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Current Overview

During its recent industry analyst Summit in Hopkinton, MA, EMC reiterated the successes and announcements related to Greenplum its Big Data division. Greenplum was acquired in July, 2010 by EMC to provide them with a platform to enter the Big Data market. Greenplum offers a number of solutions, including its Unified Analytics Platform (UAP), Data Computing Appliance (DCA), the Greenplum database, and most recently, the Big Data collaboration platform, Chorus.

Year-over-year, Greenplum grew 57% for the first nine months. Although the Asia-Pacific (AP) regions, including Japan grew at over 212%, they still makes up a smaller portion of Greenplum’s overall business. The EMEA region is struggling; a point EMC attributes to the economic conditions there.

Different regions exhibited Greenplum solution growth for different reasons. In the US, much of the growth can be attributed to the use of analytics, in particular for predictive purposes. In

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EMEA, EMC noted that many of its clients are viewing Big Data as a “next generation” data warehousing application.

Bill Cook, president of Greenplum, highlighted that during 2012, its new customers were focused around four major verticals:

  • Financial services;
  • Professional services;
  • Telecommunications, media and utilities; and
  • Retail.

One of the key routes to success in the Big Data market is having a sustainable, growing ecosystem of partners. To this end, Greenplum shared that it has been successful in partnering with numerous partners in the areas of analytics, business intelligence, data integration, vertically-focused independent software vendors (ISVs) and VMware.

During 2012, Greenplum also launched its Greenplum Analytics Workbench; a service based on a 1,000 node cluster with 24 PB of storage. Greenplum notes that “this is the equivalent of nearly half of the entire written works of mankind, from the beginning of recorded history”. Users can leverage the workbench to test Hadoop workloads without having to set up their own infrastructure to experiment with Big Data technologies.

Neuralytix™ Perspective & Business Value Assessment

Mr. Cook described Greenplum’s vision as being focused on building out its ecosystem. Its recent announcements around the open-sourcing of Greenplum Chorus, its Big Data collaboration platform, and its partnership with Big Data community partner, Kaggle; data integration provider, GNIP; and data visualization software vendor, Tableau support this contention.

Although EMC does not report Greenplum’s revenues separately, Neuralytix expects that EMC has growth expectations similar to what it has announced for all its other acquisitions – in broad terms, EMC has generally expected that its business divisions reach a US$1B run-rate in within two years of acquisition.

Neuralytix believes that the direction that Greenplum has embarked upon is positive, and follows a familiar, yet successful approach that fueled RedHat’s early growth and VMware’s fast track to market dominance.

Today, Greenplum has an infrastructure platform that can be deployed both on-premise and in the cloud. EMC’s decision to acquire Pivotal Labs earlier this year reflects the company’s commitment to accelerating the realization of its Big Data vision. Pivotal Labs develop applications for customers around consumer web, mobile, as well as enterprise applications. With a distinct lack of available skills to develop Big Data applications, Pivotal Labs brings the necessary resources for customers to develop the necessary applications to sustain a technology competitive advantage.

Neuralytix observes that Greenplum is quite active in evolving its partnership with VMware by working on integration with the company’s vFabric GemFire to provide an additional application development platform. Furthermore, Neuralytix believes that Greenplum needs to find additional opportunities to make use of its partnership with VMware to develop opportunities allowing the company’s SpringSource framework to allow Java developers to work natively with the Greenplum platform.

Lastly, Neuralytix believes that EMC should invest additional research and development (R&D) dollars in migrating its Documentum and SourceOne families of software that are used for enterprise content management, archiving and e-Discovery to the Greenplum platform. This would attract a whole new group of users to the Greenplum, Documentum and SourceOne platforms as it would allow users to have applications that can accelerate the efficiency of data flow throughout an enterprise.

EMC’s vision around Big Data is very strong. It backs up this vision with a strong portfolio of products and services. It is clear that EMC must focus around application development to attract and captivate users. However, what EMC must be aware of, is that strong technologies are insufficient to attract users.

The road to success for Greenplum and EMC is going to be dependent on technologies that deliver the following factors:

  • Develop competitive advantage;
  • Accelerate data flow within an enterprise;
  • Minimize risk through minimized data migrations, extractions and manipulations;
  • Allow data to be exchanged between business functions efficiently; and
  • Provides key metrics on how the business is being impacted.

EMC is uniquely positioned as the market leading provider of storage. Its portfolio of data storage systems, data and information management software, information intelligence and governance, data security and with Greenplum data analytics platform means that it can satisfy all the factors above. EMC must invest heavily in the integration elements of all its assets to help customers have a seamless experience across all its capabilities and drive sustainable business value and growth with data.

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