Dinah Washington sang “what a difference a day makes” and having lived in London for a year this month, I’m feeling that multiplied by 365! And what a year it has been….
I joined Hortonworks back in 2012 when the company was barely 8 months old and moved to be part of the International team (covering the EMEA and APJ regions) in London last June. As we gear up for Strata & Hadoop World in London, it got me thinking about how our customer engagement has changed in that time and what is coming next in the world of open and connected data platforms.
Today, our largest and most mature International customers are progressing rapidly on their journey with Apache Hadoop. Many are moving onto their third, fourth or even fifth use case and that acceleration is not limited to our mature customers as we’re also seeing those at the beginning of the journey move more quickly than they would have done 12 months ago. It’s a great benchmark of the general maturing of Hadoop in EMEA, especially, and APJ.
I feel proud of the breadth of organisations which are moving forward with connected data platforms. Whether it’s Centrica, Munich Re and Billy Mobile or Beabloo, Arkena and Open Energi – the business impact is considerable. At Hadoop Summit in Dublin, we saw a 25% growth in attendance and I believe that was in large part due to the community-driven agenda which included numerous customer speakers with rich technical and business content.
We’re seeing enterprises from diverse industries experiencing a data tipping point as budgets remain flat against the huge volume of incoming data. Adding to the complexity is the fact an increasing proportion of the data is unstructured and being generated outside of the datacentre, produced by increasing numbers of connected devices and sensors through the Internet of Things (IoT). Our customers are turning to us to help with modernising their infrastructure so they can focus resource on generating actionable intelligence, accelerating innovation and providing faster business results.
While there are many fantastic successes, for me the standout story over the past year has been Centrica (known for its brands including British Gas and hive). Its data lake is supported by 250 nodes with capacity of up to 4 petabytes and already ingests around 300 gigabytes of data each day. It’s hard to over-state what Centrica’s team has achieved both in terms of impact on the customer experience it delivers and measurable benefits to the bottom line for the business. With engineers tailoring services to individual households, household consumption being tracked in real-time from over 1.3 million smart meters and cross-sell opportunities on the increase, Centrica is certainly smashing it with Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) and Hortonworks Data Flow (HDF).
While I mention HDF, we’re seeing confident steps forward by customers looking to capture data in motion, recognising the value of widening the range of data collated and adopting connected data platforms across the business. In line with that, nurturing and attracting top talent is a major focus. We see a lot of customers willing to talk publically about their open and connected platforms with Hortonworks in order to fuel recruitment. We celebrate that, given how much we see our customers learning day in, day out and the resulting personal and professional opportunities.
Along with that of our customers, Hortonworks’ expertise has grown significantly. As you’d expect, we have more skilled services and support engineers than ever, which along with our 200+ committers in the Hadoop Framework and increasing sector-specific experience means we are able to solve more business challenges than ever.
In tandem with that growth, our technology and services partner network has stepped up considerably in the past 12 months. Having the ability to bring in and work with trusted partners in the big data space can only help customers be more successful more quickly. I can’t walk around the London office without tripping over someone from Microsoft, EMC, HP or one of our trusted integrators.
There haven’t been any major surprises for me with the markets which are proving the earliest adopters – UK, France and Germany. However, the gap in maturity between the US and EMEA is shrinking strikingly quickly and I can’t deny I’m looking forward to the healthy competition continuing to build with my buddies across the pond!
It’s been one crazy ride so far with Hortonworks and no more so than the last 12 months since moving to the UK with my family. Looking ahead, I’m excited to see more customers deploy next generation data applications in unique ways that open up new business opportunities and drive revenue. IT as a cost centre? Big data is finally going to kick that perception into touch!
Here is just a sample of what our many great customers in EMEA are saying about working with Hortonworks. For those of you planning to attend, you can also see us at Strata & Hadoop World in London 1-3rd June.