Careers at Cloudera
Cloudera’s mission is to bring the power of Hadoop, MapReduce, and distributed storage to companies of all sizes in the enterprise, Internet, and government sectors.
Mike Olson was the CEO of Sleepycat Software, which created open source embedded database engine Berkeley DB. Amr Awadallah was an engineer at Yahoo! who lead one of the first business units to use open source software Hadoop for business analysis. Jeff Hammerbacher was an engineer at Facebook who used Hadoop to build analytic applications using massive amounts of user data.
In 2008 the three teamed with Christophe Bisciglia, an engineer at Google, to found Cloudera – a provider of Apache Hadoop-based software and services. They were joined in early 2009 by Doug Cutting, who wrote the first Hadoop software program in 2004. In March 2009 the company announced the availability of its first product, Cloudera Distribution Including Apache Hadoop.
Confidence in Cloudera’s prospects led to several successful rounds of funding over the next few years. It started with a $5 million investment led by Accel Partners in 2009. In March 2014 the firm announced it had raised $900 million in a round led by Intel Capital, its biggest haul up to that point. Cloudera now claims to have the fastest, most secure Cloudera distribution in the world.
Benefits at Cloudera
Business model of Cloudera
Cloudera has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at enterprises that want to use Apache Hadoop-based software.
Cloudera offers five primary value propositions: innovation, convenience, performance, risk reduction, and brand/status.
The company has emphasized innovation throughout its history, with achievements as follows:
- It was the first commercial provider of Hadoop-related software and services
- It introduced the first unified Platform for Big Data, the Enterprise Data Hub
- It unveiled the first PCI-compliant Hadoop distribution
- It acquired Gazzang, giving it the most secure Hadoop distribution on the market
The company offers convenience for users. It ships new bug fixes and stable features to customers on a quarterly basis, providing regular and predictable access to platform improvements.
The company has demonstrated strong performance through tangible results for clients. High-profile examples of these outcomes include the following:
- Cisco WebEx used Cloudera’s services to move from disparate data silos to a data discovery and analytics environment, improving its customer ratings and uncovering up to 17 times more fraud
- Samsung used Cloudera’s services to centralize social, application, clickstream, and other customer data, enabling it to build and evaluate richer customer 360 profiles
- Marks & Spencer used Cloudera’s services to build a 360-degree customer view, improve attribution modeling, and bring analytics capabilities in-house with Enterprise Data Hub
- BT used Cloudera’s services to move its ETL platform to Hadoop, enabling it to process five times the data in a third of the time and deliver a return on investment of 200-250% in one year
- MasterCard used Cloudera’s services to add new search capabilities, enabling it to support five times as many searches per year and 25 times more searches per customer per day
The company reduces risk for customers. It maintains the Cloudera Security Response Team, which actively collects feedback from users on security vulnerabilities in the firm’s products. The team works with engineering and support staff as well as the external Apache community to fix problems. Cloudera also provides Security Bulletins that publicly identify current known security issues.
The company has established a strong brand as a result of its performance. It has over 1,200 employees operating in 27 countries. Its prominent customers include many members of the Fortune 500, such as Allstate Insurance, Capital One, Siemens, and SanDisk. Lastly, it has won many honors, including Database Trends and Applications magazine‘s Readers’ Choice Award for best analytical platform (2014 and 2015) and Morgan Stanley's "CTO Award for Innovation" (2012).
Cloudera’s main channels are its website and its direct sales team. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages, webinars, roadshows, trade shows, and conferences.
Cloudera’s customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. It assists customers in the following ways:
- Support Services – The company provides support that is proactive (tailors onboarding and technical guidance plans to customer’s needs and history) and predictive (gathers and analyzes longitudinal data across deployments to minimize downstream issues before they occur). General service is 24/7.
- Training Services – The company maintains Cloudera University, a program that provides instructor-led training in an online or classroom environment and private training on the client’s site. It also offers certification through the Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP) program.
Despite this orientation, there is also a co-creation component. The company actively invites customers to help improve and shape products through the following features:
- Voice of the Customer – A survey conducted twice a year through which customers can provide feedback on their experiences in order to drive strategic and operational improvements
- Product Advisory Council – A group consisting of operators, architects, and developers that meets on a monthly basis to co-develop products and learn from peers in other firms
- Cloudera User Groups – Groups consisting of customers that host networking events used to discuss Cloudera products, services, and best practices
There is also a self-service component. The company provides OnDemand training that enables customers to receive instruction on its products online. Further, its website features a “Resources” section that includes white papers, case studies, data sheets, analyst reports, solution briefs, videos, and presentation slides. The site also has a “Product Documentation” section that includes QuickStart guides, tutorials, a glossary, reference architecture, and a product compatibility matrix.
Finally, there is a community element in the form of a forum where customers can interact.
Cloudera’s business model entails designing and developing its software for customers.
Cloudera maintains a partner ecosystem that includes over 2,300 firms; they fall into the categories listed below. Specific partner examples are listed, though some are in more than one category.
- Analytics & Business Intelligence: MicroStrategy, Oracle, SAS
- Cloud Partners: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform
- Data Integration Partners: Attunity, Cognizant
- Hardware Vendors: Dell, EMC, Fujitsu
- Managed Service Providers: CenturyLink, CSC
- Resellers: Cisco, NetApp, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise
- Software Vendors: Datameer, Digital Reasoning Systems
- System Integrators: Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte
Beyond its work with enterprises, the company maintains the Cloudera Academic Partner Program, which has over 100 members. Cloudera works with academic institutions to help develop a new generation of data professionals. It provides the organizations with access to software, free training materials, and a curriculum in order to promote the adoption of the Hadoop platform. Specific partners include Case Western Reserve University, Cornell University, George Washington University, New York University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stanford University, and St. John’s University.
Lastly, the company maintains the Cloudera Developer Program, through which it provides individuals or startups that want to create new applications on Cloudera’s platform with a low-cost software license for testing and development and professional guidance from the firm’s engineers.
Cloudera’s main resources are its human resources, who include the engineering employees that design and develop its software, the training employees that provide instruction, and the customer service staff that provides support.
As startup it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $1.04 billion from 18 investors as of September 2015.
Cloudera has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service and frequent product enhancements.
Its biggest cost driver is likely marketing expenses, a fixed expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of product development and customer support/operations, both fixed costs.
Cloudera has two revenue streams:
- Subscription Revenues – Revenues generated from the fees customers pay to subscribe to the company’s software; accounts for 70 – 75% of total revenues
- Service Revenues – Revenues generated from the fees customers pay for access to training services (5 – 10% of total revenues) and other professional services such as support (15 – 20% of revenues)
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