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CSC Ups Its Interest in the Big Data Game via Hortonworks and Infochimps
Most of us don’t think of “Big Data” when we think of CSC, and for CSC that needs to change. After all, the word on the street (whether you’re on Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley or on Main Street in Plymouth Vermont) is that companies who don’t get it right with Big Data are going to perish.
Now if you’re an apple grower or a landscaper that plants shrubs at country clubs, maybe doing Big Data can wait. But if you’re a technology services provider like CSC, Big Data better be a BIG part of your game or you’re doomed.
Now while we’re not suggesting that CSC lacks a Big Data practice (we’ve checked and they have one), they’ve done two things in the past ten days that might help them put a bigger mark on the map. First, they announced a reseller partnership with Hortonworks and second, last week they acquired Infochimps.
While the Hortonworks announcement doesn’t come as much of a surprise because Hortonworks’ strategy seems to center around pollenating the planet with its flavor of Hadoop — HDP (Hortonworks Data Platform) — and CSC can help them to do that by recommending it to its customers, there is some subtle but bold language in Hortonworks’ announcement that caught our eye. Consider this quote from VP of Business Development Mitch Ferguson:
We look forward to expanding the enterprise adoption of 100-percent open source Apache Hadoop (note Hortonworks considers itself to be the only 100% Open Source player in this space, a claim that its competitors would certainly challenge) across the globe and ensure its place (can you say “dominate”) in today’s modern data architecture.”
The other CSC announcement, the purchase of Infochimps, leaves us a little sad, not for any other reason than because it likely represents the end of a dream. All too often, innovation tends to cease once a company has been acquired. And from what I’ve seen of the Infochimps team, these are creative, fun-loving geeks who aren’t into suits, policies and procedures, and CSC is full of those. Their enthusiasm could wane for two reasons — cultural fit and money in the pocket (the latter of which wouldn’t be a horrible way to end a dream if you’re tired of your vision and just want to cash out).
It’s worth noting that for Jim Kaskade, who took over as CEO not too long ago, this probably represents a big boon. Maybe he was brought in specifically to pump Infochimps up and prime it for sale or maybe he saw that the possibilities of getting to an IPO someday were out of line with reality.
In either case, here’s hoping that Infochimps’ founders will use their genius, energy and interest in big data and innovation well, whatever the future brings.
Title image courtesy of Feng Yu (Shutterstock)
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