Progress CEO Yogesh Gupta
Progress CEO Yogesh Gupta

Bedford, Mass.-based Progress plans to infuse its digital experience suite with machine learning from the acquisition of DataRPM, a provider of cognitive predictive maintenance for the industrial IoT (IIoT) market.

Progress acquired DataRPM for $30 million — $28.3 million in cash and $1.7 million payable to DataRPM's founders in the form of restricted Progress stock.

The purchase comes just a month after Progress laid off about 450 employees — about 20 percent of its 1,912 employee global workforce. 

In announcing those layoffs, Progress indicated it was shifting away from the DigitalFactory cloud-based platform it unveiled last May in favor of  a "Cognitive Applications" platform that helps businesses better operationalize its digital data.

In 2014, Progress acquired Web CMS provider Telerik, the makers of Sitefinity Web CMS

Since then it has been building out its digital experience suite.

DataRPM’s Machine Learning Engine

Gathering data is no longer a marketer’s biggest concern. Today, marketers are far more worried about what to do with it all.

With big data towering above them, marketers are turning towards machine learning technologies in an attempt to find patterns, predict future trends and deliver cutting-edge personalization.

Machine learning technology can analyze data patterns in a way that can tell marketers how to enhance user experiences with personal voice assistants as well as their favorite online retailer.

But machine learning is also being deployed outside of the marketing realm, to help reduce fraud, guide self-driving cars and predict asset failures.

DataRPM is one such technology. As well as being able to empower marketers with actionable insights, DataRPM has earned its reputation through its IIoT capabilities. It leverages its patented Meta-Learning technology to help companies like Jaguar, Samsung and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to intelligently predict product failures.

Progress’ Missing Puzzle Piece

As far as Progress is concerned, DataRPM fills a missing piece in its puzzle.

Progress boasts a suite of tools designed to help brands develop and deploy business applications. Those tools include front-end tooling, back-end services, business rules and data connectivity. What was missing was a machine learning component to advance its predictive analytics.

Progress CEP Yogesh Gupta emphasized Data RPM aligns with its “cognitive-first” future:

"Progress has always provided the platform for building and deploying mission-critical business applications. The future of applications is cognitive-first," he said.

"With the acquisition of DataRPM, we now have leading predictive analytics capabilities to round out our cognitive apps platform."

In an article in CMSWire last year, DataRPM Co-Founder and CEO Sundeep Sanghavi stressed companies that wanted to improve ROI and gain more value from their data "need to implement systems where data is constantly being gathered, analyzed and can be tapped into for insights at the click of a button. But developing these systems requires highly skilled experts and complex projects."

Enterprises need to turn to developing cognitive data systems, which can use machine learning AI to farm, sort and deliver data quicker and more efficiently than human teams, he continued.

What Progress Gains

With this acquisition, Progress aims to provide their enterprise clients with the data and predictive analytics they need to enhance its marketing strategies in ways only machine learning can achieve.

DataRPM was a good fit, Progress representatives noted, for three reasons:

  1. DataRPM can detect random and unknown failures using both unsupervised and semi-supervised learning techniques.
  2. DataRPM enables companies to cut down on data science investment, as the platform can automate data science using a technique called Meta-Learning that learns from experience and feedback.
  3. The DataRPM platform can horizontally scale to monitor and track any number of industrial machines.

A Progress representative told CMSWire the company will continue to sell the DataRPM capabilities standalone. However, Progress has already kicked off its integration process to incorporate machine learning into its OpenEdge applications. More news on that front is set to be announced before 2018.