Here is an interview with the CEO of REvolution Computing, Richard Schultz. Mr. Schultz offers his perspectives on aspects of the open source, predictive analytics, cloud computing as well his vision for R Commercial.
Note from Ajay-As I blogged previously, commercial establishments now have an option to use R commercially with a full service contract and all guarantees which they expect and get from existing analytics software vendors.
Ajay -Linux has not really succeeded in capturing Windows /Desktop Operating market. What are the technical and business reasons that you think R will succeed in analytics desktop software market.
Richard- To start, Linux was never really targeted at the Windows desktop market, but rather at deseating proprietary Unix deployments (particularly in finance), which it did quite successfully. This is a similar trend to what we’re seeing in the R world – it’s not that R is generally replacing Excel, for instance. In addition, with the large and growing base of both users and contributors, the vibrancy of the R community has taken on a life of its own.
As to R and Windows, two things are worth noting:
1. Microsoft has moved rapidly to embrace R and REvolution for that matter.
2. Windows is still the predominate operating system in large commercial enterprises. Because we deploy R on multiprocessors, which are now common on all computers including those pre-loaded with Windows, REvolution R is very much at home in both Windows, Mac, and Linux environments.
Ajay- What are the biggest challenges to Revolution Computing while explaining R Pro to users of traditional statistics softwares. What are the biggest advantages?
Richard- The biggest challenge is getting the word out that there now exists validated and supported R products designed for commercial use. But that’s changing rapidly, as your own interest in REvolution Computing demonstrates. Our biggest advantages are several:
1. we are focused on building a close and collegial relationship with the open source R community;
2. our company has a deep history in super computing and parallelization;
3. with, by Intel’s estimate, over 1 million R users and growing, there is a large community eager to adapt our products as its members advance their careers in the business and research worlds.
Ajay- Which softwares do you think will be affected the most by R’s spread across colleges and companies. What do you believe will be their strategies to compete.
Richard - I want to be politic here. Let me say that the programming software likely most affected by the rise of R is probably proprietary.
We see many opportunities to partner and leverage the strengths of REvolution’s products specifically – high performance, handling of large data, validation, IDE / user interface.
Ajay- How do you intend to incorporate the cloud computing and Software as a Service Model for R Pro. When , if at all, do you think it be possible for a person to simply upload a zipped csv file, work on a remote cloud computer for analytics and forecasting, and just pay for the hired software,hardware,bandwidth.
Richard - We were thinking of something based on the Ohri framework. ;-). ( Ajay- Touché!)
In fact, we have deployed, and are deploying cloud-based REvolution R for clients, and it’s something we expect to evolve as those technologies evolve.
Ajay- Asian countries have huge demand for analytics, and are more price conscious on softwares. What would your strategy to sell in Asia /China and India be.
Richard - Open source can be a tremendous win for users in Asia / China / India. The upfront costs are low, the technology is leading-edge, and there is a distribution network for support. REvolution has partners, and is continuing to build its partner network to be able to reach these markets. We expect to accelerate our efforts in these regions toward the end of 2009.
Ajay- What has been the story so far for your career. What prompted you to join/start Revolution Computing. What would be the advice you would give to young science graduates in today’s recession.
Richard - My own background is in computer science, business… and music. Through school I held various positions at IBM, and after graduate school, I worked at Dunn & Bradsteet in a product management role and developed a taste for entrepreneurship. I’ve started two companies so far, MetaServer, a business intelligence middleware company that catered to the insurance industry, and REvolution Computing. Today, MetaServer is part of Oracle. And I continue to play music – guitar and piano. One of these days we’ll get a REvolution Computing band together.
My advice to young science graduates is the same recession or no: follow your enthusiasms; find a passion outside of work like playing music; master open source program languages because that is the future and the future is here.
About Richard Schultz -Chief Executive Officer,REvolution Computing
Richard guides REvolution’s long-range business strategy and leads the company’s teams on a daily basis. His experience developing and growing Business Intelligence software companies includes founding and leading Metaserver, Inc., now a part of Oracle, from inception to sale. Richard has been named Innovator of the Year by Business New Haven; served on the board of the Connecticut Venture Group; and been the keynote speaker for CIO Forum and other technology industry events. A graduate of Washington University with degrees in Computer Science, Business and Music, Richard also holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Stonybrook and has held senior positions at Dunn and Bradstreet and IBM.
Ajay -REvolution Computing has been a leader in this field and going by the latest product launch –well you can try it yourself and see from here http://www.revolution-computing.com