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SA's Open Source customers eager to share data

SA's Open Source customers eager to share data

The businesses that benefit from insights gathered through big data are showing a willingness to share some of that knowledge, according to Muggie van Staden, Obsidian Systems managing director and Simon Ball, solutions engineer at software company, Hortonworks.

The two have partnered to deliver Apache Hadoop, designed to help businesses deal with the changes of data and data systems strategically through use of the Hortonworks Data Platform.

The partnership, they say, will help businesses when they respond to disruptive sources of customer information starting in South Africa and then hopefully for the rest of Africa in the near future.

"It's smarter data, it's just thinking how do you handle legacy - all the way to modern data in a smarter way and derive value because that's what everyone is trying to do," said van Staden.

Ball summed up the benefits of using open source saying "It's going to give people a huge competitive advantage, sometimes that's costs saving, sometimes its revenue optimisation, sometimes it's flat out new products that emerge being able to process this data."

Most interesting was the revelation by the two that South African customers who have invested in open source data solutions are willing to meet and share some of the benefits derived from the open source approach.

"The South African customers are willing to talk to each other. We've already arranged sessions between them...I was quite surprised. Although they won't go into details, they will have discussions," said Van Staden, who sees this as a sign of how useful the solution has become.

Van Staden also revealed that three of Obsidian's banking customers have already been in contact with each other.

Ball also emphasised the measures that will be taken in order to ensure the security of all the data, with specific focus on data governance and protection.

He added that Hortonworks has customers "numbering in the thousands" and some of them are based in London, although they are operate in Africa. Hortonworks is looking to tap into the rest of the continent.

"Africa, I think is full of opportunity for technologies like this and Africa has very mature mobile telco space. We are very excited it's potential."

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