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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Paul Zolfaghari, President of MicroStrategy (Part 3)

Posted on Monday, May 12th 2014

Paul Zolfaghari: For instance, yesterday I met one of our customers Netflix, which is actually running MicroStrategy against a very substantial instance of data that actually resides in AWS. Netflix is very public about this. It’s a great example for us and one that we’re very proud of. Netflix is a deep analytics company. It’s also a company that has a substantial amount of data and yet they chose to use MicroStrategy while connecting to a data source in the Amazon AWS cloud.

Sramana Mitra: You have three components to this. One is the data layer where the data is being stored. That sounds like that’s AWS. Then, the analytics infrastructure is MicroStrategy. What about the logic? I imagine what you’re talking about is the recommendation engine. Where is that logic?

Paul Zolfaghari: The recommendation engine, to be clear, is not us. Netflix, I believe, has a recommendation engine that recommends movies. That’s a proprietary analytics that they’ve built for their business.

Sramana Mitra: What side of analytics are they running on your system?

Paul Zolfaghari: They run all of the things around network operations. They’re looking at what content people like. The team that I met with yesterday represented all four of these analytics group. They have a marketing analytics group, network operations analytics, content group, and then they have something that is the equivalent of their supply chain group. Meaning, they’re constantly looking at what people are downloading and using. They then use those analytics to negotiate with content providers. MicroStrategy is not the engine that’s recommending the movie. MicroStrategy is actually giving them very granular insights on everything going on in their business about what people like, what they’re downloading, how much strain is there on the system, and optimization of the servers.

Sramana Mitra: Every business has its own logic. Netflix has its own logic. My question is how do they drive this process? Where do these queries get developed?

Paul Zolfaghari: MicroStrategy is an analytics platform. They build and deliver these analytics applications and algorithms in our platform itself. They are developed in our platform.

Sramana Mitra: All that basically then rests on your site?

Paul Zolfaghari: Yes. Think about it this way. We have a very strong analytics engine. What Netflix does is they pump into the MicroStrategy layer the data about the transactional data, processing data, and network operations that sits in the database. That database resides in Amazon. MicroStrategy is where they develop the algorithms, the metrics, and the analytics insights. That’s what they run against the data set to make better decisions.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Paul Zolfaghari, President of MicroStrategy
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