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Cloudera Lays The Foundation For Smart City Initiatives In Indonesia


Big Community was once again privileged to be part of a momentous occasion with Cloudera. The Big Data vendor recently announced themselves as an official entity in Indonesia during their yearly Cloudera Sessions which was held in Raffles Hotel, Jakarta. The newly appointed VP for Asia Pacific and Japan, Mark Micallef who was also in Jakarta for the official event, took some time off to discuss with us their strategy in the space and why they have placed Indonesia squarely in their cross-hairs.

“The Cloudera Sessions are our yearly large event and this year it has attracted over 800 people registered. The objective is to bring together practitioners and customers so we can educate the market about what people are doing around machine learning and analytics,” he said explaining that their customers will also be sharing their knowledge on stage during the event.

“Another big thing for us is the official announcement of the Indonesian legal entity. That’s a big milestone for us. This is the 2nd entity outside of Singapore where we have gone deep into a country. Having an official entity now in Indonesia allows us to recruit and expand the team,” he said, adding that they will expand their sales, pre-sales and professional services in the country.

While they are looking to expand into the southern Asian countries, they are looking to expand specifically in Malaysia and the Phillipines bullishly. He added that these are the countries that already are growing their smart city initiatives.

“If you look at Indonesia as a market, it’s the 2nd largest technology spending market in Asean. We also see a lot of activity around FSI and telecommunication. For instance, mobilizing business processes, or mobilizing workflows and applications specifically which in turn creates a lot more data. And if you look at the statistics in Indonesia, it’s the 3rd largest in terms of smart phone adoption behind China and India, and that’s only 40 percent of the population so there’s still a lot of room for growth and expansion.” He said this in response to a question on why he thinks there has been a spike in the digital transformation space within the region.

“This (smart phone adoption) will only create more data and of course at the same time telecommunication companies are figuring out how to expand their 4G throughout the rest of the country which again creates more data. These large organisations in FSI, telco and governments are looking for ways to process and analyse this data to make it meaningful and more importantly to derive business insights which is really the goal of Big Data in general,” he explained.

Taking an example of the local bank, he says, they are amalgamating data sources from 50 siloed data lakes and getting them into Cloudera. Be it offline data, online data, real-time data or data from different locations, it gives these banks the ability to look deeper into customer behaviour, define patterns, or look at what products and services that are preferred, which gives the bank the opportunity to get specific and granular around the kind of services they provide to their clients.

“Those kinds of things means huge growth for FSI and we see an immense growth in telecommunications and government as well which is where a lot of the success stories are coming from so far,” he continued.

Cloudera’s expansion into Indonesia has been very deliberate according to Mark. With the intent to bolster the initiatives around smart cities. But there are a number of factor to that effect.

“There’s the technology side of it which is our platform, but it is also around skills.  So early this year we launched Big Analytics Skill Enablement (BASE). That’s really grass roots and around how we empower and do knowledge transfer in universities so that when people leave university and graduate, there’s a much more diverse range of skills, around machine learning and analytics that can then help the workforce.” Which he believes is much deeper than just providing a technology platform where when technology is put together with the skills piece, would do well to help the government and other organisations to be able to derive business insights from big data which is not a simple run-off-the mill type job.

“We feel those two factors go together very well as the government starts to do more around smart city initiatives.”