Photo - Victor Ng, Malaysia Country Manager, Cloudera
Following open source big data analytics platform Apache Hadoop's 10th birthday this year (28 January 2006), Cloudera has announced major expansion plans in Asia with Malaysia as one of its key sites, which includes a visit to Kuala Lumpur by Hadoop creator Doug Cutting in April 2016.
Currently operating from Singapore, Malaysian Victor Ng, who has taken up the role of Malaysia country manager for enterprise software company Cloudera, said to media in Kuala Lumpur recently that "at least 30-40 percent of Malaysian companies are already serious about increasing adoption of Big Data analytics to drive business."
"This demand for big data analytics is therefore fuelling our expansion plans in Asia and, of course, Malaysia," he said, adding that the company is working to establish an office in Malaysia with local staff soon.
Joining the discussion via phone from Singapore, Daniel CF Ng, who is Cloudera's senior director for APAC, said other forthcoming initiatives include a collaboration with a Malaysian university, which is expected to be announced next week, and details of an initiative with the Malaysian government (involving the national ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation, MDeC) will be officially unveiled on 13th April 2016.
He said these moves are to support Malaysia's ambitions to become a big data analytics hub. "Cloudera has also been busy helping companies transform through the application of Big Data analytics (BDA) and already has a leadership position with 53 percent of the global addressable market for big data technologies, according to IDC."
Photo - Daniel Ng, Senior Director, APAC, Cloudera
He said IDC expects this addressable market to grow from US$16.55 billion to US$40.52 by 2018.
Hadoop's creator US-based Doug Cutting is expected to be in Malaysia during the MDeC collaboration announcement, said Ng.
Data can solve world's biggest problems
Speaking of the rapid community-driven evolution of Hadoop's ecosystem, Daniel Ng said: "The need to handle different types of data - structured, semi-structured and unstructured data - together with the challenge of dealing with older and new technological processes, was one of drivers behind Hadoop's inventor decision to make the platform open source.
"Taking its name from a toy elephant belonging to Doug Cutting's son, Hadoop - together with other related technologies, all bearing an animal name - organisations across all sectors need real-time speed from questioning their data," he said.
"And this data - regardless of what and where it originates - is really horizontal," said Ng. "Cloudera helps organisations derive value from all their data, he said. Organisations only care about making decisions from data and not the technologies that deliver this."
"Data can also help solve the world's biggest problems," he added. "What has your data done for you lately? is what people should ask about their platforms. We need to drive business and national change with modern platforms. 'Modern' means it is always evolving."
"Developers in Malaysia's community can use the latest available tool for big big data platforms simply because it is open source, which adds to the speed of development," he said.
"Our 'One platform' concept is just one differentiator for Cloudera in the market," said Ng. "Another is security, our platform is built on open standards, which is slightly different from the open source model,), can capture, store and analyse your data quickly and securely."
"Currently with 2,100 partner-companies, we also have the largest partner ecosystem in the world," he said. "In Malaysia, we work partners such as Fusionex and training company Iverson. ""
Nurturing big data talent
Responding to questions about the data science talent gap, Victor Ng said, "Because of our history, no one knows Hadoop like Cloudera: we have been working with the whole Hadoop community and contributing to the community. No one has more experience with big data deployments and together with our professional services team around the world, we are continually helping organisations to architect solutions. We also work with companies such as Intel and others."
"This also means that we train more people in Hadoop than anyone else," he said, adding the confirmation that "on April 13th 2016, we will announce in Kuala Lumpur a major collaboration with the Malaysian government connected with talent development."
"We need more data professionals," said Daniel Ng, who is Malaysian. "MDeC envisions Malaysia as a data science hub and this is possible since the country has a solid population with a generally tech-savvy and trilingual people."
"MDeC has an ambitious target of to developing a large number of data professionals by 2020," he added. "As well as the initiative working with a local university [announcement expected next week] with our CAP (Cloudera Academic Programme), which will help to also cut down the time needed for academic curriculum development, there will also be inaugural Cloudera sessions featuring Hadoop's creator Doug Cutting [who is also Cloudera's chief architect for Hadoop]."
"What I meant earlier by 'Data is horizontal' is also that it can feed new business models such as Grab, Uber and so on," he said. "Other examples of big data use is to maximise something - such as reward points - to increase revenue returns in the transportation sector. In the telco space, using BDA to better manage ARPU [average revenue per user] by analysing usage patterns to develop more competitive, attractive packages. BT are using it to drive smart parking in London - it would be effective tackle parking and traffic flow in KL. In Singapore, bus companies use it to plan stopping points and schedule times. In a societal context, how to reduce birth mortality, cancer treatment. SARS outbreak, and so forth. Data can be questioned differently."
"When you ask big questions, you get bigger answers, and that makes anything possible," said Daniel Ng. This approach is for everybody not just enterprises as big data analytics can be more meaningful to smaller setups."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.