Constantin Delivanis is the chief executive officer of BDNA, a leading company in DaaS (data as a service). Constantin holds an MS from Stanford University and a BS from the University of Alexandria, Egypt. He is a serial entrepreneur and has been CEO of several successful companies prior to BDNA. In this interview he talks about BDNA’s big data services and gives us interesting insights into opportunities in this space and his vision of the future.
Sramana Mitra: Constantin, let’s start with some context about your personal background as well as that of BDNA. Tell us what you do, what the business is, and what technology trends you are aligning with.
Constantin Delivanis: I came to the U.S. in the early 1970s. I have been involved in the technology industry since then. About 16 years ago I started my first company – I got involved in this startup in Silicon Valley. When I sold my company I partnered with some others and started Sand Hill Group. At Sand Hill Group we were involved in helping and financing enterprise software companies. We did that with quite a few companies. We made two to five investments every year. One of the companies we have also funded was BDNA.
SM: What is BDNA’s business?
CD: Everybody is talking about big data, which is great. But when people talk about big data, they are primarily referring to the volume and velocity part and about what is called people data. Very few people are addressing the variety problem. Let me share with you some numbers. Gartner is stating right now that there are roughly 50 billion Internet connections that are permanent and about 15 billion of them are what they call “intermittently interconnected devices.” The minority of the data is coming from things. Right now the majority of the data is coming from Facebook, Twitter, etc. However, if you look forward 10 years, most likely less than that. The numbers are getting rather interesting. About 30 billion of them – according to Gartner – are going to be interconnected devices. About 200 billion are going to be the intermittently connected devices, which is the so-called Internet of Things. The majority of the traffic is going to come from things. This is the context I wanted to provide you and your entrepreneurial followers with. This is the opportunity.
SM: You are basically pointing out that a large part of the big data action is in the Internet of People, whereas you are focusing on the big data opportunity in the Internet of Things, and you are pointing to our entrepreneurs that there is a much larger opportunity emerging in the Internet of Things.
CD: That is correct. This device is where there are RFIDs [radio frequency identification], whether they are proofs of concept, intelligent gas pumps, or medical devices. Whenever we are producing a massive amount of data about a device, here is what we do: People need to start paying attention to this. It is happening at a very fast pace.
BDNA created a platform with the very unique ability to identify the device definitely. So we know deterministically what the device is. When we know that you have Adobe Reader or a piece of hardware like a laptop D4310, this device is where the software part of RFID usually produces a lot of data. It has the unique ability to take this data, filter it, and define what this device is. That is the first thing we do. That is a very difficult task. Once we do that, the other thing we do is we add context for this device. Imagine two components in this data – the static data, this is data that comes from the device, but then there is dynamic data that is very important and that the device doesn’t produce. For example, it can be end of life, warranty, price, recall, an alert, etc.
This dynamic data cannot be embedded in the device. What we do after we identify the device we add context. It can be all: I have Adobe Reader version 5.0, in a way this is already expired. Or maybe it is expiring in six months. This is context. The context is if it is compatible with Windows 7. Is it migratable to the cloud? All those things are contextual data that are attached to the identity we already found. Once you create this unique data piece – contextual information – our platform allows the consumer to consume this contextual information and drive massive initiatives. Without this, they can’t. This is the problem we have solved. This problem is getting multiplied many times with the introduction of all these new devices.