scientists with a web-native, social collaboration interface to bring together and manage the broader analytics community — including data engineers, business professionals, analysts, IT, developers, and executives — to solve business challenges. The platform provides a unified view of data, analytics, and compute engines, orchestrating analyses and data pipeline workflows across hybrid environments. With increased agility and flexibility, organizations have another way to leverage their existing big data investments by bringing advanced analytics to their data across disparate environments … Talend (NASDAQ: TLND), a global leader in cloud and big data integration solutions, announced its acquisition of all outstanding shares of Restlet SAS, a cloud-based API design and testing platform. Restlet uses the cloud to provide powerful API design, documentation, testing and hosting capabilities to developers. Restlet’s technology will complement Talend Data Fabric’s existing ability to integrate, transform, govern and share enterprise data by making it easier for customers to take an API-first design approach to monetizing and securely sharing information in real-time with clients and business partners.

We also received details about the following customer wins … Supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (Nasdaq: CRAY) announced that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has purchased a Cray® CS-Storm™ accelerated cluster supercomputer. The Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center (SSIC) procured the system for use in its research into Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deep learning workloads, including systems for connected cars and autonomous technologies. SSIC, which innovates within multiple technology categories including digital health, IoT, data infrastructure and smart machines, purchased and completed the installation of the three-cabinet Cray CS-Storm 500NX system with NVIDIA® Tesla® Pascal P100 SXM2 GPU accelerators. The system will facilitate SSIC’s research with powerful, accelerator-optimized solutions for running artificial intelligence and deep learning applications at scale with very large, complex datasets … Cloudera, Inc. (NYSE: CLDR), the modern platform for machine learning and analytics, optimized for the cloud, announced that Komatsu, a leading global heavy equipment manufacturer, has implemented a cloud-based Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) analytics platform powered by Cloudera Enterprise and Microsoft Azure. The platform enables Komatsu teams to help mining customers around the world continuously monitor the performance of some of the largest equipment used in surface and underground mining, increase asset utilization and productivity, and deliver essential resources including energy and industrial minerals for the global economy.

And finally, we received a commentary about the recent IBM announcement that it is expanding its Watson data platform to help AI professionals, The following commentary is from Guy Levy-Yurista, PhD, Head of Product at Sisense, a leading data company disrupting the BI market.

Being able to quickly analyze and prepare enterprise data regardless of structure or where it resides is critical for analysis. IBM Watson’s offering comes at an important time, helping companies of all sizes move beyond data collection, allowing them to understand and act on that data. That was the idea behind Sisense’s in-chip technology when it launched in 2013, helping non-technical users quickly join data from multiple sources. Business analytics, powered by AI, are going to revolutionize how everyone does business in the years ahead. Sisense will continue to take the lead on this functionality, and is proud to be in the company of other top brands like IBM as they move in the same direction.”


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