“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 10/26/2020

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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.

I don’t know about other industries, but the big data ecosystem hasn’t skipped a beat during the pandemic period in world history. We’re seeing an amazing flow of activity and strong indicators as evidenced in the following round-up … In M&A activity, the big news was TIBCO Software Inc. announcing that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Information Builders, Inc. (ibi), a leading data and analytics software company. ibi has a rich product portfolio and trusted data-driven solutions that are at the core of digital transformation. Its comprehensive set of data management and analytics capabilities will augment TIBCO’s Connected Intelligence platform to more deeply address customers’ end-to-end needs … Qlik® acquired Blendr.io, an easy-to-use, scalable and secure embedded integration and automation platform (iPaaS), that seamlessly automates data integration and orchestration of processes across 500+ SaaS applications and cloud data sources. Purpose built for embedded SaaS use cases and enterprise integration workflows, Blendr.io expands Qlik’s ability to deliver Active Intelligence through its end-to-end data integration and cloud analytics platform, where real-time, up-to-date data triggers immediate action to accelerate business value across the entire data and analytics supply chain … Idera, Inc., parent company of global B2B software productivity brands, announced the acquisition of Qubole, Inc., a leading provider of open data lake solutions. Qubole will join Idera, Inc.’s Database Tools business unit that includes AquaFold, IDERA, Webyog, and WhereScape, significantly expanding the breadth and depth of the company’s cross-platform data-centric solutions.

In funding news, we heard … Anyscale, the company behind the Ray open source project, announced it has raised $40 million in Series B funding. Led by existing investor NEA, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Foundation Capital, and Intel Capital, the oversubscribed round brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million. Anyscale will use the funding to further grow the ecosystem around the Ray open source project and fulfill its vision of simplifying the development of distributed applications and putting AI in the hands of every developer. In addition, Anyscale announced its first commercial offering — the Anyscale managed Ray platform, which provides developers with the illusion of an “infinite laptop” and is the first step toward making programming the cloud as easy as programming on a laptop. Anyscale also announced that Pete Sonsini, General Partner and Head of Enterprise Investing at NEA, will join the company’s board of directors in conjunction with the financing … Cribl, a leading Observability Pipeline company, announced it has closed $35 million in a Series B funding round led by Sequoia Capital. Charles River Ventures (CRV) also participated in the round, bringing Cribl’s total funding to $46 million. The investment will be used to bolster go-to-market initiatives, drive data routing and pipeline innovation and support an aggressive hiring strategy … Dataloop, a leading platform for AI data management and annotation, announced it has raised $16 million in funding following the completion of an $11 million Series A round led by Amiti Ventures with participation from F2 Venture Capital, OurCrowd, NextLeap Ventures and SeedIL Ventures. The investment follows a previously undisclosed $5 million seed round and will enable the company to increase recruitment efforts and grow its presence in the US and European markets … Yotascale­­, a leader in next-generation cloud cost management software, announced it secured $13 million for its Series B round, bringing its total capital raised to $25 million. The round was led by Felicis Ventures’ Aydin Senkut, alongside existing investors, Crosslink Capital, Pelion Ventures, and Engineering Capital … Gitpod, the open source developer platform to automate the provisioning of ready-to-code development environments, announced $3M USD seed funding from Crane Venture Partners, Speedinvest, and Vertex Ventures US, as well as a partnership and native integration with GitLab, the DevOps platform delivered as a single application. Gitpod is an open source GitOps solution that leverages the version control system as the canonical source of truth to automate everything a developer needs to start coding. Gitpod frees engineering teams from the friction of manually setting-up local dev environments, saving dozens of hours and enabling a new level of collaboration to create applications much more quickly than ever before … Observe Inc. announced funding of $35M in Series A and debt financing led by Mike Speiser, Managing Partner at Sutter Hill Ventures (SHV).  Early investors also include Michael Dell, Frank Slootman, and Scott Dietzen. Observe is focused on a new segment of the market called Observability which promises to supplant the $20B+ market for log analytics, infrastructure monitoring and application performance management.  

In the new customer wins department we have … Actian, a leader in hybrid cloud data analytics, announced that The AA, a leading UK automobile insurer and breakdown service provider, has selected Actian’s Avalanche hybrid cloud data warehouse for its insurance business to execute its cloud strategy. The AA, the UK’s leading British motoring association, provides vehicle insurance, driving lessons, breakdown coverage, loans, motoring advice, road maps and other services to its thousands of customers every day. With Actian’s Avalanche data warehouse service, the AA can now effortlessly analyze operational data in real-time to provide customized services to its clients. Avalanche’s high performance and scalability enables the AA to process their data science workloads at lightning speed, taking advantage of Actian’s flexible pay-as-you-go subscription pricing and compute elasticity … DDN®, premier provider of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Management software and hardware solutions enabling Intelligent Infrastructure, announced Brookhaven National Laboratory, one of 10 national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has selected DDN’s A3I AI400X® all-NVME flash appliance storage for fast optimum experimental design for its Computational Science Initiative (CSI). With the DDN AI storage solution, Brookhaven National Laboratory plans to expand its project portfolio and Advanced Computing Lab (ACL) … Moogsoft, the AI-driven observability leader, announced that Optimiz, a premier IT operations optimization partner for enterprises in the digital era, has deployed the Moogsoft Observability Cloud to help clients quickly align their IT operations and digital business goals, and deliver epic customer experiences … Liqid, provider of the composable disaggregated infrastructure (CDI) platform, announced the company has been awarded two contracts from the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide three composable supercomputing systems that include more than 900 NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs and NVIDIA Mellanox HDR 200 gigabit per second InfiniBand smart networking. The systems, worth more than $52 million, will be the largest composable supercomputer in deployment. They will be deployed at the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Lab (ARL) at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, and at the US Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

In people movement news we learned … ChaosSearch, creator of the first cloud data lake platform for scalable log analysis, announced it has named Melinda Smith as Chief Financial Officer. Smith was most recently CFO for PayPal’s Venmo business unit, which she shepherded through a period of explosive growth in revenue and customer acquisition. Smith, who has held CFO positions at several high-growth and acquired startups, joins an accomplished ChaosSearch executive team … CLARA analytics, a leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the commercial insurance industry, announced it has hired Karin Golde as its vice president of data science. Golde most recently served as vice president of artificial intelligence research & development at NetBase Quid. At CLARA, she will be responsible for conceiving and driving the development of a robust portfolio of AI and machine learning-based initiatives that accelerate the growth of CLARA’s business. Golde rounds out CLARA’s executive team as the company experiences increasing demand and prepares to expand its product lines. She will report to CLARA’s CEO, Gary Hagmueller … MariaDB® Corporation announced the appointment of Amir Ameri as Chief Financial Officer, and Paul Jenkinson as Board Member and Audit Committee Chair. The leadership appointments come at a time of rapid growth for the company … Matillion, a leading provider of data transformation for cloud data warehouses (CDWs), announced the appointment of Barrett Foster as chief revenue officer (CRO), effective October 1, 2020. Reporting to CEO Matthew Scullion, Foster will oversee all revenue operations, guiding worldwide sales, alliances and customer success efforts to deepen customer relationships, help them achieve success with Matillion, and facilitate the company’s next stage of growth … Anaconda, Inc., provider of the popular data science platform, announced that Kevin Goldsmith has joined its team as Chief Technology Officer. In his role, Goldsmith will oversee innovation for Anaconda’s current open-source and commercial offerings, as well as developing new solutions to bring data science practitioners together with innovators, vendors, and thought leaders in the industry … Hybrid cloud data warehouse company Yellowbrick Data announced that Mark Cusack has joined the company as chief technology officer (CTO), where he will shape the company’s roadmap, guide product development, continue to push the boundaries of what data warehouses and data analytics systems can do, and enhance the company’s ecosystem partnerships. 

We also learned of a number of new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … Intel and Katana Graph announced a collaboration to port and optimize the Katana Graph engine on Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, Xeon-based clusters and the upcoming line of Intel’s discrete GPUs, including the GPU (code-named “Ponte Vecchio”). Together, Intel and Katana Graph will enable customers to exploit high-performance, scale-out parallel computing to solve large-scale problems with unstructured data with unmatched efficiency … Syniti, a leading Enterprise Data Management company, announced its latest strategic collaboration with SAP Data Management and Landscape Transformation (DMLT) Services for customers moving to SAP S/4HANA via selective data transition (SDT). SAP’s Data Management and Landscape Transformation (DMLT) Services is a dedicated service provider within SAP for data migration and management. They assist customers moving to SAP S/4HANA using a defined approach and best practices for a smooth overall transition. Their expertise covers all transition paths to SAP S/4HANA and their DMLT Migration Workbench now includes SAP Advanced Data Migration by Syniti™ for customer specific transition scenarios … KNIME and H2O.ai, the two data science pioneers known for their open source platforms, announced a strategic partnership that integrates offerings from both companies. The joint offering combines Driverless AI for AutoML and KNIME Server for workflow management across the entire data science life cycle — from data access to optimization and deployment. With this partnership, KNIME and H2O.ai offer a complete no-code, enterprise data science solution to add value in any industry for end-to-end data science automation. Preparing data for AI, selecting the right model, pushing it into production, and continuously optimizing it is a process that typically requires many stakeholders and several tools. Parts of it can be automated, but flexibility is paramount to select the techniques that answer a company’s questions in the best way. The lack of an end-to-end tooling prevalent in most data practices also makes it very difficult to ensure data lineage. This H2O.ai and KNIME integration now provides a solution that covers all these challenges as well as increases data scientists’ productivity, reduces overall IT spend, and creates and uses more accurate predictions … Alation Inc., a leader in enterprise data intelligence solutions, announced a partnership with Dataiku, a leading global Enterprise AI and machine learning platform, to accelerate time to value, increase collaboration and efficiency of data science teams, and ensure that sensitive data used to create AI and machine-learning models is properly classified and governed. The partnership expedites the time and accuracy of data science insights for organizations … ABBYY, a Digital Intelligence company, announced that it has partnered with Alteryx, Inc. (NYSE: AYX), a leader in analytic process automation (APA™), to deliver process intelligence capabilities that complement the Alteryx Analytic Process Automation Platform™. The Alteryx APA Platform™ unifies analytics, data science and data-centric process automation in one self-service platform. ABBYY brings process intelligence to both data and operational processes to automate otherwise complex hand-offs. By leveraging ABBYY Process Intelligence with the Alteryx APA Platform, users can better initiate, analyze, predict and monitor end-to-end analytics and operational process execution and value. In addition, the partnership enables organizations to speed insights needed to identify the most impactful processes for automation and determine which processes will drive the greatest return on investment (ROI) … UC San Francisco’s Center for Digital Health Innovation (CDHI), Fortanix, Intel, and Microsoft Azure have formed a collaboration to establish a confidential computing platform with privacy preserving analytics to accelerate the development and validation of clinical algorithms. The platform will provide a “zero-trust” environment to protect both the intellectual property of an algorithm and the privacy of healthcare data, while CDHI’s proprietary BeeKeeperAI will provide the workflows to enable more efficient data access, transformation, and orchestration … Cloudera announced a new collaboration with NVIDIA that will help Cloudera customers accelerate data engineering, analytics, machine learning and deep learning performance with the power of NVIDIA GPU computing across public and private clouds. This exciting initiative is built on our shared vision to make data-driven decision-making a reality for every business.

We also received a commentary about the recent Sumo Logic IPO:

“Cybersecurity is known for its resiliency, so it is no wonder the sector has stood apart as one of the few industries relatively untouched from the wrath of COVID-19,” commented Nir Polak, CEO of Exabeam. “With the shift to remote-first working, companies have found it increasingly difficult to identify and mitigate threats on individual employees’ computers. The increase in phishing scams, insider threats, credential-stuffing attacks and ransomware in the wake of the pandemic have all forced organizations to rely on security solutions and partners to stay protected.

According to a new study by P&S Intelligence, cybersecurity could be valued at almost $434 billion by 2030, grossing more than $300 billion in only 10 years. The rapid growth of the industry even in the midst of unprecedented times was likely a driving factor behind Sumo Logic announcing its IPO. Sumo Logic is among the latest SIEM players, following its acquisition of JASK, looking to go public. Despite the milestone for Sumo Logic and others, it is important for customers to look into the technology powering these solutions.

Customers need a solution that is designed for big data and cloud deployment to keep up with today’s workplace. With security teams no longer confined to the walls of a security operations center (SOC) and instead forced to collaborate virtually, organizations are in need of a solution powered by machine learning to combat alert fatigue and to prevent threats from slipping through the perimeters. Advanced analytics, which Sumo Logic lacks, is now table stakes. Individual security alerts can be placed within the context of the big picture to enable faster and better decision making, and attacker techniques like lateral movement, that were nearly impossible to detect with legacy technology, can now be readily detected to identify compromised or malicious users.”

And finally, we received a commentary about how after producing the biggest IPO for a US software company, Snowflake has quickly become a powerhouse in cloud computing. But where does the company go from here? 

In part because the cloud has delivered significant operational benefits,” commented Chetan Mathur, CEO of Next Pathway. “But moreover, Snowflake is proving to be a leader in the cloud data warehouse space. This combined with the necessity for businesses to move to a more agile, cost-effective platform that allows better, faster access to critical data is fueling the movement to Snowflake. As a technology partner, we could not be prouder of Snowflake’s success, it is so well-deserved, and our cloud migration technology, SHIFT, has never been more relevant and useful. 

The movement to the cloud can easily be considered as one of the most revolutionary technological improvements of our time. In 2019 we were early partners of Snowflake, and we were involved in many proof-of-concepts (POC), whereby enterprise companies willingly offered us samples of their legacy code to see if/how we could translate the code to SnowSQL, Snowflake’s native language. Following these POCs and with the onset of the pandemic, over the past 8 months many of these companies are coming to us to migrate these data warehouses in their entirety to Snowflake.  

In fact, this time last year I published a LinkedIn article announcing our partnership with Snowflake and why I was excited about working with Snowflake as a migration partner. Fast forward, 12 months later, and a great deal has changed.  Snowflake sold 28 million shares on the day of its IPO, raising nearly $3.4 billion and securing it as the largest software IPO in history!  Having been a technology entrepreneur for the past 30 years, there has never been a more interesting time in our industry. And the support around the Snowflake IPO just underscores this point.  

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