Talend exec says IPO sets stage for next round of growth
Now that it’s a public company, Talend SA (Nasdaq: TLND) will focus on strengthening its balance sheet, filling in gaps in its portfolio through acquisitions and doubling down on what the company believes will be an explosive market for data integration software, according to the company’s chief marketing officer.
Just hours after joining other talent executives to ring the opening bell at the Nasdaq stock market, Ashley Stirrup (right, @astirrup) told SiliconANGLE that the company plans to remain focused on its core data integration business, despite the fact that the market is crowded with more than two dozen competitors. “The incumbent vendors haven’t done a great job of keeping up with innovation in the market,” Stirrup said. “Very few have reached the scale of us and Mulesoft [Inc.],” a competitor that uses application program interfaces to combine disparate data. Talend is cash-flow positive and doesn’t need funding to survive, he added.
Rather, Talend will invest in growth. The data integration market is “in the first inning of a long journey to big data and the cloud,” Stirrup said. “Pretty much every industry has recognized that it’s imperative to be data-driven. We’re helping to bring Spark and Hadoop mainstream so that any developer can use them.”
Hadoop’s notorious complexity has created new opportunities for integration startups, he said. “We’re great at helping customers scale out their big data efforts. They do a first proof-of-concept to get comfortable with the technology and show ROI. When they go from one data source to 40 data sources is where we get our best prospects.”
Four opportunity areas
Talend is focused on four opportunity areas: big data, cloud, self-service and real-time, Stirrup said. Real-time processing using Apache Spark, Apache Kafka and other processing frameworks is increasingly driving customer decisions, and “We are all in on Spark,” he said. Talend rolled out a Spark version of its platform last fall.
Self-service is another significant growth area. The company launched a self-service version of its Talend Data Fabric last month after wrapping up the largest beta test program in the company’s 10-year history.
“The business is demanding IT to move faster,” Stirrup remarked. “We believe we can dramatically improve productivity by partnering IT with the business person.” Legacy integration products are too technical to be accessible to the average business user, he said. Talend considers its drag-and-drop interface and diagrammatic approach to reporting and flows to be an advantage. “We often increase productivity 10X,” he said.
Although incumbents like Informatica Corp. and Pentaho Corp. were earlier to market, “The incumbent vendors haven’t done a great job of keeping up with innovation,” Stirrup said. “We don’t see them in a lot of competitive situations.”
Talend’s open-source model is generating customer leads without the long sales cycle usually associated with enterprise software. Its products generate about 30,000 downloads per month, and “It’s a great source of customers because nearly everyone has one of the incumbents in place,” he said. “Customers tend buy us for one use case, like building a warehouse, and then realize they have other uses for the product.”
The growing popularity of cloud as a big data platform presents additional opportunities. While Talend’s integration products have run on cloud platforms for some time, the company introduced its first software-as-a-service offering a year ago, which has been “a compelling offering for small customers in particular,” Stirrup said. The company also has partnerships with the big three Hadoop vendors – Hortonworks Inc., Cloudera Inc. and MapR Technologies Inc. – and to support their cloud initiatives.
Talend management is aware of the fact that being a public company can be a double-edged sword. Stirrup said executives Mike Tuchen and Thomas Tuchscherer have done the necessary due diligence to ensure that lawyers and regulators don’t slow down the pace of innovation. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to prepare,” for the initial public offering, he said.
Image courtesy Talend
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