“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 3/4/2019

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Above the Trend Line: your industry rumor central is a recurring feature of insideAI News. 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@insideAINews.com. Be sure to Tweet Above the Trend Line articles using the hashtag: #abovethetrendline.

Our phones and e-mail boxes were red hot these past couple of weeks, so LOT’S to report to our readers! Let start with some new funding news … Splice Machine, a leading data platform for operational artificial intelligence (AI), announced it has closed $16 million in additional funding led by GreatPoint Ventures (GPV). Accenture Ventures also joined this round, strengthening the partnership between Accenture and Splice Machine to drive mission-critical business outcomes for global clients with operational AI solutions. Also participating in the round is Allen Miner, CEO of the SunBridge Group, who was responsible for founding Oracle Japan, Salesforce.com Japan, and Concur Japan. The new round brings Splice Machine’s total funding to $58M to date. The funding follows a year of record growth for Splice Machine, which tripled its revenues and customer counts since its last financing with customer wins in the financial services, healthcare, supply chain, and energy industries. The new funding will help Splice Machine further innovate its data platform, expand its global go-to-market team, and grow its world-class distributed engineering and customer success teams across the U.S. and around the world. Splice Machine will also invest into its new partnership with Accenture to meet the increased global demand for operational AI platforms and large-scale digital transformation … ViSenze, the artificial intelligence company powering visual commerce, announced it has raised $20 million in Series C funding. Gobi Partners, a venture capital firm focusing on innovative technologies in China, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia, and Sonae IM, a European-based corporate venture investor specializing in retail and telco tech as well as cybersecurity, co-led the round with participation from a number of new investors as well as existing investors Rakuten and WI Harper. Founded in 2012, ViSenze is experiencing significant global expansion with over 80 employees, offices in Singapore, China, the United Kingdom, the United States, South Korea, and Japan, as well as global customers including leading retailers Rakuten, ASOS, Urban Outfitters, Zalora, and more. The new financing will be used by ViSenze to provide advanced, vertically-focused visual commerce technology to retailers, brands, and media companies, as well as enhance its platform solutions through its partnerships with major smartphone manufacturers, making visual shopping possible on native camera lenses. In addition to its partnerships with smartphone manufacturers including Samsung, LG, Huawei, and more, the company’s platform solutions have linked over 400 million products from over 800 major merchants and retailers on its global affiliate network … Odaseva, the all-in-one cloud data management platform for enterprises running critical business applications in the cloud such as Salesforce, announced a Series A funding round of $11.7 million. The round, led by Partech with participation from new investor Salesforce Ventures and existing investor Serena, will help the company accelerate its go-to-market strategy and build on successes with global customers that include General Electric, Heineken, Orange Bank, Robert Half, Schneider Electric and Toyota. The new round, in addition to the original seed funding, brings the total funding to $14 million … Datical, a leading provider of database release automation solutions, announced $10 million in Series C funding led by new investor River Cities Capital Funds, with participation from existing investors S3 Ventures and Mercury Fund. Additionally, Adam Midkiff, vice president at River Cities, has joined Datical’s board of directors. The company will use the funds to sustain its tremendous growth by expanding its research and development, customer success capabilities, and sales and marketing functions. This latest round brings the total investment in the company to $27 million to date.

In M&A news, we learned Qlik®, a leader in data analytics, and Attunity Ltd. (NasdaqCM: ATTU), a leading provider of data integration and big data management software solutions, announced that the two companies signed a definitive agreement under which Qlik will acquire Attunity. Under the terms of the agreement, Qlik will acquire all outstanding ordinary shares of Attunity for a total value of approximately $560 million. Attunity shareholders will receive $23.50 in cash per share, representing a 18% premium to Attunity’s last closing price of $19.93 per share on February 20, 2019. The agreement was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of Qlik and Attunity. Building on Qlik’s recent acquisition of Podium Data and the introduction of Qlik Data Catalyst, Attunity provides cross-platform data streaming capabilities to support a shift to cloud and real-time analytics. This acquisition further differentiates Qlik by providing an expanded breadth of enterprise data management capabilities and adds an experienced team of data professionals … Informatica®, an enterprise cloud data management leader, announced it has acquired AllSight Inc., the Toronto startup and customer insights market innovator, to bring expanded business-user engagement to the Informatica Intelligent Data Platform™, powered by the CLAIRE™ engine, and deliver game-changing capabilities for how organizations maximize customer data and analytics across their enterprises to drive personalized engagement. Informatica Customer 360 Insights, formerly known as AllSight Intelligent 360, will enable enterprises to drive richer, deeper, and longer-lasting relationships with their customers through enterprise-wide use of customer data and analytics. Using a data hub for customer engagement, enterprises can create the relationship between master, transaction, interaction, and reference data to discover rich, personalized behavioral insights. These insights can be used across the enterprise to connect omnichannel customer interactions in real time and ensure the delivery of the next best action. The new solution automates and simplifies profile and relationship unification and scales AI across transactions and interactions in structured and unstructured data sources.

In the new partnerships, alignments, and collaborations category we heard … Transplace, a leading provider of transportation management services and logistics technology, announced its partnership with Noodle.ai, a leading provider of Enterprise AI® applications. The partnership will enable Transplace to further integrate AI and machine learning technologies into its operations in order to deliver enhanced logistics services and technology to shippers … DataDirect Networks (DDN®), a leader in at-scale storage solutions, and SQream, developer of the leading GPU accelerated data warehouse, announced a solution that provides users with unparalleled ease of deployment for massive data warehouse analytics. Based on DDN’s A³I® reference architecture and SQream DB, the solution enables end users to efficiently optimize the performance of advanced business queries without facing complexity at-scale … BigID, Inc., a leader in personal data protection and privacy, and Immuta, a leading provider of enterprise data management solutions for artificial intelligence (AI), have partnered to deliver an integrated solution for the automation of privacy-centric data science initiatives. The partnership leverages BigID’s platform to inventory, map and index personal data with Immuta’s dynamic policy enforcement capabilities, enabling enterprises to seamlessly integrate policies for compliance with data privacy regulations into their data science operations … Rackspace® announced that it is aligning efforts with Pure Storage, a data solutions leader that helps innovators build a better world with data, to help accelerate the value of customers’ hybrid-cloud environments with the launch of the new Ultra-Fast Performance Rackspace Block Storage solution. This collaboration makes Rackspace the largest global Managed Service Provider member of the Pure Partner Program. The Ultra-Fast Performance Rackspace Block Storage solution provides customers with fast access to their storage, hybrid-cloud connectivity and low latency for workloads where performance cannot be compromised. Customers can leverage this offering as they progress along their cloud journey to get extensive data portability across multiple platforms and bring products to market faster. This offering advances Rackspace’s strategy of helping customers get to the cloud and maximize their IT investment by allowing them to seamlessly migrate mission critical workloads such as eCommerce, databases, disaster recovery, artificial intelligence, machine learning and Internet of Things to Rackspace’s infrastructure, while maintaining high performance and availability … Qlik announced a partnership with DataRobot to bring automated machine-learning modeling directly into Qlik, giving business users the power of predictive data decision-making within any analytics workflow. This integration greatly enhances a user’s ability to execute the entire range of data analysis – from historical and current state to future predictions – right within one Qlik instance. The partnership also builds on Qlik’s continued delivery of augmented intelligence and machine learning enhancements that give business users the ability to gain deeper insights from all their data … Australian service provider Telstra and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) have announced their partnership to deliver Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity to global enterprises by integrating Ericsson’s Connectivity Management services from Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator solution (previously Device Connection Platform) into Telstra’s IoT solution and world-class mobile network. From March 30, Telstra’s enterprise customers will be able to manage, access and track their IoT devices and networked assets at a local, national or global level via access to Telstra’s cellular IoT capabilities including Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) and CAT-M1 technology. The announcement builds on Ericsson and Telstra’s successful deployment of NB-IoT extended range in September 2018 that increased Telstra’s NB-IoT coverage to more than 3.5 million square kilometers and which allows data connections up to 100km, 60kms more than 3GPP standards-based limits … Stage Intelligence, a leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform provider for Mobility and Logistics, has partnered with the Smovengo, a consortium made up of Smoove, Moventia, Mobivia and Park Indigo, to deploy its BICO AI optimization platform across the Velib in Paris, France. The partnership enables Smovengo to use AI to increase the usability of more than 21,000 bikes of which 7000 will be electric. Smovengo uses BICO to collect and visualise data, automate processes and optimise working environments, resulting in new efficiencies, cost reductions and a better Bike Share experience. Riders will be able to access bikes where and when they want them and find free docks at the end of their journey. BICO enables operators to offer a consistent experience that encourages more riders to use bikes as part of their day-to-day lives.

In the new customer wins department, we heard … erwin, Inc., the data governance company, announced that E.ON is deploying the erwin Data Governance (DG) platform across five of its international operating units. E.ON is a privately-owned energy supplier based in Essen, Germany, with approximately 43,000 employees focused on energy networks, customer solutions and renewables throughout the US, EMEA and APJ. The erwin DG software will be used to deliver “data governance as a service” for one-stop data access and lineage within the organization’s data lake that includes numerous sources such as ERP, CRM, BI, ticketing and customer service systems. The goals of this initiative are to standardize the company’s vocabulary, meet regulatory compliance requirements, and understand and then optimize how data is used across global operations … Yellowfin has helped Japanese aviation manufacturer AeroEdge significantly reduce their time to insight. With faster and automated Yellowfin analytics, AeroEdge is able to identify patterns that lead to manufacturing issues and address them 80% faster, reducing their production time. AeroEdge is one of only two manufacturers in the world producing low pressure turbine blades, made from a titanium-aluminum alloy, for the next-generation ‘LEAP’ jet engine. The precision of each blade is critical and measured to within thousandths of a millimeter. To meet these regulations at mass production volume, analytics is crucial to ensure every step of the manufacturing process is optimized. After in-depth comparison of business intelligence and analytics platforms, AeroEdge chose Yellowfin for its ease of use for analysts and business users, reducing development time as well as enabling them to understand important metrics in real time and take effective action, fast … DataStax, a leading provider of the always-on, active-everywhere distributed hybrid cloud database built on Apache Cassandra™, announced Condé Nast is using DataStax Enterprise (DSE) to improve customer experience and engagement through optimization, increasing click-through rates by 30 percent. Condé Nast, a premier media company renowned for producing the highest quality content for the world’s most influential audiences, attracts more than 144 million consumers across its industry-leading print, digital, and video brands. With more than 20 brands, including Wired, Vogue, GQ, and Vanity Fair, Condé Nast sought to improve audience engagement of its more than 100 million monthly unique visitors … Yewno, Inc., a leading international provider of artificial intelligence solutions, announces that Georgetown College has adopted its next generation research tool, Yewno Discover. Yewno Discover is a highly visual research platform that allows users to identify concepts and make semantic connections between concepts across interdisciplinary fields. Underlying each concept is a vast repository of high-quality content including millions of books and scholarly articles. The full text of this content can be accessed through the Discover platform, allowing researchers to identify, hone and complete their research projects using a single tool … TEOCO, a leading provider of analytics, assurance and optimization solutions to over 300 communication service providers (CSPs) and OEMs worldwide, has announced that Portuguese operator NOS will deploy Mentor with CogniSense to improve its network’s performance and provide better analytics. TEOCO’s Mentor performs RAN optimization and analytics by using network measurements and precise geo-location. Mentor uses a powerful engine to deliver advanced performance monitoring and optimization, deep-dive troubleshooting and subscriber experience visualization in networks with multiple technologies, vendors and layers. The architecture of Mentor has evolved to support Hadoop and to better enable the big data integration and tools ecosystem. CogniSense provides dashboards for detailed analytics, giving both a high-level overview of the network vs KPIs and the ability to drill down to troubleshoot the network or provide more specific business-driven analytics. This includes analysis of roaming customers, user behaviour, and historical trends of faults and KPIs.

And finally, in people movement news, we heard … Databricks, a leader in Unified Analytics and founded by the original creators of Apache Spark™, announced the key addition of Kevin Davis as vice president of Public Sector to meet the demand for Databricks’ Unified Analytics Platform. In the past year alone, Databricks saw its federal customer base grow exponentially due to agencies migrating huge amounts of sensitive data to the cloud. In his new role, Davis will be responsible for further expanding strategic alliances and scaling the company’s customer base within the public sector. Davis has more than 25 years of sales and management experience across public sector. Most recently, he held a similar position at Splunk, where he helped create the company’s first Public Sector team, which he led for four years, driving, on average, 40 percent year-over-year growth. Prior to Splunk, Davis spent nine years at Oracle as area vice president where he ran the Department of Defense (DoD) Technology Sales business unit.
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