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September 06, 2016
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Hadoop Summit Melbourne shows how data is transforming the world


I just left a sold-out Melbourne Hadoop Summit 2016 in Australia. This was the first Summit in Asia Pacific and I was excited by tremendous response from the global and local community, and from regional organizations and businesses.  The buzz was everywhere. We’re proud to be the host and the organizer.  

We couldn’t pull this off without the help of our sponsors so I would like to thank all of them, including our headline sponsor Microsoft, for their continued commitment to the events.

Summits are the cornerstone event of the global Hadoop community. They have been running for nine years in San Jose and four years in Europe.  Adding Asia Pacific to this is a sign of the continued tremendous growth of a worldwide movement – more than 6,000 people worldwide attend a Summit somewhere in the world.

To give you an idea of the growth, when we reached out to call for papers there were about three times more submissions than we were able to accept; we ended up with five tracks, 48 speaking sessions from 19 different enterprises and a huge community showcase.  

People go to Hadoop Summit to share information – developers, enterprises, partners, and all kinds of people in the ecosystem across the globe.  It truly is an event that is by the community, for the community.   A conference that appeals to both ‘Hoodies’ and ‘Suits,’ meaning there is content for technical and business people.  You can find the technical details about how people are implementing the technology as well as the business use cases and the value in how they are using it to transform their organizations.

14138704_1143008152421895_4404746124578895186_oSummit is also a place to just meet with people one on one – there are a lot of places to sit down and share best practices and ideas in the conference hall or at the receptions.  

It’s also a sign of our growth in the region.  Hortonworks has more than 120 engineering, support, sales, marketing and services employees in this region in Australia, India, Japan, Korea and Singapore.  We’re seeing rapid growth in key industries, such as finance, telco, insurance, public sector, oil and gas and mining.

I started up the the Summit with two key themes – how data in real-time is transforming everything and the need for connected data architectures to help manage this and draw out the value.  As consumers, we all experience this growth everywhere we go in how we interact with the businesses that we buy from, and they in turn in how they in turn interact with us  There is huge growth in data, which IOT will only expand as it grows, and that has really important implications in how to manage data, how we connect it quickly and efficiently to turn all of this raw material into value.  Data now is the product.

This is a huge opportunity for the Hadoop ecosystem in terms of growth in the demand for connected architectures and connected analytics in the Asia pacific region.  The demand is not specific for one industry or business.  It is happening across multiple different industries with hundreds or even thousands of different use cases.  

For example, two household names in Australia talked about their experiences with Hadoop, what their journey to transformation has been and how they are using all the capabilities of Hortonworks Connected Data Platforms to change user and back end experiences.

14138856_1143008282421882_7806704035137108743_oRavi Kalidindi is the Manager of Data Architecture and Technology at AGL, one of the largest retail and generation energy companies in Australia.  He said: ‘Similar to most companies, we are going through a transformation in that most of our customers want to track their energy needs digitally, and we want to give them more data oriented experience.  In retail, this requires seamless integration of different channels of communication, from cable to phone to web chat.  In power generation, AGL has set up the first and largest virtual power plant in the world. Today we have around 2-3 M households with solar panels and this is growing exponentially.  We needed an architecture and a data platform that could be highly scalable.  At the same time we were moving from a batch to a real time oriented business, providing a real time experience for the customers and predictive maintenance of our assets.  It gives us a lot more capability to control the load on the overall grid by managing where data goes in real time.’

Niall Keating,  who is Head of Big Data at Coles says his job is to ‘modernize and simplify the ecosystem.’   He commented: ‘In the last couple of years we are now really seeing Hadoop and that ecosystem being deployed to solve real business problems.  The challenges I see are twofold – one is culture and the other skills. But  I think nearly every enterprise now has an innovation agenda and is trying to move towards agile development .. so the future is bright. Data is going to be at the core of products going forward.  Data will drive customer experience.  Hadoop and Cloud and IOT and Real Time will be core to that.  The ecosystem and the open source community has driven great innovation. That flexibility and innovation and constant change creates challenges too for enterprise because we like robustness and dependability, and that’s where we need the likes of Hortonworks to be able to put that wrapper around the innovation and a solid platform to build our enterprise apps on.’

For me, Hadoop Summit Melbourne proves that it’s a very exciting time for Hortonworks, Hadoop and for companies transforming themselves with data in the region.   I’m looking forward to being back in Australia for the Sydney Future of Data Roadshow or in Hadoop Summit Tokyo!

I hope to see you there.

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