Rubrik names Kamal Brar APAC & Japan VP

Palo Alto based cloud data management fim Rubrik has appointed Kamal Brar as Vice President of Asia Pacific and Japan.

Brar will be responsible for driving Rubrik’s Asia operations. Based in Singapore, Brar will be responsible for driving the firm’s Asia operations, and will report directly to Chief Revenue Officer Brett Shirk.

“Kamal has successfully led some of the most disruptive technology companies across Asia Pacific and we’re excited to have him join Rubrik,” said Shirk. “His passion for software and building high-performance teams will drive short and long term success as he scales our business in the region.”

Brar joins Rubrik from Hortonworks, where he led its APAC and the Middle East divisions. Prior to that, he served as SVP of APAC at Talend where he launched its APAC operations.

Rubrik added that Brar also brings on board deep NoSQL knowledge, having led the APAC business at MongoDB. Additionally, he has held leadership positions at Oracle, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and MySQL.

Guavus targets Indian telco opportunity with Jio AI-driven partnership

US big data analytics specialist Guavus and Mumbai-based mobile data network service provider Jio have struck a key partnership, aimed at boosting the customer experience for the telco provider through artificial intelligence driven analytics.

Under the collaboration, Guavus’ AI-based services will provide real-time customer experience analytics as well as predictive analytics to automate network troubleshooting, along with marketing insights to Jio.

According to Guavus, the partnership will allow Jio to offer a dramatically improved service to its customers while addressing critical service operations with intelligent automation.

FireShot Capture 066 - Use Guavus real time big data analytics to transform your business_ - www.guavus.com“The rapid growth, range and affordability of Jio’s service offerings and their innovative use of AI and analytics is transformative for their customers and India,” said Anukool Lakhina, Guavus Founder and President.

Jio, which has some 300 million subscribers, has created a completely digital experience for its users – including data services on smartphones, home gigabit Internet, and a suite of media services and IoT devices for the home such as smart speakers and switches.

“Our networks generate 4 to 5 petabytes of data each day. If this data can be properly analyzed in real-time using big data analytics and predictive analytics techniques, we can both improve the health of our network through intelligent automation and offer multiple, customized personal services to our customers,” said Anish Shah, President of IT, Reliance Jio.

“Guavus’ solutions enable us to do this – we can make data-driven decisions that allow us to deliver a great experience to our customers while bringing intelligent automation to our operations.”

Australian businesses resisting self-service data analytics may not survive: forum

Australian businesses that don’t embrace and effectively use self-service-analytics and foster cultures where data-driven decision-making is the norm will struggle to compete by 2022, experts say.

Organised by Tableau, experts from Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia, Domain Group, Deloitte Consulting Australia, Macquarie University and Tableau outlined some key benefits data can deliver along with some major challenges Australia faces in capitalising on its potential.

IDC predicts that spending in Australia on big data and business analytics services will make up around 18.2 per cent of the $5.5 billion spent on such solutions in the Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan) in 2018. (1)
 
“If your business isn’t data driven in five years, you’re not going to have a business,” says Annette Slunjski, Managing Director of the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia. “We’re not going to be in the fourth industrial revolution unless we can start harnessing the data we have and start making better decisions.” 
 
“One of the biggest issues for the country is that there is a cohort of workers who aren’t data literate who are about to have their jobs disrupted by automation,” Slunjski said. “They won’t be able to find new ones, unless they have data skills because those are going to be mandatory. Data understanding and data literacy education is an organisational imperative to be part of the emerging data economy”
 
Embarking on the transformation journey
“Change needs to begin at the top, with senior executives advocating a culture of data driven decision making throughout the enterprise,” says Nigel Mendonca, ANZ Country Manager,  for business analytics software company Tableau. 
 
“Australian companies have historically been early adopters of business intelligence solutions but the problem is, they’re often used by a small, centralised group in a ‘report factory’ fashion and not by the workforce at large. To truly change the game and take advantage of the immense opportunity at hand, organisations need to move away from this siloed approach and give all employees the ability to ask and answer their own questions of data. Data analytics is most powerful when carried out by the people that know the data the best,” Mendonca said.
 
Adopt a start-up approach to data
“Businesses which have historically treated data analytics as a discrete business function need to adopt a start-up approach,” said Jason Catania, Principal, Data Modernisation, Deloitte Consulting Australia. “Data analysis is an embedded discipline, in everyday roles, and something everyone in the organisation knows how to access. 
 
“Australian companies are behind their Asian counterparts and risk becoming uncompetitive if they do not embrace data analytics more quickly,” Catania said. Rather than waiting until an enterprise-wide data analytics strategy is developed, organisations should ‘just get on with it’, he said. “Start, go forward and adjust.”
 
Catania also highlighted that finding ‘data champions’ who can model the use of data analytics to their peers and forging partnerships with other organisations on similar transformation journeys can help enterprises become data-centric more quickly.
 
Tools and training
“The availability of powerful, user-friendly tools has made data literacy an achievable proposition for individuals who lack specialist qualifications,” says Hume Winzar, Associate Professor in Business, Department of Actuarial Studies and Business Analytics at Macquarie University.
 
“What’s important isn’t so much having a team of boffins but having an educated team spread throughout the workforce who are insightful about the organisation or industry and who can ask sensible questions.”
 
“Big companies are addressing the skills gap in Australia with some amazing initiatives; medium and small businesses don’t yet see they have a problem and don’t want to use something they don’t understand.  Training, whether formal or informal, is needed to close the gap and companies need to step up and provide it,“ Winzar said.
 
The business case for data
“Implementing powerful, user-friendly tools across the enterprise and teaching employees how and when to use them can deliver an excellent return on investment, for businesses prepared to take the plunge,” said Pooyan Asgari, Chief Data Officer for one of the leading Australian property portals, Domain Group.
 
Following a data transformation initiative in 2015-16, 350 of Domain’s 800 staff now use Tableau data analytics tools.
 
“Under our old operating model, Domain would have required a team of 50 data analysts to generate the insights the company needed to stay competitive. Since we democratised data and analytics by implementing a robust, self-service model, a team of 10 can address all our data needs. Comprehensive training and a top-down approach are required to effect the cultural change necessary for a successful transformation,” Asgari noted.
 
Working together for results
Mendonca said government, academia and the high tech sector all have key roles to play in ensuring Australia was not left behind in the race to embrace data. Helping businesses understand how to manage their transformation journeys would remain a focus,” Mendonca added.
 
During the discussion, experts agreed that analytics needs to be democratised, skills need to be cultivated and that executive support and sponsorship is critical for businesses in Australia to flourish in the national economy and on the global stage.

VERITAS NAMES NEW APJ ChANNEL SALES LEAD

Mountain View based multi-cloud data management specialist Veritas Technologies has appointed Brian Higgins as the channel sales leader for Asia-Pacific and Japan region.

In this role, Higgins will lead the overall APJ channel strategy, growing the company’s ecosystem of partners and helping partners differentiate in the market.

Prior to Veritas, Higgins served as a GM at VMWare, responsible for the commercial business, partner and hybrid cloud services teams in South Asia and Korea.

In addition, he has held senior sales, marketing and channel leadership positions including Citrix, Cognos and Business Objects, among others, where he was instrumental in driving business transformation to achieve significant results.

“The channel business has transformed extensively as partners are more focused than ever on providing solutions that empower customers to solve some of their most pressing business challenges,” said Veritas APJ SVP Chris Lin.

“With Brian’s track record in building winning teams and in-depth understanding of the partner community and the diverse business cultures across the region, I am confident that he will continue to grow and create value for our partner network.”

VERTIV URGES FUTURE-PROOFING OF KEY TECH TREND, AHEAD OF SMART CITIES GROWTH

While the concept of smart cities is still in its infancy, Robert Linsdell, ANZ MD of critical infrastructure firm Vertiv, has warned that it will eventually gain significant traction, and businesses and government need to be prepared for it.

Linsdell said the extent of smart cities initiatives to date only revolved around data collection and storage, which means the infrastructure required is as yet quite minimal.

“At the moment what’s tending to happen is… some cities are doing it better than others. But it’s all relatively high level, like water sensing, people movement, smart bins,” he said.

However, Lindsell expects this will soon shift. He predicts the infrastructure will become a much more major component when the data that is currently being collected will be used to make decisions, which will require low-latency high bandwidth plus additional storage and compute.

“You have to think even that even though we don’t know what the end game is, you need to think of some degree of resilient and future proofing of your IT infrastructure needs,” he said.

For example, Vertiv recently worked with Queensland’s Redland City Council to help build a modular datacentre featuring a 10-rack capacity, even though currently it only needs six racks.

“There’s plenty of hype about smart cities and IoT but it’s important to consider what infrastructure you need to pull that off,” Linsdell said. “Redland City understands this, and it is taking the steps now to make sure it can do the exciting part in the right way later.”

AI TO HELP TELCOS BE PROACTIVE: ACCENTURE

New research by Accenture shows that while 77 percent of chief executives in the telco sector understand that adopting intelligent technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) will be critical to the organisation’s ability to differentiate and compete in the market, only 25 percent believe their workforce is ready to work with AI and just 6 percent plan to up investment in reskilling programs. Continue reading “AI TO HELP TELCOS BE PROACTIVE: ACCENTURE”

Delacon opens innovation centre and launches call analytics in India

Sydney-based call analytics firm Delacon is stepping up its international expansion, opening an innovation centre in India to service local and global partners and develop the next generation of call tracking and analytics services.

The office in Chennai is the eighth for the Australian-owned business, which enables brands and agencies to optimise marketing campaigns by accurately measuring and attributing every call to its marketing channel. It also has operations in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, UK, USA and Japan.
As well as servicing advertisers and agencies in India, Delacon is capitalising on the highly skilled Indian workforce to develop new products and services and support its global clients.
“Marketing spend is predicted to hit $15 billion in India by 2020 and there are already more than one billion mobile phone subscribers,” said Delacon CEO Michael Center. “Advertisers increasingly need to accurately measure and attribute, through call analytics, which marketing channels are delivering the best return on investment, which means the opportunities for Delacon are significant in this rapidly growing market.”
“In addition, the talent available in India in relation to technology, telephony, data and speech analytics makes it ideally suited to lead the development of the next generation of call analytic solutions we want to deliver to our clients.”