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Movers and shakers: Hadoop creator Doug Cutting, Priti Ambani of The Next Billion and Frazer Scott of Microsoft

Movers and shakers: Hadoop creator Doug Cutting, Priti Ambani of The Next Billion and Frazer Scott of Microsoft

Plus: Startup weekend in Christchurch and accolade for Fonterra scientists

“We are in a golden age of data...what we do with it is a phenomenal transition comparable to the industrial revolution,” says Doug Cutting, creator of Hadoop.

Cutting, who is now a chief architect at Cloudera, says he has had the gratification of seeing people using his software, and watching people get value from his work.

Speaking at a big data forum organised by Qrious in Auckland, Cutting reveals where he got the name Hadoop.

He was thinking of a name for the project on open source software that eventually became Hadoop when he saw his son, then aged two, playing with a stuffed toy, a yellow elephant.

The boy named his toy ‘Hadoop', and Cutting adopted it for his project.

He says his son is now 16 years old, and surprised the Auckland audience when he brought out the original Hadoop.

“The lasting legacy of Hadoop is we have an ecosystem that is not centrally controlled; not by vendors at all, but by users,” he says.

“It is a very different model. It means we can respond more accurately to needs, not to the business needs of software vendors, but the needs of users to build their data systems."

But, as he states, the real legacy of Hadoop is that it has inspired many other projects, from helping credit card companies fight fraud to finding the cure for cancer.

He says Hadoop is also used to analyse data to help identify the FBI and police agencies identify groups behind trafficking of children.

He says credit card companies used to be able to only store a certain amount of data, produced in 60 to 90 days. With Hadoop, they can now put in much longer periods of data, analyse it and find fraud patterns that were “beneath the radar”.

A company providing equipment for mines in Australia, meanwhile, has its machines constantly streaming data back to its data centre in the United States. The data is analysed to help predict when the machines will fail and schedule maintenance checks.

Researchers are using Hadoop tools to find the cure for cancer. “We have now got a tool which is up to the task that can store and analyse the quantitative data that is required to understand how to inhibit the growth of various kinds of tumours and identify what kind tumour and how it grows and stop it,” he says.

“This is long-term, it is a long road, but I think they [the researchers] are on the path to cracking it.”

Inspiring women entrepreneurs

Priti Ambani is organising a series of dinners where leading business leaders in New Zealand will invite six to eight female entrepreneurs into their homes.

The goal of the Access2 dinners is to create a supportive atmosphere for up and coming female entrepreneurs. The host, in turn has an opportunity to spend quality time with inspiring women entrepreneurs working on variety of different ideas, says Ambani, who is co-founder and COO @ The Next Billion (Formerly Mums Mean Business).

Ambani says the next Access2 Auckland is on May 28, with Frances Valintine, CEO of Tech Futures Lab and 2017 Flying Kiwi awardee, inviting seven female founders to her home.

Frances Valintine, chair of the MindLab by Unitec and founder of the Tech Futures Lab.
Frances Valintine, chair of the MindLab by Unitec and founder of the Tech Futures Lab.

Ambani says Access2 has organised over 50 such dinners in Norway.

Aaron O’Brien is now a senior project manager at Fuji Xerox New Zealand. Before this he was chief technology officer at Les Mills International.

Dave Newick is now national manager for recruitment brands Finite NZ and Ninetwenty.

Key appointments at Microsoft NZ’s marketing team

Chris Dick steps into the role of head of marketing, Pip Simeon takes the commercial marketing lead role and Bob Glancy joins as communications lead at Microsoft New Zealand.

These appointments are intended to drive our sales and marketing plan, and to really show New Zealanders why Microsoft is a great partner for anyone embarking on a digital transformation,” says Frazer Scott, Microsoft NZ director of marketing and operations, in a statement.

Chris Dick
Chris Dick
Pip Simeon
Pip Simeon
Bob Glancy
Bob Glancy

Chris Dick Chris joins Microsoft from Telstra where he led product strategy for the broadband portfolio and prior to that he led the customer marketing team at Foxtel. Pip Simeon led the customer marketing team at Fairfax Media. Bob Glancy has worked at PR agencies Text100 and Mango.

Frazer Scott @ the inaugural CMO-CIO Exchange in New Zealand
Frazer Scott @ the inaugural CMO-CIO Exchange in New Zealand

The next Uber or Airbnb could be just days away from founding in Christchurch in the Startup Weekend. This year’s event runs for the fifth time in the Garden City this weekend (19th to the 21st of May).

“Startup Weekend is a mini business accelerator, packed into a weekend,” says Christchurch organiser Geoff Brash. “The idea with any startup is to grow quickly or fail fast, and we provide entrepreneurs with the environment and all the support they need to do that in an insanely short amount of time.”

He says successful New Zealand companies such as financial education software Banqer and edible insect supplier Anteater were founded during Startup Weekends domestically, as well as multi-million dollar automation software Zapier internationally.

Wavelink signs a distribution agreement with Spok for Australia and New Zealand. Spok is a provider of critical communications solutions for healthcare, hospitality, and enterprise.

Solnet has announced that it is now a Salesforce Consulting Partner. Mark Botherway, managing director of Solnet, says the partnership reflects both the company’s growth and its ongoing commitment to aligning Solnet’s services to technology domains that resonate with its clients.

Solnet is joining th Salesfoce.com consulting partner community.
Solnet is joining th Salesfoce.com consulting partner community.

“We are seeing more and more organisations thinking strategically about what components they need in place to maximise their return on digital transformation,” says Botherway, in a statement. “This is especially true when it comes to connecting customer data. Sometimes Salesforce is a key enabler, and in those cases, we want to be able to assist our clients to realise the associated benefits.”

Amy Barzdukas has been named executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Polycom. Barzdukas joins a new executive lineup that includes CEO Mary McDowell, CHRO Billie Hartless and EVP of solutions management, Tarun Loomba.

Barzdukas is a global marketing executive with 20 years of experience in the technology industry. She joined Polycom in 2015 as vice president of global solutions marketing.


Erik Degouy, Fonterra Key Account Manager NZMP (middle) and Angela Rowan, Fonterra General Manager Nutrition, (right) accept the award for finalist in the ‘Ingredient of the Year – Infant Nutrition’ from Nathan Gray, Senior Editor, NutraIngredients.
Erik Degouy, Fonterra Key Account Manager NZMP (middle) and Angela Rowan, Fonterra General Manager Nutrition, (right) accept the award for finalist in the ‘Ingredient of the Year – Infant Nutrition’ from Nathan Gray, Senior Editor, NutraIngredients.


Fonterra’s breakthrough milk lipid ingredient has been selected as a finalist in the ‘Ingredient of the Year – Infant Nutrition’ at the Nutra Ingredients Awards 2017 in Geneva.

Fonterra general manager nutrition Angela Rowan says the award acknowledges the great team effort to develop a credible new offering in the challenging infant nutrition category.

“It is well known that breastfeeding gives an infant the best start to life,” says Rowan. “Scientists at Fonterra have been focusing their research on the structure of lipids found in human breast milk and the associated benefits for the developing infant. The NZMP ingredient has been developed from cows’ milk to help deliver complex milk lipids in infant formula.”


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