Whenever I go to Austin, I am greeted by t-shirts in the airport gift shops that say “Keep Austin Weird.” There is no doubt that Austin is a city full of culture, arts, politics, music, and bats . . . yes, bats. That’s kind of weird! Every evening at dusk, between 750,000 and 1.5 million of the flying rodents leave their home under the Congress Bridge and fly east – away from the setting sun. I wonder how many insects in Austin are eaten by that many bats? How many people come to Austin to witness the event? How much money does this bat phenomenon generate for the City? These sound like questions that Big Data analytics might be able to answer.

Is this why one of the most recent mergers and acquisitions in the Big Data market was centered in Austin? Pervasive, a local Austin company and leader in data integration and quality, and with an unmatched ability to process significant volumes of data faster than those bats can fly, was acquired by California based Actian, which is lead by a CEO from the UK. That’s weird! Or is it?

Actian’s Vectorwise product is a next-generation analytic database delivering record-breaking performance on commodity hardware without tuning. Pervasive’s DataRush technology is a patented application framework and analytics engine for high speed parallel data processing. It utilizes every core and thread of a processor, on any platform at run-time: from a laptop PC through to high performance servers. Code once, run anywhere and use every bit of horsepower available. Sounds like Actian and Pervasive were a good match for each other, and the performance these two solutions together can bring to the market is kind of, well, weird.

Let me give you an example. KNIME is a leading open source tool for predictive analytics. The Actian (Pervasive) RushAccelerator plugged into KNIME reduced a data processing scenario by 98%: from 9 hours to 9 minutes! Weird but wonderful.

Actian CEO Steve Shine was at the conference and clearly stated that the acquisition was also about integration: integration of data, and applications. Lance Speck, GM of Integration Products at Actian stated that organizations can’t win without integration. Integration reduces friction and improves business outcomes. Actian’s Vectorwise customers now have an option under the same banner to reduce integration friction and get “faster time to business” – a new mantra being chanted at Actian.

One last perspective that was impressed upon me again at this year’s conference was that of Pervasive’s continued dedication to treat customers as partners. During a customer presentation I attended, the customer team members involved in a project were asked to stand. After they sat down, the Pervasive resources that were involved in the same project were asked to stand. More people from Pervasive stood up than those from the customer team. Weird. I hope customers will continue to enjoy “partnering” for success under the Actian banner.

From what I experienced at Actian’s Integration World 2013, they are keeping Austin weird, but in a good way!

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