Real-World DataMarket: Interview with Dan Malks, JackBe Vice President for App Platform Engineering
As part of the Real-World DataMarket series, we talked to Dan Malks, Vice President for App Platform Engineering at JackBe, about how his company is taking advantage of DataMarket (a part of Windows Azure Marketplace) to power Presto, the company’s flagship Real-Time Intelligence (RTI) solution.
MSDN: Tell us about JackBe. What services do you offer and what is your mission?
Malks: JackBe focuses on delivering true real-time intelligence through our Presto solution. Every business needs to be able to bring data together quickly from a variety of internal and external sources to make real-time decisions. Our mission is to help businesses make smarter decisions faster, and Presto is the fastest way for organizations to gain RTI, which we facilitate by delivering portable web Apps that can be used when and where our customers need them.
MSDN: What differentiates Presto from other business intelligence or dashboard solutions?
Malks: The Presto concept is similar to business intelligence and dashboarding, but Presto is more dynamic and user-friendly. Organizations can use Presto Apps for a variety of RTI goals and tasks, such as monitoring key performance indicators, operations management, situational awareness, departmental and organizational transparency and accountability, geospatial awareness, as well as implementing 360-degree operational dashboards. And these are just examples; the platform is highly flexible and customizable.
MSDN: What prompted JackBe to start looking at cloud technology?
Malks: The business value proposition of the cloud is now well established, letting organizations spin up scalable solutions quickly, without requiring the traditional internal investment in IT expertise, server provisioning, and so on. But this also makes the cloud a valuable platform for information. As our customers and their applications move to the cloud, they want us to help them connect their cloud data to their on-premise data, and to data from other cloud sources such as DataMarket.
MSDN: Did you consider any cloud platforms besides the Windows Azure platform?
Malks: Yes—two major competitors. Google App Engine was too limited from a programming language perspective. Neither Google nor Amazon had anything like DataMarket. The fact that Windows Azure is evolving so quickly, and the amount and types of information in DataMarket are constantly expanding, make the platform ideal for us and our customers.
MSDN: How does DataMarket help you address the RTI needs of your customers?
Malks: The information in DataMarket is especially valuable because of its richness, diversity, and accuracy. Today, many decision makers spend half their time just looking for the right data, even before than can act on it. DataMarket speeds the decision-making process by providing a central place where they can find whatever data they need for different purposes, saving time and increasing efficiency.
MSDN: As a Microsoft partner, what’s the primary business value that Presto adds to DataMarket?
Malks: Presto brings data together from many internal and external sources and combines it into a single feed that is easily customizable to fit a specific business purpose, which makes a lot of business sense. By bringing Presto and DataMarket together, some of the traditional technical challenges of managing multiple data sources—IT work to handle multiple feeds, formats, and so on—aren’t challenges anymore. As a result, for customers, development becomes easier, they get their real-time intelligence faster, and their business benefits are achieved much quicker.
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To learn more, visit: https://datamarket.azure.com