The New Cloudera

The New Cloudera

A new year is always an opportunity for change. This year, we’re making a big one.

On January 3, we closed the merger of Cloudera and Hortonworks — the two leading companies in the big data space — creating a single new company that is the leader in our category. We are well positioned to deliver even more innovation and success than we have independently over the last decade.

As separate companies, we built on the broad Apache Hadoop ecosystem. Our product lines aren’t just complementary. They share a tremendous amount of common open source technology. We are at scale — more than $720M in trailing twelve-month revenue and growing — with more than half a billion dollars in cash, and no debt. Our pre-merger customer bases have very little overlap, giving us a considerable enterprise installed base whose demand for IoT, analytics, data warehousing, and machine learning continues to grow. I can’t think of a comparable enterprise software transaction in my thirty years in the industry.

A decade ago, Amr Awadallah, Christophe Bisciglia, Jeff Hammerbacher, and I made a long bet: Data could make things that are impossible today, possible tomorrow. We recognized the power of the Hadoop technology, invented by consumer internet companies, to deliver on that promise. We were first to bring it to market for the enterprise. Over the forty-one quarters we’ve been in existence, we’ve continually driven the state of the art: Building the high-performance, massively-parallel Apache Impala SQL query engine; incorporating Apache Spark for stream processing and machine learning; introducing security, governance and management capabilities; and much more.

But the strategic rationale for this business is not in who we were, or who we have become today. It’s in the enormous opportunity before us, and the faster innovation we expect to deliver as the new Cloudera.

As the industry broadly spotted the same opportunity as we had, the pace of innovation has picked up. It’s clear today that the data warehouse industry is undergoing a major transformation. Every large company we work with is eager to adopt machine learning and AI, but unsure how to do so. The number and variety of edge applications are absolutely exploding, as the world becomes increasingly connected, and as software powers ever more of our economy and lives. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the cloud has become increasingly important to enterprises of all sizes and has set a new bar for ease of use.

Each of these trends, of course, depends entirely on data. Our bet in 2008 has proven prescient. With the merger, we are doubling down.

The new Cloudera has a distinct advantage in the market: We’re able to capture, store, manage and analyze data anywhere. Our platform runs in your data center. It operates equally well on the hyperscale public clouds provided by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, and by IBM and Oracle. We provide a rich collection of analytics and data processing frameworks, so you can query your data, or train models using machine learning on it, or serve it at web scale for consumer applications. You can do all this from a single copy of the data, under rigorous security and access controls that let you live up to the regulatory and legal demands of the modern enterprise.

Our products are mature and enterprise-grade with a robust roadmap. We’ve worked closely with our sizable customer base, and have a clear vision of where data and analytics are headed. Our new Chief Product Officer Arun Murthy has a post up on the Hortonworks blog, explaining what the future holds in product strategy and development.

At the new Cloudera, we see the things that are impossible today that data will make possible tomorrow. As a larger and more efficient business, we intend to drive the next decade of innovation, too. As Arun’s blog makes clear, we see enormous potential in further advances in IoT, data warehousing and machine learning. We expect to transform the enterprise data center, delivering a public-cloud experience in-house, ensuring that workloads can migrate to where they make the most sense to run and eliminating cloud vendor lock-in. We’ll do this with more people, a stronger balance sheet and a much larger customer base to learn from.

For many years, Cloudera and Hortonworks have been fierce competitors. You may wonder how we will navigate the coming months and our post-merger integration. As a former hard-core partisan myself, I freely acknowledge that history. But I encourage you to look beyond it. I assure you that I have. My colleagues on both sides of our much-larger house will, too. The stakes are simply too high, and the rewards too great, to be distracted by the past. As a single company, we are every bit as committed as we were separately. We intend to win.

We’ll be hosting a live event on January 10, at 10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern, to share more details on how the new Cloudera will accelerate innovation and deliver the industry’s first Enterprise Data Cloud. Please join us!

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