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September 8, 2014

Q+A: Business Intelligence Modernisation, part of HP’s big data strategy

Ipek Ozsuer, director of Analytics & Data Management and Lars Wriedt, Big Data and Analytics Lead, talk strategy and competition.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

CBR Q: What do your business intelligence modernisation (BIM) tools deliver?

Ozsuer: They help enterprises enter the big data space quickly in three main ways. The first is through discovery environments, which allows us to support testing as many use cases as possible. We provide the platform as a service on the data discovery environment, so it’s a really flexible consumption model.

Clients can also experience the value of the big data through our analytics solutions, and use our hybrid data management services – this is building on to the existing BI investments and embedding and combining it with the big data tool sets.

CBR Q: To what extent does the offering leverage HP’s HAVen platform and how can it benefit users?

Wriedt: BI modernisation doesn’t change anything for HAVen, which stands for Hadoop, Autonomy, Vertica, Enterprise Security and n (for a large number of applications). The whole portfolio is a combination of one or more of these elements that can be interfaced. So if you take it from the bottom up, you typically capture information from databases into your data warehouse. Big data use cases change that equation so now you also need to capture information from applications, like application logs, from systems, from document repositories, from recordings in your call centre and so on.

So with HAVen, there is a library of connectors, which can connect through all these types of systems that are managing that data. For instance, when we look at an audio file, we can translate it into text and deal with the text to manage different types of file formats, such as photos, audios, videos, documents and Twitter feeds. HAVen then has a layer of analytical engines and uses Hadoop as the open source environment for raw data repository, discovery and pre-processing of data you want to analyse later on.

It’s also based on the Intelligent Data Operational Layer (IDOL) technology (that we gained from our acquisition of Autonomy), which can deal with human language information and can understand what the meaning of different statements and sentences is. It can cluster them, it can do inductions, analytics and it can do up to 500 different analytical functions dealing with human or text data.

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CBR Q: How does HAVen distinguish itself from all the other players in the BI market?

Wriedt: HAVen can really deal with all kinds of data. We can do most types of analytics, from simple reporting, slicing and dicing, to predictive analytics. So we see a big market in manufacturing where there is a big interest in predictive analytics.

Ozsuer: What’s different about Haven is that our clients can buy it on their premise and on a consumption-based model. So if clients don’t know where to invest or how much to invest or if they’re just looking for flexible models, we’re able to provide them that as a service.

CBR Q: Are there any challenges in leveraging BIM and, if so, how are you overcoming them?

Wriedt: On the technical side, it is to bring this open source and this new type of software, such as Hadoop, into a controlled, secure and business critical operation that delivers everyday and every hour. So it has to be hardened and we are investing a lot in the infrastructure to secure it, to operate it and make it available 24/7.

Ozsuer:In the big data market itself, we still don’t have industry returns from the big data solutions, so everybody totally believes that data is the core, and I think the market is maturing as we go. So the biggest challenge is coming up with a solution that extracts the full business benefit using the technology. It’s a journey. The necessity is there and the outcomes are going to come as we mature the environments.

Wriedt:I do agree with Ipek. We see companies who don’t talk about what the big data phenomenon is. They say, ‘ I have an idea, I have a potential business case and I want to use my big data in this way to support my business but how do I actually do it, and how do I prove the use case before I go out and invest $50m in a new platform’. And that’s where we bring in BIM.

CBR Q: How do you find competing with the other traditional players in the market alongside up and coming players, such as Qlik and Tableau?

Ozsuer: In the context we talk about, with the exception of IBM, no other company has the same depth of hardware platform, software technology and consulting services to be able to operate it in a consumption based model. So in that sense, if you look at the portions of course we’ll see competition but nobody can encapsulate it, with the exception of IBM, from our viewpoint on the services we’re talking about. They can partner but HP has the complete stack, so if you’re talking about Tableau, they need to purchase the hardware from another company.

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