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Thought Leaders in Big Data: Interview with Brian Bulkowski and Srini Srinivasan, Co-founders of Aerospike (Part 7)

Posted on Monday, Jun 24th 2013

Sramana Mitra: And why would whoever is collecting the data give that data to you? For example, if hundreds of retailers want to pull the data, who is going to manage that?

Brian Bulkowski: It turns out there are companies that do that and they use our software. One of them is in the Bay Area and is called BlueKai. BlueKai call themselves the data marketplace. They collect data from different sources and then sell access to it to smaller people. So it ends up being a data clearing house for digital marketers, but also for smaller organizations. The second thing is that some of this is done by service companies. Across the hall from us there is a company called Gigya that provides that kind of end-to-end solution for smaller companies as well as larger brands. They can collect data but also have the kind of big data expertise. There are different tiers. I see this as there being a democratization aspect. There can only be a few Google-class distributed systems teams around the world. How many are there going to be? I don’t know.

SM: But it is not very effective for a small company to have that team. It has to come from a third party.

BB: Absolutely.

Srini Srinivasan: Our hope is that somehow we can use this technology to enable not just the large Internet companies, but any enterprise. We are a very international company. We also have customers in China and Europe. The rules there are quite different in terms of sharing data. China has the scale. There are multiple companies, at the scale of the Chinese market, and they can’t share data between each other. This is good for us, because each of them buys an Aerospike license. In that sense we actually benefit – at least in the short term.

SM: Who is going to acquire you?

BB: We are not for sale.

SM: TIBCO very well may. Do you know their background?

BB: I have gone to a presentation of theirs.

SM: I think they would be very interested in what you are doing. You can at least put yourselves on their radar.

BB: A week after my presentation, they came out with a press release about real-time databases and how TIBCO is also a real-time database.

SM: Database technology is not something a dropout from Harvard is going to put together. This has to do with real computer science. I see you are very targeted.

BB: These kinds of interactions are also in gaming, whether it is matchmaking and recommendations within the gaming world. Or whether it is in the financial world, where it is a different kind of matching and looking at interactions. We are also seeing interesting patterns evolving in the Internet of things as well.

SS: I think the key is that our technology opens the ability for certain kinds of applications to be written.

SM: I am sure you are seeing this from your customers all the time in the ad text base, which is your core base right now. Targeting is still a real issue. Even though we are in 2013 and the Internet has been around for almost 20 years, targeting is still immature. Part of it is scale, part of it is heuristics, part of it is privacy, etc.

BB: Part of it is the continuing evolution of technology. The display guys got there earliest, the mobile guys got there second, and the video guys are finally getting there.

SM: And social has come into the picture.

BB: There are some interesting thoughts people are starting to have about fraud detection and how you link somebody’s disparate data sources, where so far those industries are very much in silos. There is a long way to run with these trends.

SM: It is very interesting what you are doing. It was nice talking with you.

BB + SS: You too. Goodbye.

This segment is part 7 in the series : Thought Leaders in Big Data: Interview with Brian Bulkowski and Srini Srinivasan, Co-founders of Aerospike
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