For Cloudera, the third time is the charm

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Practically abandoned for dead after a disastrous post-merger quarter a year ago, Cloudera You continued to comeback with the third quarter of better-than-expected results. ace Stephanie Condon reported a few days back, non-GAAP revenue in Q4 was $ 211.7 million. dollars, which beats analysts’ estimates by approx. $ 10 million and one penny per share. The company ended the year with $ 794.2 million.

Specifically, the quarter was not a lark, but the latest in a series of better quarters than expected following a disastrous first quarter last year, with renewals tanked immediately following the merger of Hortonworks. Loss of 38 cents per Shares compared to Street’s expectations of 23 cents sent then-CEO Tom Reilly packing. In hindsight, the company underestimated the disruption of the merger and the likelihood that customers would take a break until they learned about the product’s direction for the overall company.

Cloudera had a narrow path to recovery. It needed to get the next generation product right, and it had a narrow window that it could be executed as Carl Icahn began to circle in.

How it happened

Cloudera paved the way for the converged platform. But more importantly, Cloudera not only refactored the combined Cloudera and Hortonworks platforms, but used the opportunity to reengineer it natively for the cloud and put zoo animals in their cages where they belonged with fully integrated Shared data experience. machine Learning, and dataflow products.

Under the hood, Cloudera doubled upon execution. Like any enterprise software company, profitability has depended on a land and expansion strategy that reflects the upfront cost of customer six-digit purchases, but that margin comes as the customer renews and expands the footprint. To his credit, Cloudera made booking renewal more systematic. Although the company no longer reports quarterly churn rates, after a year of upheaval, it has returned to pre-merger levels.

Way ahead

With the new product portfolio, Cloudera has provided double paths, including datahub for lift and shift, with the rest of the portfolio redeveloped into a cloud-native, containerized architecture run by Kubernetes. Big with data bridge Andrew Brust assuming the decline of release of watercraft last fall.

Entering the calendar year 2020, Cloudera has had both the classic Data Hub and redeveloped the Cloudera Data Platform on the market for a few quarters. On the roadmap this year is a private cloud release that will leverage the alliance with IBM Red Hat for an OpenShift-certified installation of CDP. This reflects a broader trend across the majority of enterprise software industries to uncover their efforts through cloud vendor-independent strategies. It responds not only to the reality that they do not own their own clouds and do not want to prioritize their destiny for any single provider, but also for customers who do not necessarily want to put all their eggs in AWS, Azure or GCP baskets.

As we noted in our future years, the 2020s will become an era of what we call “the Hybrid standard. “Companies are looking to take advantage of the operational agility and efficiency that cloud-native implementation provides them, but they also want to keep their options open whether to go to the public or private cloud. While data gravity is too great parts of the data that Cloudera Data Platform users are likely to work with come from the data center, and for many sectors, such as financial services or life sciences, the data is already resident or cannot easily go to a public cloud for regulatory or political reasons. is where private or hybrid cloud comes in.

Cloudera’s first response to private cloud is through OpenShift, but in a call with analysts, Product Manager Arun Murthy did not close the door to potentially support other Kubernetes distributions. Of course, private or hybrid cloud is another place where Cloudera might face another decision point down the road, as the Big Three have also placed their demands through deals like AWS Outposts, Azure Arc and GCP Anthos.

Another goal for the coming year is opening up opportunities for self-service. It’s a natural context that once you’ve opened a managed cloud service, it makes sense to make the whole process as low-touch as possible. For Cloudera, it’s also a way to get off the ground and expand the process needed before this because of the long sales and go live cycles associated with what used to be called Hadoop clusters (note; this is the first time in this piece that we have mentioned the H word). It would certainly make the user experience smoother and deliver value faster. But beyond that, as a cloud-managed service, we would like to see Cloudera take a closed-loop approach to the next step by applying machine learning to optimize CDP configuration and running in the cloud – just like Oracle does with the autonomous database.

So what about Cloudera in addition to Cloudera?

Cloudera has made an impressive improvement. It continues to face headwinds from the vast array of data analytics and machine learning services in the cloud. The ace up the sleeve is the SDX, which provides a breadth of data management that is missing from most of these other services. The underlying technologies are Apache open source projects, but the binaries that make it a unified product (rather than a bunch of zoos) are proprietary. So the APIs are open. In the spirit of “if you can’t beat them, join them,” there is no technical reason why SDX could not be offered to customers by any or all of these services – EMR. HDInsight. Cloud Dataproc, or data Bricks – otherwise it would be beyond Cloudera’s reach.

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