Australia’s IT capabilities and innovation record attracts Cloudera

March 2015

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Australia’s highly regarded capabilities in technology and innovation and shared business ties with the United States enticed Cloudera to establish its first office in Australia.

Cloudera, a leading US enterprise software storage and management company, established its Melbourne office to service its growing clientele in Australia and aid its expansion across the Asia-Pacific region.

Richard Jones, Cloudera Sales and Operations Vice President APJ, said its Australian office offers sales, marketing, training/education, technical services, professional services and customer support. The office is also the company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters.

Founded in 2008, the US-based start-up helps businesses build ‘big data’ or data analytics – technology that extracts value and meaning from large pools of unstructured data using a technology called Apache Hadoop.

Cloudera has grown rapidly to become a leader in this field and is now valued at over US$1 billion. The company has attracted over 800 partners, trained more than 40,000 individuals worldwide and services an increasing list of global businesses and public sector customers.

Data management and storage solutions

Cloudera was the first company to commercialise Apache Hadoop, an open source next-generation management system and also referred to as a ‘big-data’ enterprise hub system.

‘We helped revolutionise enterprise data management, with the first unified platform for big data: The Enterprise Data Hub,’ said Jones.

‘While big data and data science is nothing new, the expanded scope of the technology and how it can be used is.

‘Our software enables businesses to overcome critical data challenges and centrally store, process and analyse all their data in one location. This empowers organisations to extend the value of existing investments while enabling fundamental new ways to derive value from their data,’ said Jones.

‘In the past, only traditional data warehouses worked with structured data but with the Cloudera platform, we're able to partner with the data warehouse to integrate unstructured data for more thorough visibility,’ added Jones.

Cloudera’s product is adaptable to any sector and customers across all verticals use it, with major users operating within retail, telecommunications, financial services and web services sectors; as well as, government departments.

Jones added the Hadoop-based software was also scalable, allowing any business to start small and then expand usage as the business does.

An ideal test market

Having decided to expand its network internationally, Australia was chosen as the ideal market for Cloudera to enter as it offered a strong domestic market and the potential to be a gateway for expansion across the Asia-Pacific region.

Jones said Australia has a relatively mature IT market which offers an attractive environment for the launch of enterprise technologies.

‘Australia has a long tradition of being a technically advanced and innovative environment across many industries. The country is known to adopt new technologies early and very fast, often in advance of other international markets,’ said Jones.

‘For Cloudera this has been very helpful as it provides good input / feedback on what other companies around the world should do around the adoption of new technology. It (Australia) can be seen as an early lab bellwether for new technology.’

‘The skill sets in Australia are also more mature for our technology, as opposed to the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. It also offers very large data sets in banking, government and telecommunications sectors, which are sweet spots for the investigation of big data analytics,’ said Jones.

‘That’s why a lot of US companies come to Australia, quite early in their Asia-Pacific expansion, because this market tends to be very advanced. The market may consist of only four major banks and a few large telcos, but they do many things “on the front end” of the technology curve.’

Jones also highlighted the role Austrade, together with the Victorian Government, played in helping to demonstrate the advantages the Australian market offered.

‘Austrade’s team in San Francisco also worked with us closely, providing the connections, pathways and relevant information on Australia’s business and regulatory environment.

‘That’s why I think interested investors should contact them (Austrade) very early on,’ he added.

Future outlook

The company maintains a positive outlook, having identified numerous expansion opportunities not only in Australia but across the Asia-Pacific region too.

These opportunities, according to Jones, are being driven by the fact that big data is one of the corner-stones of future data management. He also expects this will progressively overtake traditional applications that use their own, siloed and highly structured data bases.

‘Especially as many organisations are investigating how this new technology can drive data management more effectively and also adapt to the massive growth of data generally; which ultimately improves customer engagement and decision-making.

‘After all, it's a known fact that there has been more data created in the last two years than in the history of the world,’ Jones added.

Cloudera has been expanding into South-East Asia, particularly Singapore, and its expansion plans across Australia are already underway.