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“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 2/26/2018

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:  Be sure to Tweet Above the Trend Line articles using the hashtag: #abovethetrendline.

Over here at insideBIGDATA we’re preparing for the start of another busy conference season coming this Spring. Bring it on! This is how we learn so much about everything new that’s emerging from the big data vendor ecosystem — food for “Above the Trend Line!” For now, let’s start with some new funding news … ZEDEDA, the startup powering the real-time enterprise, emerged out of stealth mode and announced it closed $3.06 million in seed-stage funding. As the Internet of Things (IoT) sees exponential growth with IoT-related spending surpassing an estimated $1 trillion by 2020, ZEDEDA is pioneering a cloud-native approach to scaling out the real-time edge applications for solutions ranging from self-driving cars to industrial robots … D-Wave Systems Inc., a leader in quantum computing systems and software, announced that it has met the key conditions to lock in new funding of $20 million. In April 2017, D-Wave closed on the first $30 million tranche of convertible notes and received a conditional commitment from Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) for an additional $20 million … QuasarDB recently raised 2.5 million in a seed funding round led by Partech Ventures and joined by Orolia and private investors to grow their user base on Wall Street, and expand their high-powered database technology to airplane manufacturers, insurance companies, and more.

There was also a healthy amount of people movement news … MariaDB® Corporation, the company behind the open source database, announced the appointment of Franz Aman as Chief Marketing Officer. Aman joins MariaDB with over 25 years of experience leading integrated, data-driven marketing programs at some of the best known global technology companies. In his new role, he will be responsible for continuing to expand MariaDB’s global brand to grow and support accelerating enterprise sales … As part of the company’s continued focus on growth, GoodData® has brought on Carol Lee as its new Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining GoodData, Lee was Vice President of Finance for Konica Minolta Business Solutions, where she led the valuation and financial due diligence of acquiring 22 recurring revenue technology companies between 2011 and 2017 … Unravel Data, the Application Performance Management (APM) platform designed for Big Data, announced it has hired a Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations. Luke Roquet joins Unravel from Hortonworks, where he served as a Regional Vice President of Sales. Roquet will draw on years of industry experience to help enterprises bolster their Big Data deployments by leveraging APM to reduce complexity and making it easier for organizations to benefit from the technology … CognitiveScale, Inc., a leader in augmented intelligence, announced the appointment of Jim Offerdahl to its advisory board. Most recently CFO of Bazaarvoice, Jim has significant experience in CEO, COO, CFO and board of director positions for high-growth technology companies. Jim will join a distinguished group of CognitiveScale advisory board members, including the former senior vice president and chief technology and innovation officer at USAA, Rickey Burks; retired senior vice president of IBM Cloud, Robert LeBlanc; and Kony chairman and CEO, Tom Hogan … Databricks, provider of a leading Unified Analytics Platform and founded by the team who created Apache Spark™, announced Vijay Gill joined the company’s leadership team as Senior Vice President of Engineering. Gill brings engineering leadership experience from Google, Microsoft, AOL, and most recently, Salesforce … Sisense, disrupting the BI market by simplifying business analytics for complex data, announced the appointment of software industry veteran Paul Zolfaghari to its board of directors. Mr. Zolfaghari has a deep understanding of the enterprise analytics, business intelligence, and database industries, having spent nearly two decades as an operating executive in those markets. Over a fourteen-year career at BI provider MicroStrategy, Mr. Zolfaghari served in many senior executive roles, including EVP of Global Operations and President. Mr. Zolfaghari is also the former COO of ParAccel, the analytic database company whose platform serves as the foundation for the Amazon AWS’ “Redshift” enterprise warehouse platform. Currently Mr. Zolfaghari is a Managing Partner, Operations, with Carrick Capital, a private equity firm that partners with leading software and technology enabled services companies … Cloudera announced Amy O’Connor, former leader of the big data team at Nokia, has been promoted to the company’s senior management team as its Chief Data and Information Officer (CDIO). Formerly Cloudera’s Big Data Evangelist for the past four years, as CDIO, O’Connor will lead a new team focused on building new technologies and setting new standards for organizations with a “data-first” mindset … SolarWinds, a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, has named Paul Parker as its new chief technologist, federal and national government. Parker will lead SolarWinds in its drive to stay at the forefront of technology that helps optimize IT performance and security for its federal and national government clients. Parker brings over 22 years of IT infrastructure experience, having worked with multiple military, intelligence, civilian, and commercial organizations. He received multiple military and civilian awards for service, support, and innovation. Most recently, he served as vice president of engineering for the federal division of Infoblox®, an IT automation and security firm. Parker also held C-level or senior positions at CS2, Ward Solutions, Eagle Alliance, and Dynamics Research Corporation … ZyloTech, the AutoML based platform to manage customer data & advanced customer analytics with embedded AI, announced the appointment of their new VP of Product Marketing, Art Souza, to help accelerate the company’s growth and innovation plans. Art Souza is a seasoned Product & Marketing leader, previously served as VP of Products at Epsilon where he headed the Epsilon’s Omni-channel digital marketing platform Agility Harmony. At ZyloTech, he will be in driving Product Marketing, besides bringing acceleration to the recent UI release of erstwhile API driven platform amongst other things. Amplitude, the product analytics company, announced that it has hired former Google executive Erik de Muinck Keizer as General Manager of EMEA to lead the company’s first international office in Amsterdam. Amidst growing demand for its enterprise products, Amplitude has also hired Erik Watson, former Fastly executive, as VP of Enterprise Sales in North America. Optalysys Ltd., a start-up commercializing light-speed optical coprocessors for AI/deep learning, announced the formation of its first Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprising experts in AI/machine learning, bioinformatics/genomics and optical pattern recognition. The inaugural SAB members include Professor Douglas Kell of The University of Manchester, Professor Timothy Wilkinson of University of Cambridge and ex-senior NASA scientist, Dr. Richard Juday. FogHorn™ Systems, a leading developer of “edge intelligence” software for industrial and commercial Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, announced several additions to FogHorn’s executive team:

  • Mike Hutchinson, VP of Finance, joins FogHorn from semiconductor company GainSpan where he served as CFO. Prior to GainSpan, Hutchinson led finance and accounting operations at Vocera Communications, Inc., which culminated in a successful IPO in 2012.
  • Keith Higgins, VP of Marketing, comes to FogHorn after serving as CMO at RiskVision until its acquisition in 2017. Higgins was also CMO at Symphony Teleca Corporation, an IoT and connected services company, where he played an integral role in the doubling the company’s revenue leading to a nearly $1 billion acquisition by Harman.
  • Greg Makowski, Head of Data Science Services, heads the Data Science Services (DSS) group, providing data mining and big data consulting services for FogHorn clients. Greg has over 26 years of experience in data mining, deploying 90+ models for clients in globally. Most recently, Greg was Director of Data Science at LigaDATA.
  • Chad Boulanger, Managing Director of EMEA, joins Foghorn after serving as Vice President of IoT at Greenwave Systems, which acquired his previous company, Predixion Software, in 2016. At Predixion Software, Boulanger was the Global Vice President for IoT, responsible for Business Development and Field Engineering.

We also heard about some new M&A activity … Esri, a leader in spatial analytics, announced that it has acquired technology from ClearTerra, a leader in geospatial and activity-based intelligence tools. This acquisition will provide ArcGIS platform users the ability to easily discover and extract geographic coordinates from unstructured textual data like emails, briefings, and reports, instantly generating intelligent map-based information …

We received a commentary about Rubrik’s acquisition of Datos IO and how this impacts the industry:

“Rubrik’s acquisition of Datos IO further confirms the importance of modern database technologies for companies driving digital transformation initiatives,” says Matt McDonough, Vice President of Business Development, Couchbase. “Couchbase has long been committed to the digital era, and seeing Rubrik invest in data protection for the NoSQL database space both validates the burgeoning market and highlights the importance of the Engagement Database in powering today’s customer experiences.”

In the new partnerships, alignments and collaborations, we learned … The Center for Data Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been selected by IBM to join the company’s AI Horizons Network, an international consortium of leading universities working with IBM to develop technologies needed to help fulfill the promise of artificial intelligence (AI). The collaboration builds on the international reputation of the University’s College of Information and Computer Sciences as a research leader in artificial intelligence and information retrieval … Qubole and Snowflake announced a new partnership that enables customers to transform their organization’s decision-making abilities through advanced analytics. Now, customers can use Qubole for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence models and advanced data preparation with data stored in Snowflake … Cloudian, a leader in enterprise object storage systems, has announced the integration of a plug-in within NVIDIA’s Deep Learning GPU Training System (DIGITS) version 6.1 that allows the DIGITS platform to directly access an S3-compatible storage endpoint. DIGITS users can now easily integrate Cloudian’s S3-compatible HyperStore platform for use with deep learning training libraries. With this integration, data scientists and researchers using DIGITS can now access Cloudian’s object storage platform as a repository for the vast amounts of data needed to give their deep learning applications the information needed to identify patterns and “learn” the best responses to any given situation.

We’d also like to report some compelling customer wins … Natural Language Processing (NLP) text analytics provider Linguamatics announced the implementation of the Linguamatics Health enterprise NLP platform, powered by I2E, at Atrius Health to identify and extract critical clinical information hidden within unstructured patient data. Atrius Health is a non-profit healthcare leader providing primary care and specialty care to more than 740,000 adult and pediatric patients across eastern and central Massachusetts. As a long-term Accountable Care Organization (ACO) for Medicare, commercial, and Medicaid patients, Atrius Health requires ready access to clinical notes and data to address reporting requirements and advance quality care initiatives, including programs that require the proper identification of at-risk patients to minimize care gaps … Stibo Systems, the global leader in Business-first Master Data Management (MDM)™ solutions, announced that Mason Companies Inc., an Internet and direct mail catalog retailer recognized as one of the world’s largest direct-to-consumer footwear companies, has selected Stibo Systems’ Customer MDM solution as part of Mason’s new Customer 360 strategy. Stibo Systems will provide a central Digital Business Core™ of operational information enabling Mason to maintain consistent customer and product data across multiple brands and websites to enhance the online customer experience (CX) … GridGain® Systems, provider of enterprise-grade in-memory computing solutions based on Apache® Ignite™, announced that London-based FSB Technology (UK) Ltd., which provides real-time sports betting platforms as a fully-managed service, is relying on GridGain Enterprise Edition to ensure real-time performance and scalability of their PostgreSQL-based system in the face of rapid growth and extreme processing spikes.

And finally, Actian, the hybrid data management, analytics and integration company, announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 9,892,148, titled, “Methods of operating a column-store database engine utilizing a positional delta tree update system”. The focus of the patent is Actian’s innovational positional delta trees technology, which enables data updates, both new and altered, to active analytic databases without the performance impact traditionally seen in Big Data systems. With this breakthrough technological achievement, Actian is building on its commitment to enabling businesses to thrive in today’s demanding dynamic, real-time hybrid data environments. Today’s Big Data analytic systems, such as ones built on Hadoop, were designed for batch loading and reporting, optimized for reading and scanning existing records. As a result, they typically offer slow overall performance whenever data needs to be updated or changed. The ramification of this architectural limitation is that systems that deliver analytical insight often have to rely on obsolete, stale data when generating analytical results. Since modern, connected applications increasingly demand real-time data and insights, this can have a material impact to an organization’s ability to compete and win.


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