Cloudera Evolve NYC

The Six Five team discusses Cloudera’s Evolve NYC event.

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Daniel Newman: Cloudera slash Intel slash IBM came together to host an event in New York City, which Six Five was on the road for. At Evolve, New York City. Now, everything about the event. Solid. I really liked the venue, but the opening keynote was fantastic. It was delivered by a guy. He got on stage. He was riding a unicycle. Wait. It wasn’t on a unicycle. He just ran in circles. But Pat, I’ve known you for eight years and I’ve never seen you speak in that capacity.

Meaning, I’ve sat next to you. I’ve watched you interview. I’ve never seen you on stage and you did a good job, Pat. You served as MC for everyone out there. You also gave an opening keynote and you told everybody out there that their cloud sucks. Now, provocation is never a bad idea when you’re opening an event and when you’re at eight in the morning and you’re going to talk about hybrid data architectures. It’s probably good to throw a little flame and make sure everybody out there… But here’s the thing, this was a small event.

It was intimate. It had a lot of big customers. There you go. There you go. Hold on. There’s the full run. You need to rewind that. Go back. I’m glad I got that. I’m really glad I got that. You did a good job. And so, again, we heard from CEO, Robert Bearden. We heard from the enterprise data management. Is it consortium or group? We heard from Rob, Thomas, IBM’s head of ecosystem. He’s got a bigger title than that. He’s an SVP and he leads.

Patrick Moorhead: He runs sales and services. All the GOs.

Daniel Newman: Okay. Big role.

Patrick Moorhead: They call it global markets.

Daniel Newman: Global markets. And then, we had just a whole series of really thoughtful conversations throughout the day with the executives. We talked to their chief product officer, their chief technology officer. In fact, here’s really what’s going on here. Cloudera has historically been known as a prem-based solution for data. Over the last couple of years, in the wake of also going private, Cloudera has been in a transformational process of trying to convince the market that it has solutions for hybrid and public cloud.

You’ve actually seen it pivot. About two years ago, they really went all to the cloud, which by the way, Cloudera you would’ve thought would be cloud-led. That’s always been the anomaly of the company. But in the last year, under Rob Bearden and since the go-private, the company’s really leaned into this CDP. Cloudera Data Platform. With the focus on hybrid and understanding that most of its clients … It has so many big clients that use its platform.

This is Cloudera, Hortonworks. Hadoop, if you’re familiar. Really bringing these clients into the modern era. It’s really about data architectures. You can call it mesh. You can call it fabric. They’ve got what’s called Iceberg, which is this next generation technology. What they’re really doing is bringing together private and on-prem and public to create what’s truly a hybrid data architecture for customers.

The company has a lot of work to do to compel the market that it is the right solution, but it also has the foundational customers. That was the message that seemed to just get reiterated throughout the day is that, “You need to unlock your data.” You need to unlock all this data on-prem and all this data can’t just be unstructured data. We need to be able to unlock structured data. We need to be able to unlock unstructured data. We need to have an open ecosystem that could connect a lot of different applications to all your data. Making it all available in a way that’s efficient and affordable.

I felt like the company did a good job nailing and landing that message. I think we would all agree there’s a lot of work to be done for Cloudera. I think that’s what your message was on stage is, “Look. We’ve been talking about it a long time. There’s a lot of work to do. In most cases, your quote, unquote cloud sucks.” If you can build on the fabric , I know it’s a little buzzy, in what’s out there. With what Cloudera is launching with CDP One, they really do have a potential to bring that prem-based architecture with your cloud together to get a lot more value from the data that’s held within our organizations.

Patrick Moorhead: Dan, good assessment. I saw this as a really a pivotal time for the company with this event. I know that sounds dramatic, but you know me, I love drama. But it was a big statement. This is the first in-person event that they had done since Strata, where they had announced CDP Cloud.

It was a big deal from the standpoint that it was the first live venue to really tell the whole story of, “It doesn’t matter where your data is right now. On-prem, in the public cloud, or at a colo. Or how you want to access it.” And that’s either traditionally through their tools or through CDP One, which is their SaaS product. I think that’s a pretty big deal for the company.

Now, Rob Bearden did share some of the financials publicly on our video. I was really impressed. He has increased revenue substantially. Even more importantly, and I didn’t expect this, because they’ve been investing so much… He increased EBITDA considerably as well. The IBM partnership, I wasn’t aware how deep that was, but I thought it was great to see. Because quite frankly, on a vertical basis, the two companies overlap a lot.

Both companies are very good in highly-regulated areas like finance, like government, pharmaceuticals. Rob Thomas really doubled down on the IBM commitment to Cloudera. If you remember, IBM had a Hadoop instance that it was doing. And then, they had inked a big alignment. This to me was IBM doubling down on that. And I think it’s a good move for the company.

I don’t even think we’ve scratched the Surface with CDP Cloud, because you know how slow some of these companies do. Most of Cloudera’s customers aren’t putting their data in the cloud for very good reasons, as we’ve seen. Because your cloud sucks. I don’t think we scratched the Surface for the opportunity as well, as soon as we see CDP One get out there and go GA. Great event. Not just because I keynoted.

Daniel Newman: But that was part of why it was awesome..

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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