Highlights From Splunk .conf2013 – Machine Data Meets Big Business

October 4, 2013
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Eddie White, EVP Business Development, Pentaho

This week, Pentaho was on site for Splunk .conf2013 in Las Vegas and the show was buzzing with excitement. Organizations big and small shared a range of new innovations leveraging machine data.

Eddie White, executive VP of business development at Pentaho, shares his first-hand impressions and insights on the biggest news and trends coming out of .conf2013.

Q: Eddie, what are your impressions of this year’s Splunk conference?

There’s a different feel at the show this year — bigger companies and more business users attended this year. What traditionally has been more of an “IT Show,” has evolved to showcase real business use cases, success stories and post-deployment analysis. It’s apparent that machine data has turned a corner. The industry is moving well beyond simply logging of machine data. Users integrate, analyze and leverage their vast resource of device data for business intelligence and competitive advantage.

For example, on the first day ADP shared how they leverage big data for real-time insights. Yahoo! shared details on a deployment of Splunk Enterprise at multi-terabyte scale that is helping to better monitor and manage website properties. Intuit spoke on leveraging Splunk for diagnostics, testing, performance tuning and more. And on the second day, StubHub, Harvard University, Credit Suisse, Sears and Wipro were all featuring compelling uses for Splunk.

What was most exciting to me was the 50+ end users I spoke with who wanted learn how Pentaho blends data with and in Splunk. Our booth traffic was steady and heavy. Pentaho’s enhanced visualization and reporting demos were a hit not only with the IT attendees, but with the business users who are searching for ways to harness the power of their Splunk data for deeper insights. 

Q: Does attendance indicate a bigger/growing appetite for analysis of machine data?

Splunk is helping to uncover new information and insights – tapping into the myriad of data types Splunk can support as a data platform. It’s clearly making an impact in the enterprise. Yet as all these organizations increasingly turn to Splunk to collect, index and harness their machine-generated big data…there is tremendous opportunity for organizations to turn to Pentaho , a Splunk Powered Technology Partner, to tap and combine Splunk data with any other data source for deeper insights.

Q: How is the market developing for machine data analytics?

We are seeing the market here change from being driven by the technologists, to being driven by the business user.  The technology has advanced and now has the scale, the flexibility and the models to make real business impacts for the enterprise.  The use cases are clearly defined now and the technology fits the customer needs.  The level of collaboration between the major players like Pentaho, Splunk and Hadoop vendors now presents CIOs with real value.

Q: You were invited this year to speak on a CXO Panel addressing Big Data challenges and opportunities. What were some of the highlights?

The CXO panel was fantastic. It was quite an honor to present and be on a panel with four founders and “rock stars” in Big Data: Matt Pfeil (DataStax), M.C. Srivas (MapR), Ari Zilka (Hortonworks) and Amr Awadallah (Cloudera).

Over a panel session that ran for 90 minutes, we tackled subjects on big data challenges. We heard that Splunk users are dealing with quite a few of the same questions and challenges.

Business users and IT professionals just getting started are struggling with what project to pick first and first steps. My advice is to pick a real business use case and push us vendors to do a proof-of-concept with you, your team and to show quantifiable results in 30 days.

We also heard a lot of questions about which vendor has the right answer to their individual use scenarios and challenges. It was great to see all of the panelists on the same page in their response. No one vendor has all the answers. As I mentioned on the panel, if any Big Data player tells you they can solve all your Big Data problems, you should disqualify them! Users need Splunk, they need Pentaho and they need Hadoop.

Q: Taking a high level view of the conference, what trends can you identify?

There were two major trends taking center stage. Business people were asking business questions, and almost everyone was looking to map adoption to real business use cases.  And again, there’s a clear awareness that no one vendor can answer all of their questions. They are all looking at how to best assemble Hadoop, along with Pentaho and extend their use of Splunk with those technologies.

Q: Pentaho and Splunk are demonstrating the new Pentaho Business Analytics and Splunk Enterprise offering, providing a first look to conference attendees. What kind of reaction are you getting from the demos?

The reaction from the audiences was tremendous. We had two sets of reactions. The end user customers took the time to go in-depth with technology demos and asked questions like… where Splunk ends and where Pentaho begins?  The demo we showed drew the business user in too. It was a very powerful visualization of how we can enable a Splunk enterprise to solve business problems.

The Splunk sales teams who visited the booth and saw the demo were able to clearly discuss how to position a total solution for their customer.

Learn more about Splunk and Pentaho.

 


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