Opportunities in big data

Control Engineering Asia interviews John Kreisa, vice president, International Marketing at Hortonworks on the trends in Asia’s big data industry and the concerns faced in adoption of big data technologies.

Asia big data big data and analytics Big data technologies Hadoop Hortonworks IIoT manufacturing Singapore

Can you give us a brief background of your work at Hortonworks?

I run international marketing for Hortonworks based out of London. I’ve been with the company for more than 5 years starting when there were just 50 people at the company. I moved over to London 2 years ago to build and run the team and am responsible for all marketing outside of the Americas. I work closely with our sales team to help them find and identify organizations that have big data projects as well as focusing on building the brand and awareness for Hortonworks in our various regions. It’s been a great ride so far!


John Kreisa


As a California-based company, where does most of your business come from?

In Q1, 75 per cent of our business came from the US and 25 per cent from our international region. We’ve been investing heavily in our international team in order to capture the growing need for big data technologies to store and analyze massive amounts of data across nearly every industry.


What trends do you see in the Asian big data industry and how is Hortonworks trying to address this opportunity?

In Asia, we are seeing explosive growth across the region. The patterns mirror the early trends we saw in the US for industries like Telco, Financial Services, Retail, Manufacturing and governments. All of these industries are undergoing massive transformation with data and are both renovating their existing architectures and innovating their business with the help of our technologies which help them capture data in motion and analyze data at rest. Key drivers are things like Industrial IoT, real-time streaming and analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.


Can you tell us more about Hadoop’s data platform?

Hadoop based platforms like the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) are being used in nearly every industry. This is because every business is a data business and has the opportunity to transform themselves and gain competitive advantage. Financial services orgaizations use the platform to fight fraud and get closer to their customers. Retail organizations use the platform to gain a 360 degree view of their customers to gain tight customer intimacy increasing the loyalty and increasing revenue.


Manufacturers use the technology to improve operations and prevent down time through predictive maintenance. Automotive manufactures are using the technology to help bring self driving cars to market. Hospitals and health providers are using it to provide a better level of patient care increasing saftey and quality of delivery.


Why is big data and analytics important for Singapore businesses?

Singapore is leading the world in many areas and government and private initiatives such as smart cities make big data technology essential to these efforts. As a hub for many companies, increased efficiency and competitive advantage are core values that Singapore based companies gain from using big data technologies. In order to continue to lead, they must adapt to use data to their advantage.


What are the challenges faced in adoption?

Big data technologies require new skill sets in order to maximize the value. For example people trained in data science techniques to analyze data to find new business opportunities and efficiencies. So access to the right set of skills is a challenge that is being addressed by companies like Hortonworks and others.


Secondly, there is sometimes organizational resistance to new technology. Significant investments have been made in the existing architectures and people have tied their careers to these technologies. That creates some friction and internal resistance.


We often hear that that is one of the bigger challenges and it takes a strong internal visionary to push an organization in the right direction. Hortonworks recognizes those individuals through our Hortonworks Heroes program.


How does big data and analytics impact and drive innovation in the manufacturing industry?

The Industrial internet of things is one of the huge drivers of these technologies and leading manufacturers are already putting these technologies in place. They can now capture and analyze all of the data that comes from their machines to look for even the smallest anomaly that might indicate that there is a problem. They can also capture data after a part or device has left the factory to analyze wear patterns, breakdowns and defects to improve their manufacturing process. This is extremely valuable for improving the overall manufacturing process.


What is the company’s global strategy going forward?

We will continue to invest and expand in order to address the multi-billlion dollar opportunity represented by big data. We focus on customer success and that is one of the reasons we have grown so fast. In fact, we were the fastest growing enterprise software company to $100m in revenue ever! We recently opened an office in Singapore as our APAC HQ and should see significant growth going forward.