Is HP Predictive Analytics A Game Changer?

Over the last week has mounted another assault on Cisco, landed a massive German fish and announced it will deliver open-sourced predictive analytics at Big Data scale. Of the three, the analytics announcement looks the most interesting.

HP Haven ‘accelerates and operationalizes’ large-scale machine learning and statistical analysis, providing organizations with ‘much deeper insights and understanding into today’s rapidly evolving data volumes’, stated HP. It is powered by the company’s Distributed R offering and includes: data acceleration and native SQL support with HP Vertica, increasing overall data access performance by up to 5X and enables a broader community of developers and to put into action; out-of-the-box-algorithms that produce accurate and consistent results with mature standard R algorithms; and Open Source – the new offering is free and fully compatible with the open source R language and tools and backed by enterprise support from HP and priced per node.

“This is a very strategic announcement,” said Jeff Veis, VP of Marketing, Business Group, HP Software. The ability to leverage R’s global success, preserving all the tools and algorithms, allows you to operate on much bigger data sets, he said.

“That is a game changer. That’s going to unleash all kinds of use cases.”

The plan to resell generic devices built by , running a variant developed by , will provide more customer options to its own homegrown (and/or bought) networking portfolio and the ongoing competition with . HP said it would market the networking boxes primarily to “web-scale” customers who want both white-box attributes and services such as consulting and technical support. Rohit Mehra, an analyst at IDC, estimated that the segment of the switching market targeted by HP generates between $7 billion and $8 billion in revenue annually. “All the growth is there,” he said.

The fish is , and the 10-year, multibillion dollar agreement will involve updating the bank’s global IT environment and ‘aims to significantly reduce’ related IT infrastructure costs. “ is taking a proactive approach to modernizing its IT infrastructure and has chosen to partner with HP in order to do that,” said HP President and CEO Meg Whitman.
Bashing Cisco and signing a big services contract are pretty much business as usual for HP. Tackling Big Data analytics is also familiar territory for the IT giant, but the potential stakes are significantly higher than either of the other moves.

According to IDC, the Big Data technology and services market will grow at a 26.4% compound annual growth rate to $41.5 billion through 2018, or about six times the growth rate of the overall information technology market. Additionally, by 2020 IDC believes that line of business buyers will help drive analytics beyond its historical sweet spot of relational (performance management) to the double-digit growth rates of real-time intelligence and exploration/discovery of the unstructured worlds.

Analytics is a — if not the — critical tool required for success in the emerging digital economy. Companies that make data-driven decisions are more effective — 5% more productive and 6% more profitable — said Teradata President and CEO Mike Koehler. “The competitive battle field can be won or lost by analytics”.

That’s an “enormous” advantage, said Bob Fair, EVP and Chief Marketing and Information Officer, Teradata. “You can’t survive long if your competitors are beating you by 5-6% on the bottom line.”

Gartner Research VP Adam Sarner said the majority of the market, 80%, are trying to make analytics work, driven in part by fear of falling behind their competitors. “Customers are knocking on our doors right now. The demand is absolutely there.”

Gartner breaks analytics down into four categories: Descriptive (what happened); Diagnostic (why did it happen); Predictive (what will happen); and, Prescriptive (what should I do). It stated that advanced analytics is the fastest-growing segment of the business intelligence (BI) and analytics software market, which surpassed $1 billion in 2013.

Big Data will change everything, according to Gartner’s Three Big Data Trends for Business Intelligence. By 2020, information will be used to reinvent, digitalize or eliminate 80% of business processes and products from a decade earlier, noted analyst Doug Laney. Many, if not most, decisions will be algorithmic, based on automated judgment.

Veis believes being able to predict and prescribe is the holy grail of analytics. Big Data has been used to address “very thorny, challenging problems”, but the true potential is in solving everyday chores. “This is one step in that journey to making Big Data a very accessible technology”, he said.

Moving forward, HP will continue to build on this platform, said Veis. “I think it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Author: Steve Wexler

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