14 Things you didn’t know about Cloudera

It’s fair that we can’t really start this without a little introduction to Cloudera. They were really bumped up our radar this year after topping $100 million in revenue in 2015.

Founded in 2008, Cloudera was the first, and is currently, the leading provider and supporter of Apache Hadoop for the enterprise. Cloudera also offers software for business critical data challenges including storage, access, management, analysis, security, and search.

  • Cloudera added 264 new software subscription customers in FY 2015 (which ended in January 2015) for a total customer count of 535.
  • Cloudera has over 1,400 partners, around 800 are systems integrators/professional services firms.
  • The company plans to shift is messaging away from the underlying technology and towards business use cases/outcomes. It is focusing its go-to-market efforts on two specific vertical industries – financial services and telecommunications – and on large enterprises with $1 billion-plus in annual revenue.
  • Once of the co-founders Mike Olsen is a pretty interesting fella. In a recent interview he revealed his dad has one of the very first Apple Computers “When I was growing up, my stepdad bought an Apple II computer. Serial number 125 – built by the Steves in a garage. That’s how I learned to computer program around 1976- ­77.”
  • Mike was also a Mexican chef who dropped out of Berkley – He was doing a PhD when he realised he didn’t like research half as much as he liked his team so left to join Illustra. (The Mexican Chef part came during some travels on a first break from Berkley).
  • It all started with Hadoop – Facebooks, Jeff Hammerbacher, Yahoo’s Amr Awadallah, and Google’s Christoph Bisciglia from Google all joined Mike in their excitement around Hadoop – and Cloudera was formed.
  • Hadoop is a technology invented by Google in the early 2000s. It was initially created to help sell more advertisements but quickly became transportable to other industries as a data management solution.
  • Hadoop refers to an open source file distribution system and job scheduler that distributes data analysis jobs over infinitely large numbers of small servers to process data-intensive queries at high speed. Hadoop is available free under the Apache open source license, but has also found its way into the enterprise via paid, supported distributions.
  • Cloudera announced it was launching in Australia in 2013, choosing Australia as the centre of Cloudera’s APAC efforts because the “language is easy, and the business culture, legal and financial infrastructure is the right fit”.
  • The market for big data technology is growing rapidly. In 2014, Cloudera closed a $US900 million funding round, $US740 million of it from Intel which now has an 18 per cent stake. The money was assigned to help Cloudera build its share in a highly contested and rapidly expanding market.
  • The company’s regional operations are run by Sydney-based Chris Poulos, vice president for Asia Pacific and Japan who said he already had a number of people in sales, engineering and support in Australia. He has a positive take on the Australian market: “Australia seems to be the leader in adoption of the big data, especially by large corporations. They have already done their skunkworks projects and are now moving to the next level.
  • In 2014 Cloudera, now the leader in enterprise analytic data management powered by Apache Hadoop, named to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America. Cloudera was ranked 36th on the list with over 4,439% growth over the past five years.
  • Cloudera expanded its partner program, Cloudera Connect, by 78% during last year, announcing partnerships with Accenture, Capgemini, Dell, EMC Isilon, Informatica, Intel, Microsoft, MongoDB, NEC, Red Hat, SAP, Teradata, and others to accelerate the deployment of Hadoop. The Cloudera partner ecosystem, the largest in the industry, expanded beyond 1,450 companies.
  • They look for unique traits in their talent. Two key principles stood out – 1) Does this person fit with the rest of the team. No matter how skilled you are, if it’s not a team fit they’re not interested. 2)  Has this person done surprising things? Olsen told the story on his blog of an interview for a sales candidate – “I interviewed a candidate who’d had a long and successful run as a salesman for large enterprise software companies. That’s our profile. We see a lot of those candidates. This person, though, stood out from the crowd easily. After several years of success and great paychecks in sales, he’d quit his job for a couple years, studied and mastered Transcendental Meditation and trekked to Pakistan to climb K2. He succeeded in summiting the mountain and continues to practice TM today. With those experiences, and somewhat short of money, he went back to work selling software – We hired him.

Check out Mike’s full profile here.

Follow stories from the latest tech brands here. 

Is this the hottest brand hitting Australia right now?

There aren’t many growth stories quite like Qualtrics.

In January 2010 they had 37 employees, by December 2013 there were 260 employees and now (Oct 2014) there are over 550 employees. They’re going through hyper-growth and there are no plans to slow down.

The Utah-based start-up, which produces cloud-based survey software, recently secured $150 million in venture capital. The new stream of funding has been allocated to product development and overseas expansion.

In addition to the HQ in Utah, last year saw expansion to Dublin; the office grew from 3 to 50 employees in a year – next year the aim is to be around the 100 mark.

They’re now about to take on the same mission is Sydney.

Bill McMurray is the man tasked with the job.

Starting out as just a team of just three renting out office space in the Sydney CBD.

However, that’s all going to change pretty quickly.

“I’m currently in the process of securing 8,000 sq ft of office space in Sydney. We’re unlike most organisations that taper at around the $100 million mark – Qualtrics is still going through rapid growth.

“We’re aiming to be over 50 employees in Australia within 12 months and then we’ll start building out local operations in key APJ countries.” Explained Bill.

But the team aren’t starting from scratch, deployment has been years in the making and they already have an impressive 250 active customers here in the region.

Bill explained how people have been at the core of the organisation’s success and are consistently provided opportunity at the same rate as business growth:

“It’s the people that have really driven this business. They’ve been tapping away and built up a great base before we even arrived. Opportunities are passed down to the people in the organisation, I’m a firm believer in promotion from within.”

Tim’s story

The man behind the mission…. And it’s not who you’d expect.

Tim Pales was a man with a plan. It started back when he had one year left of his course studying Chinese and Business at BYU. Like most students Tim took a part time job.

It was 2008 when Tim joined Qualtrics – as employee number 29. He’d be at school all day and on the phones all night. The night calling was a very deliberate decision for Tim “My interest was always APAC. I had lived and studied in Asia and coupling that experience with my focus on business in school it seemed like a good fit. Seeing how rapidly the economies in Asia were growing, I knew there would be good opportunities there.”

“We first focused on academics and we successfully managed to land pretty much all of the major universities in Australia and New Zealand.”

The last three years have been spent managing his own sales team whilst building business in Australia, without so much as an office space here.

With continued success year on year, it wasn’t long till Tim became a senior manager. The mission never faltered “The goal has always been to create a problem so we had to come here. It got to a point where (after pushing it for three years) there was enough of a customer base in APAC. The appetite was there, the time was now – it was time to go.”

Whilst excelling quota for both him and his team members, Tim and John developed a full business plan for launch here in Australia. Part of that plan – hire an exec: “Qualtrics needed executive leadership on the ground in Australia. I have been fortunate to manage teams but I wasn’t the guy to strategically launch Qualtrics here. I found myself in the unique position of helping our executive team hire my new boss.”

Sitting with the team of three in their temporary rented office in Sydney, you wouldn’t be mistaken for thinking you were chatting to a group of guys about to start their own business. Bill McMurray jokes “We see this as we’ve just started private school and have our parents financing – we’re all so interested in this region, it’s exciting to lead the launch here.”

Coming soon…. John’s story

This was John’s first role out of university. Like most he started in entry level sales 3 and a half years ago.

Over the course of the last 21 months he’s had 4 promotions.

How? The company has a really clear development path, it’s not based on politics or people leaving – it’s based purely on performance.

Every quarter you’re given a quota. Hit the quota of the level above you for 2 quarters, you get promoted. It’s that simple.

John played a big role in developing the business plan and now as part of the landing team, is a big part of leading the roll out in the region.

Article published on behalf of Salient Group, we connect great talent to fast growth brands. If you’re interesting in hearing more about brands like Qualtrics sign up here.