Watching Companies Adapt to the "Big Data" Age

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As technological advancements keep large international companies honest by the need for change and adaptation (just ask Hewlett Packard), it is interesting to watch how different companies are marching to the beat of the right drums with changes that are taking place. Some companies are opening up new revenue streams through licensing acquisitions while others adapt to cloud computing and the trend toward “big data.” Let’s take a look at how some companies have made these changes.

Acquiring SelectMinds Opens Up Licensing Revenue Stream

Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) acquired SelectMinds, a cloud-based social networking company that is used by recruiters. This acquisition will compliment the largest purchase Oracle has made (this year) —Taleo Corp last February. Taleo also helps businesses recruit and track job applicants. What is Oracle's strategy here? Social Networking will be the means by which companies look for new employees.

The deal gives Oracle the opportunity to engage deeper in social networks and mobile. With SelectMinds, customers can transform job posts into a mobile job post that’s viewable and sharable on smartphones. These two companies together, Oracle and SelectMinds, will create a comprehensive recruiting, candidate sourcing, and talent management offering for organizations to reach high quality referrals through social networking.

An old software licensing stalwart, the move to the cloud has opened up numerous licensing opportunities of which the recruiting industry is but one where Oracle has managed to plan and develop a revenue stream. This is not the only way Oracle continues to grow. Acquisition is one strategy but it also is developing its own products to claim a piece of the “bid data” pie that is becoming so popular.

Big Data is a general term used to describe the voluminous amount of unstructured and semi-structured data a company creates -- data that would take too much time and cost too much money to load into a relational database for analysis. A primary goal for looking at big data is to discover repeatable business patterns. It’s generally accepted that unstructured data, most of it located in text files, accounts for at least 80% of an organization’s data.

New Product Launch

Because of the growing stream of data coming into companies, they are looking for ways to take all this information and use it. From terabytes to petabytes, companies need help and Oracle has a new product it is launching called Exanalytics In- Memory Machine that aims to help businesses do just this. Business intelligence software and performance management applications are used by companies to make sense of the vast amounts of information gathered. Between the cloud, mobility, companies tend to look for analytics that can give them insight into servicing consumers. In India along Oracle will have a chance to grow with this one product as the Indian analytics industry is expected to grow from the current level of $ 200 million and touch $1 billion by 2015.

Other Companies Grasping Dig Data

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) understands the need for “big data” to grow as a company, as it bought Kosmix, a startup focused on social media, transforming it into Wal-Mart labs. Kosmix stands out for its ability to search and analyze connections in real-time data streams to deliver highly personalized insights to users. The platform powers TweetBeat, a real-time social media filter for live events. By analyzing this info from the social genome, it can make product recommendations that users may be interested in.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) is one of the larger companies with a seemly endless option of cloud-based services for big data analytics for companies. In order to capitalize and create an income stream, it launched its “Smartcloud” earlier this year, it had its Hadoop-based software for analyzing and visualizing large quantities of unstructured data for companies. Why a platform versus individual products to address big data pain points? The real benefit of the platform is leverage – the ability to start with one capability and easily add others over your big data journey. IBM is the only vendor with this broad and balanced view of big data with the needs of a platform

Automating and streamlining the process of distilling huge amounts of data into a form that can support decision making and process execution is a process SAP (NYSE: SAP) has tackled with its integrated big data strategy. It attempts to integrate support applications, operational data and management of that data together. All of this data should be available in real-time to support all uses of data, on an integrated data processing framework. SAP and Google are also working together to pair enterprise applications with the kinds of consumer tools that enrich millions of people’s lives every day, such as Google Maps and Google Earth.  Customers could analyze their businesses in a geospatial context to effectively understand the “where” of their information, as well as global, regional and local trends and how they are impacted by different scenarios

These are just a few examples of how companies are adapting and changing with technology. Some companies like Oracle are acquiring upstart companies to add to its portfolio as it develops and defines what it is as a company. Other companies are developing their own technology to help other companies use “big data” as a means to analyze and formulate information into a productive marketing strategy.

johnmylant has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines and Oracle. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.

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