Expect more elephants down under

Published on the 07/12/2016 | Written by Donovan Jackson

Hortonworks Data Platform

Open source big data vendor accelerates activity in Australasia…

With probably one of the coolest names in the tech space, Hortonworks has hit the road in Australia as it prepares to ramp up its efforts in our part of the world. For those who don’t know, Hortonworks provides a ‘big data platform’ based on Apache Hadoop and called Hortonworks Data Platform.

That platform allows organisations to store, process, and analyse large datasets, which can be in different formats and from a range of sources. Hortonworks has been around for some time, founded back in 2011, with the name and elephant logo apparently coming from a childhood toy which belonged to one of the (seven or eight) founders. Although we can’t stop hearing a Who.

Kamal Brar is the recently-appointed VP and GM for the APAC region; he said the company is looking to extend the growth of its international business. “We’ve seen considerable interest from our roadshow, drawing over 200 attendees. Where we see potential for momentum is in the adoption of big data technology with use cases around financial services and telecoms, with outcomes like revenue assurance and the provision of data-based value-added services.”

Asked if there are yet any local clients, Brar said it has signed several businesses up, with AGL Energy a referenceable site. In a statement released in June this year, AGL data platform specialist David Hamilton said the company is using HDP to complement existing infrastructure while consolidating various data sources from siloed apps and databases. “Our journey to actionable intelligence with Hortonworks is going to provide a foundation to help us meet our customers’ needs and enhance their experience with us,” he added.

While there are as yet no deployments in New Zealand, Brar said the company expected to ramp up some activity on that side of the Tasman in the New Year.

Asked what big data can do for businesses down under, marketing veep John Kreisa pointed out that ‘every business today is a data business’. “Companies are inundated by the data that they are collecting or which is available. The smart ones are putting in place connected data platforms to drive their business in ways which weren’t previously possible, whether it is driving out costs or driving new business opportunities.”

Kreisa said that Hortonworks sees particular further opportunity for its big data product in the federal and state government space. Asked about the size of its Sydney team, which will also serve New Zealand in due course, Brar was coy. “What I will say is we have a third each between sales and presales, support, and services, which we are looking at doubling, expecting to go to up to 10 or 15 people next year.” Does that mean ‘three people’? “It’s a lot more than three.”

Four, then. Not that it matters; we’re a small team at iStart, and everything has to start somewhere, including big data.

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