HPE will expand its data and analytics portfolio through the acquisition of embattled Hadoop pioneer MapR. Weeks after it missed deadlines for winning additional funding or being acquired, the company, an early pioneer in the big data space was acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Read the full news story on Information Week:
Analyst Take: It feels like there are two stories happening concurrently here. One being undoubtedly positive for all involved and the other raising a variety of questions.
The first story is the acquisition itself and the role that MapR can play in helping HPE execute on its commitment to hybrid IT, data proliferation and the emergence of AI and ML.
The second story surrounds MapR’s seemingly dark days that preceded the acquisition where funding was cutoff leaving the company in turmoil with an employee exodus, certain customers left with minimal or no support and the impact that may have on the company long term.
The acquisition itself has the makings of both a highly intelligent and shrewd move by CEO Antonio Neri as he looks to expand both capabilities and customers. Given the acquisition price wasn’t mentioned and that the deal was asset based, I have a strong feeling the assets were picked up for a fraction of what they were worth even a few months ago. Win for HPE and a loss (or perhaps a mitigated gain) for the stakeholders in MapR.
From a technology standpoint, this acquisition fits the HPE strategy well. The company’s acquisition of Blue Data, plus its commitment to hybrid and everything-as-a-service will require the continued investment in capabilities that enable AI, ML and advanced analytics to be operational in a multi-cloud environment that has the elasticity and scale of public cloud and the control and compliance friendliness of on-prem.
Hybrid IT is both highly complex and necessary for organizations to be able to leverage the vast data being created on a daily basis, especially with the growth of IoT and Edge. It’s critical for enterprise that they have the tools that enable them to have their data accessible by all applications regardless of the location with the highest level of flexibility; essentially an enabler for business agility. The assets of MapR should enable HPE to continue their efforts in this direction by offering a data fabric and orchestration layer.
Verdict on the Acquisition
I have some concerns about customer retention in the short term, but I expect HPE to get straight to work on keeping those customers on board while integrating MapR into their broader data, AI and analytics portfolio.
I believe this acquisition is extremely positive for HPE. Despite the turmoil wrapped around MapR during its apparent demise when funding ran dry, the company’s assets, analytics experience and customers will provide HPE with a boost as they pursue greater inroads into the rapidly growing space that is being propelled by the proliferation of AI and machine learning.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
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