“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 4/15/2019

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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, industry partnerships, 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.

This week I revisited an old passion – TEACHING! Yes, I’m back teaching at my alma mater UCLA after a long absence. It was a pretty smooth transition in getting back into the swing of things with two sections of the “Introduction to Data Science” class. I have over 20 students in each class, and the troops are “very” motivated to learn this stuff. They smell potential career success with the data science profession. I’m glad to help the next generation of data scientists kick start their entry into this dynamic field! I also pointed out that with me as their prof, they get more than just a practicing data scientist, they also get a tech journalist who is well-connected with the big data ecosystem. I plan to share all the cool new stuff flowing through insideBIGDATA. It should be a fun ride.

Let’s start off with this edition of “Above the Trend Line” with some new partnership news … KLDiscovery, a leading global provider of eDiscovery and Information Governance services, and HubStor, a visionary storage software company and Microsoft Gold Partner, announced a strategic partnership to integrate KLDiscovery’s best-of-breed eDiscovery platform, Nebula™, with HubStor’s cloud data management platform. The resulting integration, Nebula Big Data Store, will provide an all-in-one legal hold solution covering both legal hold notifications and data preservation. Clients will be able to maintain legal hold data in a fully-indexed and searchable state with automated policy-driven retention and disposition of data … Redis Labs, the home of Redis and provider of Redis Enterprise, announced an expanded partnership with Google Cloud that will provide Redis Enterprise as a managed service, offering a seamless experience integrated with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) console, billing, and support to enterprise customers. Redis Enterprise is a high-performance, in-memory multi-model database supporting native data structures, probabilistic data-structure, streams, document, graph, time series, AI, and search to power high-speed transactions, recommendation engines, data ingest, session management, real-time analytics, caching, and numerous other instant experience use cases. The new managed service will enable customers to easily create Redis-based applications on GCP and enjoy the five nines availability (99.999%) and true linear scalability of Redis Enterprise. Combining Redis Enterprise’s active-active geo-replication capability with GCP’s fast global network will allow enterprises to deploy their application in a full resilience, globally distributed manner while keeping database latency below sub-millisecond. Redis Enterprise will also leverage GCP’s fast NVMe and persistent memory instances to give these customers the ability to manage these large datasets cost-effectively … Atos and CloudBees announced a new partnership to provide modern application development on Google Cloud. This partnership offers a joint solution to help customers modernize their application development practices on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The integrated solution makes oversight of the software development environment easy and provides a managed platform for the software delivery process. Through this offering, customers gain business agility, scalability and reduction in IT spend to build and automate development pipelines. Through this partnership, Atos – one of Google Cloud’s largest managed service providers – is building a DevOps platform on GCP, powered by CloudBees Core. The solution will include a new set of application and data services, including several services focusing on the end-to-end lifecycle of applications; full automation and provisioning of the service to include CloudBees Core deployed in a hybrid manner on Google Cloud Platform; and automated upgrades, including CloudBees Core on Kubernetes … Neo4j, a leader in graph databases, and Google Cloud announced a strategic partnership that will offer the Neo4j graph database delivered as a seamless experience integrated with GCP console, billing, and support services … Striim®, provider of an enterprise-grade platform for streaming data integration with intelligence, announced that it has entered into a partnership with Google Cloud to offer a database migration service to facilitate moving data into databases running on Google Cloud Platform. This migration service simplifies database migrations by enabling streaming data pipelines from multiple open source and commercial databases – including Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and MySQL – to cloud databases – including Google Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL and MySQL, as well as Google Cloud Spanner … Pitney Bowes Inc. and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) are extending their collaboration under a new agreement that enables Accenture Applied Intelligence to apply the full library of Pitney Bowes’ data assets to develop new intelligent solutions and evolve existing solutions for clients. At the same time Accenture Applied Intelligence and data services solutions will expand the capabilities of Pitney Bowes Spectrum Services by broadening its advanced analytics functionality. Pitney Bowes’ data assets span location intelligence and geospatial capabilities which include but aren’t limited to: addresses, points of interests, businesses located in multitenant locations, proximity to hazards, and neighborhood boundaries. Accenture can apply those data assets across a range of use cases such as financial services transaction traceability and pattern recognition, customer insights, marketing segmentation, social barriers to health, and insurance underwriting risk management process improvement … Microsoft Corp. announced new partnerships with global higher education institutions to align and integrate Microsoft’s technical skills programs and credentials to help address the growing 21st century talent gap. The skills programs will help students prepare for the jobs of tomorrow with in-demand technologies in fields like artificial intelligence, computer science, cybersecurity and data science. Among the first higher education institutions to collaborate with Microsoft are:

  • Bellevue College is offering a blended and flex-learning model in AI, big data, data science and cybersecurity based on Microsoft courses.
  • Purdue University Global will grant credits toward a full degree when students complete Microsoft technical skills programs in areas like AI, cybersecurity, data science and more.
  • London School of Economics and Political Science is embedding data science skills and knowledge into first-year students’ curriculum.
  • Staffordshire University is delivering Microsoft courses across their student population, integrating modules as part of their “Staffordshire Award” employability program.
  • University of London is integrating the Microsoft Professional Program in Data Science into its new MSc Data Science degree course.

In new funding news we heard … Deep Lens, Inc., an AI-driven digital pathology company focused on clinical trial recruitment at the time of diagnosis, announced the company has closed a $14 million Series A financing, led by Northpond Ventures. Existing investors Rev1 Ventures, Sierra Ventures, and Tamarind-Hill Partners also participated in this round, which comes just three months after Deep Lens closed its VC led seed equity round. Funding to date now totals $17.5 million. Deep Lens will use the funding proceeds to further expand its artificial intelligence (AI) and platform product development activities and scale its service, sales, and marketing organizations to support current and anticipated demand and growth for its disruptive approach to clinical trial recruitment.

In the M&A category, we found that … Alteryx, Inc. (NYSE: AYX), revolutionizing business through data science and analytics, announced that it has acquired ClearStory Data, a privately held software company based in Menlo Park, Calif. ClearStory Data is an enterprise-scale, continuous intelligence analytics solution for complex and unstructured data. Since its founding in 2011, ClearStory Data has focused on enabling intelligent automation on large-scale data processing platforms, including Spark™. Alteryx identified synergies between the two companies and with this acquisition, is gaining a talented team and compelling technology. Located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, the acquisition creates a natural extension to the Alteryx technology center, needed to support the organization’s rapid growth as a leader in the data science and analytics market … Evolve IP®, The Cloud Strategy Company™, announced that it has acquired Jog.ai, a speech analytics and natural language technology firm based in Austin, Texas. The strategic purchase enhances the company’s award-winning cloud communications services with intellectual property that helps users remember, retrieve and record everything that happens on a phone call. The acquisition will open new markets for Evolve IP as well as bolster the company’s offerings for businesses in verticals such as Healthcare, Finance and Legal. The technology is ideally suited for contact centers, sales professionals, executives, and businesses that have compliance requirements or transcription needs.

In people movement news, we learned … TIBCO Software Inc., a global leader in integration, API management, and analytics, announced that Dan Streetman has been appointed as its new chief executive officer, effective April 15, 2019. Streetman joins TIBCO from BMC Software where he was executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. Current CEO Murray Rode has been named vice chairman of TIBCO … Okera, a leading active data management company for data lake security and governance, announced Itay Neeman has joined the company as Okera’s new Vice President of Engineering. Previously Neeman served as Senior Director of Engineering at Splunk. At Okera, Neeman will focus on expanding the talent pool of Okera’s award-winning engineering team in addition to driving new governance and security innovation for the company’s data lake management platform … H2O.ai, open source leader in AI and machine learning, announced that renowned financial services executive, Ash Gupta, has joined the company’s advisory board … Indico, a provider of enterprise AI solutions for intelligent process automation, announced the addition of a new vice president of engineering and two advisors to its board. The announcement comes on the heels of a successful 2018 when Indico grew bookings and revenues by 300% and launched Indico IPA, the market’s first productized application of deep learning for intelligent process automation (IPA). Don Zereski has joined Indico in the role of Vice President of Engineering, reporting to CEO Tom Wilde.  In his role, he will oversee the expansion of Indico’s IPA platform to address new use cases and applications in the enterprise. Previously, Don was Vice President of local search and analytics at HERE, a Nokia company where he delivered a local search engine with global coverage to customers such as BMW, Acura and Amazon. He was also responsible for Nokia’s Big Data analytics team. Before joining Nokia, Don was CEO MetaCarta, a machine learning  based geodata platform that served global intelligence agencies and large oil companies … Alation Inc., the data catalog company, announced that Aaron Kalb, Alation co-founder, has been appointed as the company’s first Chief Data Officer (CDO). As CDO, Kalb will lead a centralized team dedicated to Alation’s data governance, self-service analytics, security, and compliance initiatives as well as best practices on the proper use of data and data literacy initiatives.

And finally, below are some comments and observations by tech analyst Patrick Moorhead on Intel Data-Centric news …

“Overall, it was hard to ignore that Intel has become a full datacenter technology provider with huge investments in compute, storage and networking. It’s all-in on heterogeneous compute across CPU, GPU, FPGA and ASICs. This is the new Intel. 

The most interesting things for me about the new Xeons are the addition of Machine Learning capabilities (DL Boost) built into the chip where, when latency counts, is good for specific inference workloads like Recommendation Engines. Not too many know that CPUs already dominate ML inference usage and this just gave datacenters another reason to continue doing this for certain workloads. This isn’t Intel’s big discrete AI accelerator play as those are slated to become real in 2020. 

The Intel-stated 33% raw performance boosts in the mid-range of the Xeon stack was surprising and could put it in a better competitive position. The 2nd Gen Xeons also support Optane Persistent Memory, which for applications like SAP HANA, could radically improve TCO and speed and could become a future  “no-brainer.”  I believe Intel Xeon’s new tuning and management capabilities like Speed Select and Resource Director will strongly accepted by cloud and communications service providers.  

Finally, Intel is quietly gaining networking market share and I believe will continue, in part, due to new technologies like Agilex FPGAs, specialized NFV SKUs, Xeon SOCs, and a full family of network adapters including the new 100Gbe Ethernet 800 Series.”


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