Prateek Kansal, Head of Engineering, India Operations at Komprise, shares his thoughts on Komprise’s team and strategy in India and the company’s big data analytics story. This interview was adapted from the original article in Analytics Insight.
Tell us about the Komprise journey since inception?
PK: Our Co-Founders Kumar Goswami, Mike Peercy, and Krishna Subramanian had worked on two previous startups before launching Komprise and brought their expertise in distributed fault-tolerant computing. In talks with CIOs, they learned a common theme: organizations were drowning in unstructured data, they don’t know how much data they have, they wished there was something to help them better understand and do something about it. The founders realized that we needed to do something vendor agnostic. Everybody had silos of data. But they didn’t want another solution that would create a middleman that would be needed to access their data. Komprise developed from there, and they knew that analytics was going to be a key part of the equation. But not just analytics. We had to allow customers to take action on the insights. We need to ensure we didn’t get in front of the data. All of these principles that came from early customer validation are still part of our DNA.
How is Komprise contributing to AI and big data analytics?
PK: Komprise uses ElasticSearch technology to create a Global File Index that can search across all data regardless of where it’s stored. This allows IT users to find precisely the data sets they are looking for (such as by project or file type) and then send it to a cloud data lake where it can be analyzed and leveraged. By making it easier to search across data sets, rather than trying to unify and move massive stores of data to a central location, Komprise is speeding time to analysis for customers wishing to monetize the petabytes of data they are storing on-premises or in the cloud. Our latest product update, Deep Analytics Actions takes this one step further by enabling policies on those queries. For example, if you want to tier files generated by certain instruments to the cloud, you can create a policy in Komprise in seconds so that as new files are generated, they are continuously and automatically moved by Komprise. This makes it easy to systematically leverage analytics to move and operate on data.
What are the most important trends that you see emerging across the globe concerning big data analytics and unstructured data?
PK: With the growing interest in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), I think we will see more investment in unstructured data analytics and data management solutions that enable this.
Since unstructured data is very large and unwieldy and much of it is growing outside the cloud at the edge, data management that spans edge-to-cloud and simplifies ingestion of unstructured data for cloud analytics will become a notable trend.
Already we are seeing cloud data warehouses like Snowflake beginning to support unstructured data, but these are early days. Merging unstructured data into the world of structured and semi-structured analytics tools and practices is an area ripe for innovation. Yet there are other issues beyond toolsets. Big data is almost too big and is creating data swamps that are hard to leverage. Precisely finding the right data in place no matter where it was created and ingesting it for data analytics is a game-changer because it will save ample time and manual effort while delivering more relevant analysis. So, instead of big data, a new trend will be the development of so-called “right data” analytics.
What’s your growth plans for the next 12 months in India?
PK: The engineering team in India is responsible for building some of the most critical functions of our product and is involved in all the core new innovations we are building for customers. India staff has taken a lead on building and sustaining the Komprise Deep Analytics engine and helped deliver our cloud data management capabilities which are instrumental for customers adopting multi-cloud storage. We are looking to fill many crucial roles at our India office right now including several engineering roles in Bangalore and senior-level opportunities. Since we are growing our team, we are also looking to hire for product and operations leadership. We plan to expand the India operation by over 50% in the coming year.
How do you see the company and the industry in the future?
PK: Komprise is in an excellent position to help IT organizations solve critical issues with data management. Our analytics-first approach makes sense as it’s the only way to truly understand data to control costs and manage data properly for business needs, compliance needs, and long-term value. Our customers around the globe have attained notable cost-saving while simplifying their data management workloads. Additionally, as cloud-based services for ML, AI and data lakes mature and grow in popularity due to their scale, affordability and user-friendly features, now is the time to integrate unstructured data with these analytics tools. We plan to be a major contributor to cloud analytics in terms of enabling technology. We can help customers avoid vendor lock-in (including lock-in to our solution) so that they can move data where they wish, whenever they wish and without onerous fees or hassle.