Aloke Guha is the Vice President, Analytics and Big Data at Hitachi Data Systems and a passionate IT executive and serial entrepreneur with over two decades of experience working in public companies and startups. He has 26 issued patents and over 30 pending, is an avid traveler speaking at over 60 conferences and sings in Boulder’s cool choir.
icrunchdata speaks with technology leaders in the analytics space to learn about what they are currently focused on, explore their career path and dig into what their interests are outside of technology. We caught up with Aloke recently to ask him about his role at Hitachi Data Systems, his experience founding startups and what his interests are outside of the office.
Aloke, thanks for talking to us today. Let’s get started…
Since 2014 Hitachi has been making investments in analytics and big data related businesses. This is part of its larger business strategy of using IT to provide solutions to social infrastructure that includes communications, healthcare, energy, and transportation. One significant investment was Pentaho, a data integration, visualization and analytics company.
My responsibilities include the incubation and productization of big data infrastructure and analytics software, integrating with other technology partners, and collaborating with other Hitachi businesses.
One huge change is that the proliferation of cloud services has made the effort to launching and deploying big data applications very easy and cheap. A single person can start an analytics company with a laptop and a credit card! The second change is that with the proliferation of real-time and streaming data sources, from sensor data, social media, GPS and mobile data, there is a much richer variety of data to capture and analyze and extract insights, much of it in near real-time. However, the one thing that has not fundamentally changed is the core machine learning and analysis technology that is in use.
I would say the most important criterion is building a business that has immediate business benefit and sales traction. If you think you can organically grow the sales side of the business, which is not always easy when you are selling to large enterprise customers, then you should seek venture capital. Otherwise, get an OEM partnership with an established big player that has the sales and marketing engine to help you grow your revenue.
This is a very relevant topical issue for entrepreneurs today. With the proliferation of open source software and its incorporation into more products and services, owning a patent is becoming a less critical need than having a working solution that you can deliver to the marketplace. Also, after 2014 case of Alice vs CLS Bank, it will be harder to obtain and enforce software methods patents. I still believe you need novelty in your solution, especially on the technical side, in that you may find creative ways of solving a complex problem. Your solution might be patentable but don't rely on that as a differentiator or a fundamental barrier.
That’s an interesting question. I think given my creative bent and interests in many areas including history, culture, and arts, I might consider writing. Perhaps science or historical fiction?
I am probably not a good foodie guide as I don't eat out a lot when I am home. However, I do live in a charming small Boulder county city called Louisville that has some very nice and unique restaurants. Some of my local favorites in the downtown area include LuLu’s Barbeque and 12 Degrees brewpub.
Elementary school choir in an all-boys Jesuit school where singing was a class all had to take until 5th grade! Singing is my release and it takes my mind off all the daily grind and pressure. I believe in the song we often sing which goes, “What would I do without my music? “
I am afraid I have not been very active on Twitter recently. I do occasionally interesting trends and news that I find significant from the tech world.
Two Bills from different worlds who share interest in making a positive influence in the world after they move away from their formal leadership positions: Gates and Clinton.
Aloke, those are all of the questions that I have for you today and thank you for taking the time to speak with us.