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Cloudera aims for the clouds in its global expansion plans

Cloudera aims for the clouds in its global expansion plans

Channel is key in its go-to-market strategy

Cloudera founder and chief technology officer, Amr Awadallah

Cloudera founder and chief technology officer, Amr Awadallah

Apache Hadoop-based software company, Cloudera, is looking to grow its presence, especially within the ASEAN and A/NZ regions, according to its founder and chief technology officer, Amr Awadallah.

The company currently operates in 50 countries and Awadallah is looking to increase the breadth of that base using the channel.

“Every time we go into a new country, the first thing we do is look for local SIs that can help us with implementation of technology within a country. It is a part of our absolute strategy,” he said.

Cloudera currently has 2600 partners that it works with across the world. Of that number, about 300 are software partners like Tableau, another 300 are hardware partners such as Dell EMC, and AWS, while the rest are solution integration partners, like Accenture, IBM Global Services, and smaller SIs.

“We have partners that build repeatable solutions for technologies like security or telecommunications. We, at Cloudera, are focused on the platform and one of our differentiators is the partner ecosystem that we have in implementing solutions across the world.

“We don’t have distribution partners as we’re not selling ready to use technology, it requires implementation and there is customisation that needs to be done. We don’t have that many pure reselling partners as well,” he mentioned.

According to Awadallah, some of its main verticals are financial (including insurance), government, and telecommunications. The company will be increasing its focus in these verticals.

“This technology is applicable in every space that you can think of. We also work in the healthcare space, manufacturing, farming, and shipping and logistics.

“With 90 per cent of the data we have today generated in the last two years and only 0.5 per cent of that data being used in a smart way so there’s plenty of opportunity that lies ahead of us.”

Awadallah also spoke about some of the challenges that customers face, which involves the speed of processing data quickly, cost of storage, being able to work with multi data types, especially with the multi-structured nature of data and the growth of mobility and internet usage, and going further than SQL.

“We need to be able to go beyond SQL for some of these problems that we want solved. We want to be able to do machine learning and predictive modelling on top of data, which is very hard to do in SQL,” he mentioned.

He added that together with Ex-Facebook data manager, Jeff Hammerbacher, ex-Oracle vice-president of embedded technologies, Mike Olson, and ex-Google senior software engineer, Christophe Bisciglia, Cloudera was formed in October 2008 to solve these challenges.

The company scored initial funding of $5 million, and in eight years since its inception, has raised more than $1 billion in funding, with Intel as its largest investor, owning 18 per cent of Cloudera.

It now employs more than 1500 employees globally and more than 1000 customers worldwide, including MasterCard and Vodafone.

“We needed something special in our distribution that made it hard for IBM or others to claim to do what we do. That was the main aim in our business model creation; to make Cloudera as powerful as it is today,” he added.

Awadallah also said some key focuses for the company when providing solutions are security, making its platform easier to consume, and enabling the performance of its distribution to be significantly better than its competition.

“Data is not just abut the CFO getting a report, data is now becoming part of the business. We are going to be changing the business using that data and for that, SQL will not be the answer all the time.

“For us, right now, it’s all about execution. We want to make our products easier to use in the cloud because we’re not going to build our own cloud. We also want to make data science even easier to consume. There’s plenty of opportunity for us but there’s lot more education for us to do,” he added.

Hafizah Osman is attending Cloudera's Strata + Hadoop World conference in Singapore as a guest of Cloudera.

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