March 2018
Data Science, Machine Learning & AI
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Welcome to The Cirrostratus Group March newsletter.

Almost every day we read or hear something about the impact that Artificial Intelligence will have on the world around us. But what effect is Artificial Intelligence having on SaaS and the Cloud now? What impact will it have in the near future?

Salesforce just recently announced their planned aquisition of Mulesoft, their largest aquisition to date. I think that this is an interesting acquisition to watch to see what impact it will have on Salesforce.

I'm always interested in hearing about your experiences with delivering cloud applications.

Paul Ressler
The Cirrostratus Group  






Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Machine Learning 
 
Everyday you read about how Artificial intelligence is going to change all of our lives and many businesses. What is the potential impact to the SaaS and Cloud businesses and how will artificial intelligence will be delivered?

Three terms are used, sometimes interchangeably, to describe three very related areas; Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Machine Learning. David Robinson, Chief Data Scientist at Datacamp, gave a good description of the terms which I found useful in understanding the differences.

There are three ways that providers are currently delivering Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Machine Learning services. First, they are delivered as part of a SaaS application. Many of the large software companies have branded their Artificial Intelligence capabilities in their applications such as IBM Watson & Salesforce Einstein. Second, they are delivered through standalone SaaS or software and finally there is the concept of AI as a Service. There is also significant open source activity in the latter two approaches.

Here is an excellent blog post which describes some of the potential impact that Artificial Intelligence may have on SaaS. Examples are always illustrative and this is a good description of some of the business applications of Artificial Intelligence in a business area that we're all familiar with, retail.

Gartner has just released their magic quadrant report on Data Science and Machine Learning software and it is available here. Some of the companies in the market are larger software companies that you've heard of such as IBM, Microsoft & SAS but there is also a lot of smaller providers in the market that are doing well such as H2O.ai, rapidminer & KNIME.

Clearly this will be an area of substantial change and activity going forward.







Salesforce Acquiring Mulesoft
 
 
Salesforce and Mulesoft both announced a definitive agreement for Salesforce to acquire Mulesoft. Although not closed yet this is an interesting acquisition to watch since it is Salesforce's largest acquisition to date and I believe it will have a substantial impact on Salesforce' business once it closes. This acquisition certainly reinforces the importance of integration software to the SaaS market as demonstrated by Salesforce announcement of their Integration Cloud shortly after they announced the aquisition.










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