“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 7/30/2018

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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 M&A activity, people movements, funding news, financial results, industry alignments, customer wins, 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 to another installment of our Rumor Central: Above the Trend Line, where all the latest scuttlebutt bubbles up to the surface for our readers to digest. This past couple of weeks I’ve been busy attending a number of wonderful Meetups in my local area of Santa Monica, Calif. I’m so encouraged by all the quality technical content flowing through these groups. My favorite was the LA Data Science Meetup group that offered a number of compelling technical presentations centered around Gradient Boosting Machines (GBMs). You can see the video and slides HERE.

Let’s start with some new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM)®, a global leader in storage and information management services, announced a partnership with Google Cloud to develop new AI-powered SaaS solutions on GCP to help organizations analyze their vast physical and digital information and data repositories, to unlock insights, improve decision making and create new revenue streams. Iron Mountain expects to deliver these new subscription services built on GCP this September. In addition, Iron Mountain has selected Google Cloud as its preferred cloud provider for artificial intelligence and machine learning, providing Iron Mountain with highly reliable and secure services. With the exponential growth of data across industries, many businesses continue to struggle to classify, access, and understand the full value of their data. By not knowing what they have, organizations are missing the opportunity to utilize that data to uncover new revenue opportunities and cost savings … H2O.ai, an open source leader in AI, announced a collaboration with Google Cloud to integrate the company’s full suite of products, including open source platform, H2O-3, and the automated machine learning platform, H2O Driverless AI, with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to supercharge AI and machine learning capabilities in the cloud. The combination provides data science teams with a machine learning platform that is optimized and ready-to-use on an entire data management infrastructure within a matter of days. With these new integrations, enterprise customers can efficiently and effectively harness the full potential of their data with AI to make mission-critical business decisions … Mist, a pioneer in self-learning networks powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), announced that it has partnered with Shopper Media Group, Australia’s fastest-growing retail out-of-home (OOH) media business. Using Mist, Shopper Media Group will offer superior Wi-Fi, analytics and location-based services across the company’s portfolio of Australian shopping centers. By deploying Mist’s Learning Wireless Network in conjunction with Smartlite® digital displays, Shopper Media Group is able to offer the most advanced integrated Wi-Fi and digital media solution in OOH, driving deeper engagement with shoppers through personalized location-based messaging and the use of real-time traffic analytics, to create a superior retail shopping experience … ClearDATA™, a leading security and compliance expert in the healthcare cloud, has joined forces with Google Cloud to accelerate healthcare innovation. The new partnership hosted on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) combines Google Cloud’s innovation with ClearDATA’s healthcare compliance expertise to speed advancements and scale healthcare IT infrastructure … KPMG International announced an integration of its Intelligent Interactions solution with Google Cloud’s new Contact Center AI, a solution that combines multiple artificial intelligence (AI) products to improve the customer service experience and productivity of contact centers. KPMG’s Intelligent Interactions uses machine learning (ML), AI and data and analytics to automate and enhance customer experiences and touchpoints through five main channels: voice, chatbots, virtual assistants, search and email. When integrated with Contact Center AI ─ a solution that allows enterprises with limited ML expertise to deploy AI in their contact centers ─ KPMG clients can improve the quality of customer service, gain new insights with data and analytics and remove significant annual operating costs.

In the new customer wins category we learned … DataStax, powering the Right-Now Enterprise with the always-on, distributed cloud database built on Apache Cassandra™, announced that Gene by Gene, a leader in consumer DNA testing products for ancestry and genealogy applications, will leverage graph capabilities from DataStax Enterprise to modernize its customer experience. The use of DataStax Enterprise (DSE) and DSE Graph will provide Gene by Gene customers with always-on access to its immense online family tree and genome database for a better customer experience. Gene by Gene will implement DSE and DSE Graph to power the delivery of test results to customers and manage the analysis of data behind family trees that can extend to more than a quarter of a million people … Sumo Logic, a leading cloud-native, machine data analytics platform that delivers continuous intelligence, announced Simnang, a trusted provider of loan lifecycle software, has selected Sumo Logic as its centralized machine data analytics platform to maintain critical Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliance and deliver the best and most secure customer experiences … MapR Technologies, Inc., provider of a leading data platform for AI and Analytics, announced that Ingenico has selected the MapR Data Platform to serve as the foundational data layer for its payment processing systems that handle 5.1 billion transactions, across over 300 payment types within 170 countries. Ingenico selected MapR as part of an ongoing strategy to consolidate its multiple data silos within a unified platform to simplify and create better data synergies for its critical real-time workflows. Today, Ingenico’s worldwide presence includes 25 R&D centers working alongside over one thousand financial institutions, deploying 30 million payment terminals – together generating revenue of €2.51 billion in 2017 … VoltDB, the enterprise-class database that powers real-time intelligent decisions on streaming data, announced a growing customer base across industry verticals, as companies are advancing toward real-time analytics capabilities. Technology companies Kline, BlockEx and White Ops are ingesting increasingly higher volumes of data, requiring a more advanced data infrastructure to process a continuous stream of events and make real-time decisions based on data insights at scale with complete accuracy. Kline uses VoltDB to power its Sphera trading platform, an ecosystem of software products enabling direct access to worldwide financial markets and brokers, trade assets, and receiving real-time updates from the markets. Similarly, BlockEx, a digital asset exchange and technology provider for institutional-grade financial market participants, relies on VoltDB to ensure transactional trade settlement and compliance within its trading platform. The BlockEx platform manages the entire lifecycle of blockchain-based digital assets, including origination, issuance, exchange, and settlement and redemption, so accuracy and speed are critical to its operations … A leading provider of South-Eastern European communication services, Telekom Slovenije, has turned to Exasol, the fast in-memory analytics database in an upheaval of their previous analytics infrastructure. The Telekom Slovenije Group, which also acts as the national telecommunications operator in Slovenia, now has data monetisation in sight since employing the services of Exasol to face the challenges of high speed data handling.

In M&A activity we heard … Bossa Nova, a leading provider of real-time, on-shelf product data for the global retail industry, announced the acquisition of the artificial intelligence company, HawXeye. Founded by Prof. Marios Savvides and Andy Lin, HawXeye is a spinoff of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). The company has introduced significant advancements in face detection and object recognition technology. Prof. Marios Savvides has joined Bossa Nova as Chief AI Scientist bringing over 18 years of experience in deep learning, facial biometrics, and object recognition. Savvides will be responsible for advancing AI capabilities within the retail environment, resulting in precise product recognition at large scale, highly accurate identification of out-of-stock and misplaced products … Qlik®, a leader in data analytics, announced the acquisition of Podium Data, a Boston-area data management company. Qlik is acquiring Podium Data because the company’s solution simplifies and accelerates customers’ ability to manage, prepare and deliver analytics ready data across multiple industries.

In new funding news, we learned … Zorroa Corp., the company behind the first search and analysis platform able to automatically extract intelligence from visual assets and apply insights to data-driven business processes, has closed a $7M funding round. The round was led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused, early-stage venture fund with participation from a number of strategic partners. With the funding, the company is positioned to expand its Zorroa Visual Intelligence (ZVI) platform, accelerate ongoing feature and usability enhancements, and invest further in employee growth to better support its clients across multiple industries. ZVI automatically analyzes and organizes a company’s large and fast-growing collection of visual assets — digital documents, images, and video — extracting valuable insights and metadata contained in these assets and providing actionable business intelligence … Seeq Corporation, a leader in manufacturing and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) advanced analytics software, announced it has secured $23M in Series B funding led by the Altira Group with participation by Chevron Technology Ventures, next47, the Siemens-backed global venture firm, Second Avenue Partners and other existing investors. The funding enables Seeq to significantly expand its development, sales and marketing resources, and also increase its presence in international markets.

And finally, in observance of the 10th year of Apache Cassandra, here is a brief commentary from Dor Laor, CEO of ScyllaDB and was part of the founding team of the KVM hypervisor.

Ten years ago Apache Cassandra laid the foundation for the big data applications we see today. It’s an amazing project. Since then, the world has advanced. IOT devices are generating an exponential growth in data, and it’s now commonplace to gather massive amounts of unstructured customer data in order to serve them better. It’s a world inspired by Cassandra, but it has grown beyond some of Cassandra’s capabilities. For example, multi-core processors are now mainstream, presenting new opportunities to scale up the database for greater performance optimization. There are new challenges for distributed databases in today’s world, where virtually every company is a big data company.”

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