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Thought Leaders in Big Data: Vance Loiselle, CEO of Sumo Logic (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Mar 13th 2014

Vance Loiselle: Right now, the approach being taken by most organizations is, “We know there’s data out here. Let’s just go solve it with maybe a big data project on Hadoop.” There’s a huge opportunity for organizations to go look at how they address specific verticals and solve specific vertical problems – whether it be in healthcare, retail, or manufacturing. All of those are huge untapped areas to provide solutions in leveraging data and analytics that can help those organizations. The more skills people have in a specific vertical, the more value you’re going to provide to that enterprise.

Sramana Mitra: Our perspective at this point is also that the real opportunity is more in the heuristics and domain knowledge of how specific verticals work and workflow and data as it pertains to those specific problems as opposed to the general platform. There’re a lot of platforms out there. It’s more on the domain knowledge where I think the opportunities are.

Vance Loiselle: I think you’re spot on. If you want to get some Hadoop in place and try to leverage that plumbing, at the end of the day, a lot of that stuff is plumbing. Most of the people who are doing big data projects and are trying to fill this field of data science, they don’t know a lot about the industries they’re in. The more people that can apply domain knowledge and present the problem in a logical way that can be solved with the analytics tool that is out there, I think that’s a huge open opportunity for everybody.

Sramana Mitra: Tell me a little about the history of Sumo Logic. What are some of the parameters of the company? Where are you located? Is it a venture funded or bootstrapped company? How long have you guys been around? Give us a bit of your entrepreneurial journey.

Vance Loiselle: We started in early 2010. The two founders of the company came from a company called ArcSight which was in the security, incident, events management space. That was an on-premise technology that assumed that they had to understand what the data looked like to properly manage it and provide security insight to customers. In 2010, they got funded. Their Series A funded started with Greylock. The premise of taking all of the vast amount of unstructured data out there and provide better insights to people in IT, security, and the application teams was really the genesis.

They hired various people from other companies to build this massively scalable search engine for IT and security. We launched in 2012. In the last year and a half, we’ve garnered over 200 customers. We have about 105 employees. We’re headquartered in Redwood City and we’ve had three rounds of funding from Greylock, Sutter Hill, and Excel Partners. All three are very well known in the cloud and the big data space. To date, we are focused on selling in the North American market. We’re just starting to expand beyond that because there’s just so much demand. I think the last study that was done said that unstructured data to the order of 5.2 million petabytes will be available to harness in the next few years. We’re just starting to scratch the surface of that.

Sramana Mitra: Thank you very much for your time.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Thought Leaders in Big Data: Vance Loiselle, CEO of Sumo Logic
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