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The Six Five at Cloudera Evolve 2022: Data Innovation — Leading by Example
by Daniel Newman | October 31, 2022

The Six Five “On The Road” at Cloudera Evolve NYC. Hosts Daniel Newman and Patrick Moorhead are joined by Otho Lyon, VP of Global Support & Cindy Maike, VP of Business & Product Solutions, Cloudera. Their conversation centers on the challenges Cloudera’s customers face and what Cloudera is doing to help drive its hybrid cloud data strategy.

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You can listen to the session here:

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Transcript:

Daniel Newman: Hey everyone, welcome to another Six Five on the road, here at Cloudera Evolve or Evolve NYC. Another great session ahead of us, Pat. I’m Daniel Newman, Principle Analyst, founding partner at Future and Research, joined by Mr. Patrick Morehead.

Patrick Moorhead: How are you doing my friend?

Daniel Newman: MC, host extraordinaire.

Patrick Moorhead: No, it’s been a great morning so far. Super exciting getting out there. We saw Rob from Cloudera. We saw Rob, double Rob, from IBM. So Mike from EDM and Josh, the Wordle man.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, the Wordle one was super fun. I actually had to send the picture back to my wife and be like, because she plays every morning. He talked about that kind of family bonding experience.

Patrick Moorhead: Social, yeah.

Daniel Newman: She messages me every morning. I get up really early, I go to the gym, and she messages me when she wakes up with her Wordle score.

Patrick Moorhead: That’s so nice.

Daniel Newman: She doesn’t go with me though, to the gym. But really excited about being here at Evolve NYC. This event put on by Cloudera and partnership with IBM and Intel. And we’ve got a great day of conversations here on the six five and excited about this one. We’ve got a couple of guest friends, former participants at the Six Five Summit, and Otho here. But Otho, Cindy, welcome to the show.

Cindy Maike: Thanks for having us.

Otho Lyon: Pleasure to be here.

Daniel Newman: All right. So setting them up. You want me to set them up or You set them?

Patrick Moorhead: You set them. You’re on a roll buddy. Just keep going.

Daniel Newman: I wanted to let you ask the good questions. I’ll ask the easy one. Here’s a layup for you. Quick introduction, tell everybody about your work at Cloudera. I’ll start with you, Cindy.

Cindy Maike: Sure. Cindy Maike. I lead our industry value management and our business product solutions area. Been with the company for about eight years, and I’m a recovering accountant.

Patrick Moorhead: There we go.

Cindy Maike: I’m the data person in the group.

Patrick Moorhead: Now. I know why you asked me.

Daniel Newman: At Cloudera being the data person is a pretty big thing.

Patrick Moorhead: It’s an important thing. Yeah.

Otho Lyon: And I’m Otho Lyon. I’m a global VP of support. I’m the fixer, so I fix all of the problems. I hear them all.

Patrick Moorhead: I love it. So the two of you are on the front lines, Cindy, industries, Otho with support, fixing all of it. I’m going to start off with probably, maybe we’ll start with you Otho, on what are some of the key challenges that your customers are expressing to you, right now?

Otho Lyon: Right. Yeah. Some of it, obviously we’re going from CDH to CDP. Customers are kind of holding back because one, they can’t get the equipment, and two, they’re kind of looking at the cloud. Some of them are getting their bill from the cloud. And so it’s like, okay, so let’s figure out our cloud strategy.

Patrick Moorhead: Right.

Otho Lyon: Yeah, they’re struggling with that right now, so we’re having to help them. We’re massaging them through, hey well let’s get you to CDP as quick as possible, as soon as you get that equipment so we can get you going.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, it’s interesting. I didn’t even know this until I was doing my planning to kick off the show here. I was talking about the cloud as if everybody’s using the cloud, but it’s like, Hey Pat, not everybody in the audience will have gone to the cloud. And as Daniel expressed in a previous video, your customers in Cloudera are on a very similar journey as you, Cindy.

Otho Lyon: That’s hybrid.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. Cindy, how about you? How are they expressing these needs to you, maybe in a vertical fashion or any differences between them?

Cindy Maike: I think what’s really transpired in the last two, three years, just from a pandemic perspective, is there’s the need for business, the unknowns. How do we plan businesses? What are the processes? How do we know if we’re going to make money, how are we going to get new insights? And then we also go, now we’re looking at an economic uncertainty period. And people are going, I want some predictability. So we went from highly unpredictable to now it’s like, eh, we need to ratchet it back. And from a business perspective, they’re like IT people, you just go figure this platform stuff out. We’ve got different types of business challenges that we’re dealing with every day. So just make sure whatever you design is flexible to meet our needs.

Daniel Newman: So Cindy, you said something and we always have great green room conversations, and not everybody out there always gets to hear what we talk about, but.

Patrick Moorhead: We should do that.

Daniel Newman: Bloopers. Something that you kind of expressed that piqued my interest, but you said something along the lines of a question about, did innovation accelerate or stall as it pertains to the data environment? Because obviously we’ve heard so much digital transformation accelerated by five years, or three weeks, or seven hours. Stats are constantly made up without any validation, what do they say like 63% of statistics are made up on the spot. But we’ve heard a lot of those various kind of anecdotes about how much. But in your world, did you see that? Did the pandemic actually speed the migration to the cloud? Did it slow it? Did people grasp on longer to what they already had? What was your sort of view of how quick things moved during the pandemic?

Cindy Maike: Well, I think from a couple different fronts. So I’ll look at it from a little bit from the healthcare side. Pre pandemic, the notion of telehealth, insurance companies didn’t want to pay for telehealth. And then you think about, how did you provide care? And you’re like, now I got data coming in from the edge, because the insurance companies, the provider said we got to do this telehealth stuff because we’re not having people in the office. So how do you collect that edge data? That data is going to go to the cloud, It’s not going to probably go straight to a data center because people are getting services out in their home.

So that’s where people are like, Hey, I got to think about these things differently. So I think that accelerated it, the fact that people started to work from home. And you look at what happened with, we had a telecom provider in the Netherlands that they’re like, how do we rebalance this network stuff from going from all the services need to be in the office, to how do we shift this to services are provided on broadband in the home. And so all the network optimization, those were decisions like, eh, can we do this in the data center to do it in the cloud, or do we do it in a combination? So it’s those type of examples that I think show us that you got to have innovation on thinking about where data’s going to be.

Otho Lyon: It feels accelerated, right? And that feeling of acceleration. Now, customers coming out of the pandemic, now we’re looking at, okay, what is the next? Because of this acceleration, companies are starting to look at the cost, versus the benefits. And when, especially with Cloudera now is the hybrid model, is that the better model than just a pure cloud plug?

Patrick Moorhead: So Cloudera has been on a rocket ship journey the past couple years, CDPH, CDP Cloud, and now we’re looking at CDP One. And Otho, I would imagine that that kind of changes your look. And again, I don’t know if you get more emails or messages or incoming calls or how your model works. I’m curious, how are you looking at your job and your role has changed as with the evolution of the company? I would imagine as you open the aperture to more people who know how to use CDP, particularly with CDP One and with CDP Cloud out with AWS and GCP and Azure, your job has changed a lot.

Otho Lyon: So if you look at it now, it’s no longer that traditional support model. That monolith, all these cases coming in, now it’s customers want an experience. And so we’re actually shifting to a customer experience model. To your point, you said, customers are smarter now and they’re using software, so they want people to help them to use the software. And so maybe you offer more services like TAMS and things of that nature to sit with customers and help them consume or either understand what we’re trying to do.

So the shift has, in Cloudera, is happening right now. We’re in that shift and I’m excited about it because now it’s no longer all about that break fix.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah.

Otho Lyon: Let me help you enjoy what you’re doing with our product. And that’s the thing I like, because those conversations are a lot easier when you’re like, Oh, I like this product because hey, you showed, your TAMS showed me how to use this product, versus hey, this thing is broken, it’s down, I need to back up. My dashboard is broken. Those are very unpleasant conversations.

Patrick Moorhead: So it’s almost like you’ve gone from a bag of car parts, which people were assembling to put together to do that. And by the way, the car stayed in one place typically. To car getting on the highway, to now an Uber type model with CDP One.

Otho Lyon: Right.

Patrick Moorhead: And by the way, I can also imagine some people are like, I don’t want anything to change. What do you mean you’re going to open up CDP Cloudera to the rest of the organization? This is mine. Do they ever cry on your shoulder or talk to you about this?

Otho Lyon: I always give out free hugs, so I’m one of those guys. I give out free hugs.

Patrick Moorhead: But light ones though.

Otho Lyon: Yeah, light ones. Light ones.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. Okay.

Otho Lyon: The shift, there has been this shift from where it was specific organizations and they were kind of the data folks. Now you got the BI folks and all the analysts and they’re like, Oh, we got these new tools that we can use, which makes it easier. And here’s the other thing, I can help you self-serve if things break. So it becomes, like I say, the conversation becomes a lot better now, because these folks are like, just make it work. That’s the other thing. Just make it work. We don’t want to go through all the frills, just make it work.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, the experience.

Otho Lyon: Yeah, that’s it.

Daniel Newman: So when they’re done crying on your shoulder, and what I genuinely do think is happening is effectively roles are just changing and evolving. I mean, we’re here at Evolve, but I mean they really are. If you were a prem person, you are quickly having to adapt to the fact that there will be multiple clouds. And you will be dealing with data from multiple sources. We talked about you’re structured, I’m unstructured, but in the sense of that is data. And by the way, the world is moving to a place where all data needs to be part of the equation to solving customer problems.

One of the things that I think has been really important in solving problems, Cindy, is the vertical veneer moving to a vertical solution. Meaning I feel like a lot of companies during the pandemic went to vertical-focused marketing. I feel like some companies actually came out with vertical solutions, meaning that it was a lot of architecture. I like that word. Talk about that. It’s your part of your role with leading industries, Cloudera, working with data on Prem, healthcare, finance manufacture. You’re in industries that tend to be very regulated, very compliance driven, a lot of residency, sovereignty issues. Talk about how you’ve really built that out to drive Cloudera for verticals.

Cindy Maike: So when you look at those types of business problems, and also you look at who is the person that actually needs the analytical insights, it’s the business. And the business people, and I go back to myself as being an accountant. It’s like I’ve always dealt with data, and now it’s kind of different types of data and you’re like, just give me the data and I’ll do with it what I want. Because I don’t want it telling me what to do with the data.

So within that, how do you then make what we do, as a product and platform perspective, consumable by the folks that really need the insights? So we’re building out industry reference architectures. You’re looking at those use cases that you need. So if it’s looking at a manufacturer within remote asset monitoring, to doing quality analytics to predictive maintenance, here’s how you actually do that. And basically just bring your data. Here’s the types of data sources, here’s the adapters that you need, here’s the amps, here’s the applied machine learning protocols that you would use. So really making it easier for the end user to embrace the technology.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. Though I’m curious if does verticalization impact your role and what you do and how you provide these customers with the experience?

Otho Lyon: It helps to understand, especially when you’re talking about regulating industries and things that nature, it helps for me to know where I can and cannot support from. But at the same time, I can have someone that, we have something called Premier Support, and those folks are specialists with that customer. So it’s good for them to understand what they’re dealing with, in the industry. Public sector’s another one. So yeah, very much the information that she gathers helps us to provide a better customer experience.

Daniel Newman: In the end, it’s all about tying it together. I think my guess, and maybe y’all can validate, is that the highly regulated have the most complexity and probably come with the most challenges, but they’re also in many ways the most incented to find the balance. A lot of companies that are in maybe some of these less regulated industries, have maybe been those that have first run to the born on cloud type of stuff because they have all that flexibility. You showed the injuries in Horowitz about how small startup companies can go to a pure cloud consumption only base. But you know actually, that just made me think of a question. Yeah. As you scale the data, and Cindy, as you’re working with the industries, do you find that the move to cloud is opening doors to new customers in these new industries to check out Cloudera? Are you seeing a migration of 2000 plus instead of just 500, Fortune 500 companies starting to find it?

Cindy Maike: Oh, absolutely. And also just what we’re doing with CDP One, and you look at certain types of industries where they’re like, We don’t have those type of technical skill sets to deal with a big data type platform, but they need that. So how do you make that available to them? And you provide those things, like I talked about the reference architecture. So absolutely a new type of environment where we see those opportunities and growth. And honestly, there’s even, we talk about the size of a company, there’s certain industries that are like, You know what, we’re not a FANG technology company. We don’t employ those skill sets, but we need those same types of insights.

Patrick Moorhead: Been a great conversation so far. We’re going to do a speed round. Okay. I’m going to ask each of you, if you deal with customers every single day, every single hour, what are top three words of advice from moving where you are today, to where you are tomorrow? And I know they’re not all in the same place, but we’ll generalize, Otho, we’ll start with you.

Otho Lyon: One of the big things is when folks call me, is it’s nice to know that they have a data plan. That they understand what they want to do with the data, and where they want to go, whether it’s going to be hybrid or there’s going to be a cloud. A lot of times they call and it’s like we’re just broken. And I’m like, Okay, what are you trying to do? What is the use cases? And so we have to always start picking through everything that’s, we’re starting from the beginning. So if you have all that up front, that helps me solve your problem faster.

Patrick Moorhead: Appreciate that.

Cindy Maike: Yeah. And I would say understand what business questions you’re trying to answer. What data do you need? What’s that data landscape, and what’s the best infrastructure to support that data landscape?

Patrick Moorhead: Well, I love it. Your advice is very consistent and all started off with what you want to actually do with that. And that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s tech technology first. So Otho and Cindy, I want to thank you for coming on the Six Five. It’s great to have you on. We’d love to have you on again to talk about your future journeys and everything you’re learning about your customers. So thank you so much for being on.

Cindy Maike: Thanks for having us.

Otho Lyon: Sounds good, thank you so much.

Patrick Moorhead: So for the Six Five, this is Pat Morehead and Daniel Newman signing off from Cloudera, Evolve 2022 here, live in New York City. We’re back. Yay. If you like what you heard, hit that subscribe button. Signing off. Have a great day.

About the Author

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio