Greenplum DCA (ten)tackles Squid Solutions’ business challenges Data Science Stories


Enables high-speed and in-depth analytics at low cost

In order to keep delivering its enterprise-class Big Data analytics solutions to its expanding base of customers at the same quality and speed, Squid Solutions chose EMC® Greenplum® Data Computing Appliance (DCA) as its underlying data architecture: its unparalleled MPP technology and in-database analytics capabilities ensure unequalled data loading, fast processing and high insight delivery speed as well as the most elevated granular level of intelligence.

Squid Solutions, maker of software solutions for the collection and use of massive volumes of data, offers a cloud-based platform to enable its customers and business partners to leverage the immense potential of Big Data through analytics applications. Its client portfolio includes some impressive organizations, like the French National Postal Services and eBay.

“Not only does the Greenplum DCA allow us to ensure the best performing and user-friendliest analytics solutions of the industry to our clients, it also lies at the root of our unmatched rollout speed”
Adrien Schmidt, co-founder and CEO of Squid Solutions

When Squid Solutions moved all of its existing and future customers to the cloud in 2011, it made the switch from the single node Big Data analytics infrastructure ‘Greenplum Community Edition’ - which it has used since its establishment - to the ‘Greenplum Unified Analytics Platform’ (UAP) that ran on its own commodity hardware. In 2012, when the company was in need of more computing power, an even more scalable architecture and its own hardware was due for an update, it opted for the complete multi-terminal ‘EMC® Greenplum® Data Computing Appliance’ (DCA) - a complete hard- and software package platform for analytics.

Best value for money and top-flight agility

Squid Solutions did a thorough scan of the market and it found that Greenplum was the optimal partner for its Big Data analytics platform, in terms of cost-effectiveness. “Other established vendors’ prices came nowhere near what Greenplum offered us”, says Adrien Schmidt, co-founder and CEO of Squid Solutions. “This was especially important for us because we, ourselves, want to offer our customers solutions that are not only reliable and effective, but affordable as well.”

One of the other reasons why Squid Solutions was immediately attracted to Greenplum and its solutions offering, was their almost identical view on enterprise agility. “We both look beyond the bits and bytes part of technology and view it as an enabler of business value. If you want analytics to help boost revenue, business users need to receive fast insights that they can easily understand and transform into actions”, explains Schmidt.

When aggregation is replaced by rapidity

The Greenplum DCA’s underlying Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) technology facilitates extremely fast data loading and in-database analytics on raw data. This results in one of the highest delivery speed capabilities in the industry. “In this MPP environment, we can ensure our clients analytics at the smallest level of detail without any need for data aggregation”, said Schmidt. “The latter would slow all of their BI processes down significantly, especially in such a high volume Big Data environment.  And business knowledge that comes too late is a total waste of time and money.”

“Besides agility and velocity, our priority list also featured scalability”, said Schmidt. “While the current age of data explosion comes with great possibilities in predictive analytics and actionable insights, it brings big challenges as well. A solution that stores, links and analyzes data has to be futureproof and able to accommodate the ever increasing data weight. The Greenplum DCA offers this kind of elasticity, without any loss in speed or unpleasant surprises in maintenance or upgrading costs.

The backbone of value-added and highly customized apps

Most companies offer tools to find, join and analyze data and then present the results by means of dashboards. The truth is that often these are still too complex for end-users to interpret. Squid Solutions channels the power of cloud-based analytics into an SDK (software development kit) to roll out business applications. These last ones offer exactly - and only - the information that the business users expect in a visually agreeable and easy to understand manner. “The underlying Greenplum architecture and, more specifically, its in-database analytics, scalability and rapidity play a big part in delivering that ‘last mile’ to our clients”, Schmidt explained.

When developing applications, Squid Solutions aims at delivering the highest level of customization to its clients. “Organizations don’t need off-the-shelf solutions where 90% of the features are redundant to their requirements. They need fine-tuning”, said Schmidt. “However, personalization often comes at a high cost and takes a long time to be developed and implemented. Here too, the possibility to perform in-database analytics in Greenplum’s DCA proved to be a real blessing and allows us to offer tailoring at competitive prices.”

Unequalled rollout speed

“Not only does the Greenplum DCA allow us to ensure the best performing and user-friendliest analytics solutions of the industry to our clients, it also lies at the root of our unmatched rollout speed”, said Schmidt. “We were able to develop a high-velocity predictive forecasting solution for the French National Postal Service in just two months. Considering that it concerned a legacy architecture spread over hundreds of databases with information on thousands of distribution points and that the competition took no less than 6 months to build a prototype, the result can be called revolutionary. One of our top delivery speed examples is the case of a major online publisher: thanks to Greenplum enabling us to perform in-database analytics, we were able to create a very sophisticated business rule system on 3 terabytes of data from 5 different sources in only 11 days.

When it comes to the future, Squid Solution is investigating how to leverage all the possibilities of EMC Greenplum Chorus ‒ a Facebook-like social collaboration tool for Data Science teams. “Chorus is a real added value for boosting cooperation and agility within organizations. Not only does it foster our customer’s self-provisioning of their own resources and data management, it allows data experts to share their insights and keep track of the different steps in a project. In short, projects are much more streamlined from end to end with Greenplum Chorus.”


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