We will not know until December 28 if the merger between Cloudera and Hortonworks, announced in early October, is accepted by their respective shareholders. It is Cloudera which must take control of this merger by retaining the reins of the new entity in which it will hold 60% of the shares. The two specialists in Hadoop platforms and big data technologies are each bringing together their shareholders, who on both sides must vote in favor of the merger for it to take place. Pending the outcome of the votes, at the end of this month, Cloudera and Hortonworks continue to operate independently, even if, within a select committee, their leaders are considering the future, in all discretion. The respective communities did not wait for the announcement of the next merger to collaborate with each other.

Commenting on the expected prospects of the merger, Romain Picard, Vice President France and Southern Europe of Cloudera, underlined during a press briefing that the synergies were enormous. He insists on the complementarities of the offers and ensures that there will be 80% no surprises for customers who have chosen one or the other technology. The two publishers have already announced that they are committed to supporting their respective solutions for 3 years and that they are planning a Unity version bringing together the best elements of their two existing distributions. “It’s a platform that will be operable on all architectures,” says Romain Picard, adding that the number of common customers between the two publishers did not exceed 5%.

Strengthen customer support

According to Cloudera’s French team, which has around twenty people, the merger is seen by customers as an accelerator which will bring more R&D capacities, indicates in particular Sandrine Tarnaud, sales director of the subsidiary. “Clients are looking to industrialize, they need a roadmap for more than 5 years”, adds Romain Picard. The return would also be positive on the side of the partners, part of them being common to Hortonworks and Cloudera. Apart from groups like Capgemini and Accenture, Cloudera works with partners such as Devoteam, Umanis, Openvalue, or Claranet, in particular.

If the merger is confirmed, bringing the teams together will strengthen the attention and support provided to French customers and accelerate adoption, says Denis Fraval, Cloudera’s EMEA sales and engineering manager, highlighting the gain in efficiency. On subjects such as AI and machine learning (ML), “there is a strong need for skills to be trained and deployed in the ecosystem”, adds Romain Picard.

A PaaS for data science and machine learning

Last week, Cloudera announced a preview PaaS dedicated to data science and machine learning projects. It is intended to simplify ML workflows by providing a unified experience for accessing data across on-premises, public cloud and hybrid environments, with distributed and containerized processing capabilities powered by Kubernetes. This data science PaaS available on AWS will operate autonomously without having to deploy the other components of the Cloudera platform, in particular on data storage.

At the beginning of 2018, the French subsidiary of the Hadoop and big data technology specialist created a user club which brings together around ten very large customers in the retail sector, insurance, industry and the consumer goods sector. (GIC). “The objective is to share experiences on project management, use cases, architectural issues and the use of BI”, lists Sandrine Tarnaud. “Our clients asked us to talk with their peers about their projects, about skills, about how to start a data project,” she explains. The next club meeting will be held on January 17 around two themes: the evolution of business BI and industry 4.0.

Pricing scoring, customer experience, predictive maintenance

Among the use cases implemented by Cloudera users, the sales director of the French subsidiary lists real-time pricing scoring (to respond to online quote requests taking into account various parameters including prices practiced on the market), the analysis of receipts in real time for automatic replenishment in mass distribution, the analysis of customer feelings through social networks to enrich CRM tools or even predictive maintenance. Sandrine Tarnaud distinguishes in fact three main themes: customer knowledge, improvement of products and services (including predictive maintenance) and security (traceability, compliance). “We also have interesting use cases on Human Resources, with the global aggregation of all HR data,” she adds. The platform is used in the context of ambitious recruitment plans on professional efficiency, as well as employee retention plans.