Ken Fang: The lucky thing is, we knew the event was coming, and we knew exactly when it was going to happen. We had to make sure that all of the infrastructure was in place. The nice thing about the cloud is, for the most part, it’s fairly elastic. It was able to scale up to meet the demand. Once the event was over, it could auto-scale back. That’s the beauty of this cloud technology. You’re only using what you need.
The hard part for NASA is budgeting. They didn’t know how many people were going to hit the site. They ended up transferring four petabytes worth of data. They wanted to tap out at six because if they blew past that, it would blow out their budget. There’s good and bad. They estimated enough for the surge.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s do some more uses cases. What else have you done that is worth discussing?
Ken Fang: Another one was with USO. We built a mobile platform for them. They provide concierge services. They’re not a government agency. They’re an organization that’s out there to provide services to our service members. It’s a mobile application that will allow active military to go ahead and find these locations whether they’re hotels that they’re allowed to use or for entertainment. They’re obviously moving around quite a bit for their service.
Sramana Mitra: Interesting. Are there trends that you see emerging in the customer base that you’re dealing with that you could synthesize for our audience?
Ken Fang: One of the more exciting or novel things that we’re working on is artificial intelligence, chatbots, conversational UI, and Big Data. It’s interesting because back when we started in 2009, that was pretty new. There weren’t many people doing it. Now it’s considered to be mainstream. Everybody is expecting it. If you don’t have a mobile app or a mobile presence, you’re really not commercially viable.
Because we are an innovation company, we’ve moved through that transformation. From mobile, we went into wearables. We built some Google Glass applications. That then moved into the Internet of Things consisting of being able to deploy applications that take advantage of physical spaces. Now with Alexa, there’re all sorts of things around conversational UI. The reality is, all these mobile devices are generating all sorts of data.
How do you analyze? Even though our core is mobile web cloud, the areas of expansion and innovation are in Big Data, data analytics, and predictive analytics. Then what are the new interfaces that we can do?