“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 10/15/2018

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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.

It’s been a very tough week in the stock market tech sector, not for any good reason of course. On the contrary, I’m seeing tremendous growth, innovation and success. Yet tech is the first to get hit when investors become skittish about the economy. We’ll bounce back, that’s for sure!

Let’s lead off with the huge M&A news in our industry with the marriage of two Hadoop distributions turned digital transformation companies – Hortonworks and Cloudera. We’re all waiting for details about this deal, stay tuned. We received a interesting commentary from Ashish Thusoo, CEO and co-founder of cloud-native data platform Qubole: Historically, the number 1 and number 2 players in a category never merge when their business is growing. Ashish believes this merger shows that the business models of Cloudera and Hortonworks are obsolete. Why? Because the on-prem big data world is dying. On-prem Hadoop vendors haven’t been able to fulfill their initial promise to customers. He believes this serves as proof that the market has evolved towards the cloud—away from on-premises solutions—to solve their big data challenges … LinkedIn has signed an agreement to acquire Glint, a leader in employee engagement, that delivers insights to improve employee satisfaction, happiness and performance. The missions of LinkedIn and Glint align perfectly. Both companies are focused on helping make people more successful at work, and building winning teams.

  • The acquisition of Glint is one of our largest and consistent with our strategy of acquiring talent, technology, and products that help us accelerate the execution of our long term strategies.
  • Glint’s insights into people success, along with LinkedIn’s insights into the broader workforce, will be a powerful combination that can help talent leaders attract, develop, and retain the best talent.
  • We will not be disclosing the terms of the deal at this time.

In new funding news, we heard … Deep Lens Inc., a digital pathology startup combining artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced, cloud-based, pathology workflows to improve efficiency and enable patient access to clinical trials, exited stealth mode with $3.2 million in seed financing. The round was led by Silicon Valley-based Sierra Ventures, with participation from Rev1 Ventures and Tamarind-Hill Fund. In conjunction with the financing, Mark Shary, managing member of Tamarind-Hill, and Dr. Jeff Elton, CEO of Concerto Health AI, will join the Company’s board of directors. Along with platform development, the financing will be used to globally deploy the company’s flagship technology, called VIPER (Virtual Imaging for Pathology Education and Research), which is now available as a public beta. VIPER will combine artificial intelligence (AI) with advanced pathology workflows while also facilitating peer-to-peer and pathologist-to-patient collaboration. The ultimate aim is to provide users with fast and accurate information, along with expert consultation, for better patient care and advanced clinical research … Arcadia Data, provider of the first visual analytics software native to Apache Hadoop® and the cloud, announced it raised $15 million in a Series B funding round led by Pelion Venture Partners with participation from existing investors Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund, and Blumberg Capital. The round brings total equity raised to $27 million and reflects the sustained five-fold organizational growth and strong customer momentum the company has achieved. The funding will continue to support global organizational expansion, go-to-market strategies, and continue to fuel its laser-like focus on product innovation … OmniSci (formerly MapD), the creator of an extreme analytics platform, announced the completion of a $55 million Series C financing, led by new investor Tiger Global Management. This round takes total funding to $92 million.Lead investor Tiger Global Management is a global investment firm with $26 billion under management. Existing investors also participated in the round, including In-Q-Tel, New Enterprise Associates, Vanedge Capital, NVIDIA, and Verizon Ventures. OmniSci’s technical vision was to create the fastest analytics software designed to run on the fastest hardware: NVIDIA’s general purpose graphics processing units (GPUs). Commercially launched in 2016, adoption of OmniSci has paralleled the dramatic rise of GPUs in private and public data centers. NVIDIA’s quarterly data center revenues have risen from $151 million in Q2-FY17 to $760 million in Q2-FY19.

We also received a commentary on the Elastic IPO which asks the question – Why now? Thanks to Amazon, the “new normal” in consumer search has risen several octaves, and enterprises are finding it harder to deliver this same search and discovery experience to customers. Technologies, such as Elastic and Algolia, allow them to build these personalization capabilities into their own sites (recommendations based on past searches, contextual search, incremental search, etc.). Meanwhile, voice search is heating up thanks to America’s love affair with voice-assisted devices.

Nicolas Dessaigne, co-founder and CEO, Algolia offers his point of view:

Data and personalization technologies now sit at the core of the digital revolution. Customers today want to feel catered to — and we’re seeing enterprises awaken to this movement and invest in technologies that will help them predict what their customers want before they even know it themselves. This shift is manifesting itself on Wall Street with the recent successful IPO of SurveyMonkey for targeting and segmentation, and the IPO from Elastic on the customer engagement front. In addition, established players – like Amazon and Google – have mastered the art of personalization and catering to their customers needs.Companies like these that are taking a digital-first approach are leading the pack when it comes to innovation and gaining market share. Amongst these IPOs and market trends, enterprises have spoken. They are demanding the data and tools to bring this type of intuitive experience to their own digital properties. We look forward to seeing how the presence of these technologies in the stock market will create further incentive to step up technical innovation that will not only benefit investors, but also customers seeking a personalized experience.”

In the new partnerships, alignments and collaborations department, we learned … Couchbase, creator of the Engagement Database, announced a new solution designed to help enterprises provide fast, scalable, secure and always-on applications to their global and mobile field workforce in partnership with Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology, and next generation services. Powered by the Couchbase Data Platform, the Field Service solution with offline capabilities will enable enterprises to develop and implement an “offline-first” strategy while modernizing their application landscape to deliver exceptional user experiences and support a more effective workforce …

DataRobot, the pioneering architect of automated machine learning, announced a partnership with UiPath, a leading Enterprise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company. With a shared vision of bringing automation and efficiency to as many business processes as possible, the product-level integration empowers users without strong technical expertise to train and infer machine learning models from DataRobot into UiPath processes to augment decision-making and forge a path for artificial intelligence (AI)-Driven Process Automation. The combination of UiPath and DataRobot unlocks AI-Driven Process Automation, an emerging suite of business improvements that assist the knowledge worker by automating repetitive tasks and freeing up workers to focus on creative and challenging problems. By infusing machine learning into rules-based processes, AI-Driven Process Automation can mimic the actions of humans which leads to increased worker performance, reduction of operational risks, and improved response times and customer journey experiences … Veritas Technologies, a leader in enterprise data protection, in collaboration with Pure Storage (NYSE: PSTG), the all-flash storage platform that helps innovators build a better world with data, announced a new global effort to help joint customers modernize data protection and maximize the value of their data for competitive advantage. The collaboration will enable organizations to confidently consolidate modern workloads onto Pure Storage’s unique data hub architecture, powered by Pure Storage FlashBlade™. With the integration of NetBackup, Veritas’ flagship technology, enterprise data can be shared, protected and unlocked for unprecedented value … Boundless, a leader in open and scalable GIS, announced its partnership with the United Nations (UN) to support its UN Open GIS Initiative, which aides UN operations around the world through open source geospatial software and services. With Boundless’ technology, the UN can leverage a hybrid architecture approach and maintain interoperability with existing software systems to maximize the value of its open technology and open data in global peacekeeping and other UN operations. The UN Open GIS Initiative aims to identify and develop open source geospatial software and services that meet the requirements of UN operations, taking full advantage of the expertise of mission partners including member states, technology contributing countries, international organizations, academia, NGOs and the private sector. The scope of the initiative covers software development for the entire lifecycle of geospatial information at the enterprise level, from data collection, management and sharing to geospatial analysis and web and mobile applications. The initiative also focuses on the technology’s sustainability and eventual transfer from the UN to other potential user groups as well as developing countries … Kinetica, the insight engine for the Extreme Data Economy, announced that it has partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF), joining its Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings together governments, leading companies, and experts from around the world to accelerate cross-sector cooperation and address challenges related to emerging technologies. We are in the era of the data driven economy. This was firmly acknowledged by Angela Merkel at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos where she stated that “data will be the raw material of the 21st Century.” This shift demands that economies and industries need to move beyond being informed by data to becoming powered by data. Together with other WEF Members, Kinetica will explore approaches to building the effective data strategies that will define this data driven era … C3 and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced an expanded collaboration focused on accelerating customers’ time to value with complex and strategic artificial intelligence (AI) applications across the enterprise. Fueled by the successful adoption of the C3 Platform™ on AWS at more than 30 commercial and public sector organizations, C3 and AWS are increasing their investment in existing customer deployments, joint sales and go-to-market initiatives, a global event series, continuous technology integrations, and training on the joint solution for more than 5,000 sales and delivery professionals … Alteryx, Inc. (NYSE: AYX), revolutionizing business through data science and analytics, announced ongoing collaborations with the Kubrick Group, Udacity and Alteryx for Good university participants to triple down on the talent gap that exists between data scientists and data workers in the line of business. Industry continues to indicate that desired data skills are in short supply as a recent LinkedIn Workforce Report reported an estimated shortage of 151.7K data science professionals in the U.S. alone. Gartner predicts that, “by 2019, citizen data scientists will surpass data scientists in terms of the amount of advanced analysis they produce.” The Alteryx platform was purpose-built to bridge this gap, recognizing that any data worker in an organization has the capability to complement data scientists with sophisticated analytical tasks, if empowered with the right training, technology and tools. But, this initiative extends far beyond the company itself and is supported by unique programs designed in partnership with organizations such as the Kubrick Group, Udacity and leading universities. Kubrick, a data consultancy, disrupting the traditional consulting model, creates outstanding data engineers, analysts, scientists and governance specialists. The company’s mission is to create the next generation of data specialists, leveraging the Alteryx platform in their custom data labs to equip top junior professionals with the latest skills. On completion of the in-house training program, graduates are matched with leading companies and organizations, empowered with deep Alteryx knowledge and advanced analytic skills.

We also have learned of a number of people movements … Tintri by DDN® announced that Mark Gritter, the visionary original co-founder and architect of Tintri, is joining the new organization’s executive team to serve as its chief technology officer … Stage Intelligence, a leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform provider for Mobility and Logistics, has appointed Tom Nutley to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The appointment marks the next phase of growth for Stage Intelligence as it uses its BICO Artificial Intelligence platform to solve an increasing number of challenges in Mobility and Logistics … Alation Inc., the data catalog company, bolstered its executive leadership team with the appointments of Steve Kennedy as chief revenue officer (CRO) and Bob Block as chief customer success officer (CCSO). As CRO, Kennedy will have direct worldwide responsibility for revenue-generating teams, helping to scale sales and mature the partner ecosystem. As CCSO, Block will oversee the customer success organization, ensuring customers have the services and resources they need to thrive … DataRobot, the creator of the automated machine learning category, announced that it has appointed Jen Underwood to lead the company’s rapidly growing community of citizen data scientists. These highly capable and motivated business analytics professionals prize DataRobot’s unparalleled ability to deliver cutting-edge machine learning solutions to high-value business problems–without getting bogged down in programming and statistics chores. Jen brings a unique blend of product management and design skills, honed over 20 years of experience developing enterprise reporting, visualization, and analytics solutions.

And finally, in new customer wins we learned … Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK), delivering actions and outcomes from the world of data, announced that the National Ignition Facility (NIF), steward of the country’s nuclear stockpile, is taking action on data from the world’s largest and most powerful laser facility using Splunk® Enterprise and Splunk® IT Service Intelligence (ITSI). Splunk helps NIF to improve system uptime and performance and respond to IT challenges before they happen, giving their team of world-renowned scientists more time back to conduct a wide range of experiments that help keep the country safe. NIF houses 192 giant laser beams used to conduct experiments — known as laser shots — which promote and enable the bleeding edge of scientific research. Founded by the National Nuclear Security Administration, NIF provides key support for the United States Stockpile Stewardship program, which keeps the nation’s nuclear stockpile safe, secure and effective. The facility also conducts experiments into fusion ignition and explores astrophysics, materials science, nuclear science and other areas that help the United States keep a competitive advantage in scientific endeavors.


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