Tag Archives: sources

BMW eyes possible electric vehicle joint venture in China: sources

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – German luxury automaker BMW is looking to form a joint venture with Great Wall Motor in China, which could focus on electric vehicles, according to two sources familiar with the matter on Wednesday.

A venture with Great Wall, whose Hong-Kong listed shares leapt 20 percent on the news, would be BMW’s second in the world’s largest auto market, where foreign carmakers have to team up with local partners.

“We are in discussions with Great Wall about setting up a joint venture to produce cars in Changshu,” said a BMW executive, who was not authorized to speak on the matter and declined to be identified.

Another person familiar with the matter said the new joint venture in the eastern city of Changshu would not deal with gasoline or diesel powered cars, indicating a focus on electric vehicles was likely.

BMW’s China sales grew 11.3 percent last year. It is the country’s second-largest premium brand after Volkswagen AG’s (VOWG_p.DE) Audi AG. BMW is trying to stay ahead of third-place Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz, which recorded 26.6 percent growth in China sales in 2016 thanks to a fresher model lineup.

Car manufacturers have recently announced a raft of investments and tie-ups in China.

Tesla, Ford Motor Co, Daimler AG, and General Motors are among those that have already announced plans for making electric vehicles in China.

ELECTRIC MINI?

BMW and rival Mercedes are betting they can mass produce new electric cars based on conventional vehicle design, defying skeptics who say they will need more radical plans to head off the threat from Tesla and other start-ups.

Bernstein analysts said they believed that any new venture of BMW and Great Wall would have to sell exclusively electric vehicles (EVs), given China’s moratorium on approvals for new gasoline car businesses.

“If an agreement were to be reached, we’d expect an arrangement like Denza (Mercedes-BYD), or VW-JAC, Ford-Zotye to be the most plausible outcome, whereby a new brand is used to sell EVs,” they said in a note, adding that the vehicles could be sold under the Mini brand.

FILE PHOTO: A Great Wall Motors Haval hybrid vehicle is presented during the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing, China, April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

China wants electric and hybrid cars to make up at least a fifth of the country’s auto sales by 2025 and plans to loosen joint-venture regulations to achieve its aim.

BMW already has a joint venture in China with local carmaker Brilliance China Automotive Holdings and produces cars at two plants in Shenyang. Shares in Brilliance fell on Wednesday.

“Our business development with the joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive will continue as planned, and we will carry on to invest and develop our joint venture.” a spokesman for BMW said, declining to comment on any new joint venture.

Slideshow (3 Images)

The plans were first reported by Shanghai-based www.iautodaily.com earlier on Wednesday.

“I don’t know how far along we have gone nailing this deal,” or whether the two companies have official central government approval for the venture, the BMW executive said.

A Great Wall official declined to comment.

Great Wall, which in August expressed an interest in the Jeep brand of Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV‘s, is one of China’s largest car makers.

Last month it struck a deal to secure supplies of lithium, a mineral key for developing electric vehicles.

The firm’s shares soared as much as 19.2 percent to their highest level in over two years, before paring some gains to stand up 14 percent in afternoon trade. Its Shanghai-listed shares were suspended from trading, pending an announcement.

Brilliance China Automotive’s shares were down 2.76 percent.

Brokerage Jefferies said in a note that it was “understandable that BMW needs a new partner to defend its market share in a more competitive market”, and expected that the move would hit current partner Brilliance.

Reporting by Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI and Norihiko Shirouzu in BEIJING; Additional reporting by Irene Preisinger; Editing by Neil Fullick and Elaine Hardcastle

Tech

Cloudera is building a new open-source storage engine called Kudu, sources say

Cloudera CeBIT Flickr

EXCLUSIVE:

Big data company Cloudera is preparing to launch major new open-source software for storing and serving lots of different kinds of unstructured data, with an eye toward challenging heavyweights in the database business, VentureBeat has learned.

The storage engine, Kudu, is meant as an alternative to the widely used Hadoop Distributed File System and the Hadoop-oriented HBase NoSQL database, borrowing characteristics from both, according to a copy of a slide deck on Kudu’s design goals that VentureBeat has obtained. The technology will be released as Apache-licensed open-source software, the slides show.

Cloudera has had one of its early employees leading a small team to work on Kudu for the past two years, and the company has begun pitching the software to customers before an open-source release at the end of this month, a source familiar with the matter told VentureBeat.

From VentureBeat

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That source and others believe Kudu could present a new threat to data warehouses from Teradata and IBM’s PureData (formerly Netezza), and other vendors. It may also be used as a highly scalable in-memory database that can handle massively parallel processing (MPP) workloads, not unlike HP’s Vertica and VoltDB, the sources say. And one day Kudu — which works across multiple data centers with RAM and fast solid-state drives (SSDs) — could even play a part in backup and disaster recovery.

Cloudera declined to comment.

However Cloudera chooses to market Kudu, it’s clear that the software is a big step forward for the company, not only in the company’s efforts to outdo other Hadoop vendors, but also in its quest to become a prominent player in enterprise software.

Not that Cloudera is a nobody. It’s worth almost $ 5 billion, according to one recent estimate, it has considerable backing from Intel, and it’s been positioning itself as a competitor to much larger database companies, like IBM and Oracle. But the fact is, fellow Hadoop vendor Hortonworks has gained credibility after it went public last year, and Hadoop company MapR is still around, too.

Cloudera recently doubled down on the rising Apache Spark open-source big data processing framework, but Spark is something Cloudera has been working on for years. And a few months ago, Cloudera brought new Python capability to Hadoop, following its acquisition of DataPad last year. Those are important efforts, but Kudu is something entirely new, something that can give the company freshness as it grows toward an initial public offering.

So what is Kudu, then?

It’s “nearly as fast as raw HDFS for scans” and, at the same time, “nearly as fast as HBase for random access,” according to one slide from a presentation on Kudu’s design goals. But Kudu is not meant to be a drop-in substitute for HDFS or HBase. “There are still places where these systems will be optimal, and Cloudera will continue to support and invest in them,” a slide said.

Kudu could be used for time-series data, or real-time reporting, or model building, according to another slide.

And it’s important to note that Kudu isn’t a SQL query engine for pulling up specific data. Cloudera has Impala for that, and others have Hive for that. Kudu has an “early integration” with Impala, and Spark support is coming, according to a slide.

The Kudu application programming interface (API) works with Java — the common language of Hadoop — as well as C++. Kudu’s architecture allows for operation across sites, according to one slide. That makes it comparable to Google’s Spanner and the Spanner-inspired CockroachDB. That could make Kudu a great choice for big companies looking to store their big data around the world.

Is Kudu well adopted, though? No, not yet.

“Looking for beta customers,” a slide said.

More information:

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Get the most out of your marketing stack by unifying data sources

puzzle pieces

GUEST:

When it comes to getting the most value out of data, successful companies take a practical approach, first defining their own data strategy and then determining the tools needed to get it done. A good example of this is Airbnb, which set their own data strategy and tools to help users more accurately price their home listings. Too often, however, companies fail to lay out a clear strategy, instead relying on the available tools to show them where they need to go. Unfortunately, these tools usually serve up packaged metrics with data that is too detailed and lacks cohesion.

The mobile marketing data landscape

marketing data landscape mobile

In VentureBeat’s The State of Marketing Analytics: Insights in the age of the customer, author Jon Cifuentes writes:

“Enterprises are stuck between fragmented data silos…There’s customer data, inventory data, log data, search data, reporting, analytics, CRM, session data, et. al – with different vendors supporting each. While “real-time” customer data sounds nice in theory, the actual process of broadcasting this information through the organization is time-consuming, expensive, fragmented, and frustrating.”

These cobbled-together sources and tools provide directional insight but don’t align with initial expectations, particularly as companies start requiring custom insights and metrics.  In fact, most companies quickly find themselves in exactly the situation they had hoped to avoid – working in increasingly complex systems with considerably higher non-value added workloads.

data silo

The challenge for companies is: how do you align your data vision with your unique acquisition, engagement and monetization strategies?

Purpose-built tools like app analytics, A/B testing, marketing automation, etc. have done a great job in recent years of allowing non-technical people to analyze data, run tests and engage users. However, since these tools were built for single-use cases and by separate companies with proprietary data stores, they have failed to address a core issue: the need to access the same user data in order to truly provide a personalized experience to each user.

Data-capture tools and user engagement tools also need to be integrated in order to provide a full picture of how changes impact the product downstream.  For instance, teams need to be able to apply user actions from app analytics to run A/B tests, which will in turn impact the user experience.

The path forward

The solution exists at the platform level: unifying data sources before applications are built on top of them, with a flexible 2-way structure that enables real-time integration between event and user data, at all levels in the stack, and not just based on basic pre-determined rules with segmentations on top.

data silo2

This type of structure makes it possible for events to be enriched by boundless user attributes (user state) and enables contextual analytics.  This, in turn, produces a robust targeting framework, because now the user state can be updated in any manner, in real-time.  For example, Glassdoor utilizes this methodology to deliver real-time dynamic notifications of job alerts to users based on their prior behavior when browsing the Glassdoor website.

While many marketing vendors are fighting to define themselves as integrated or unified marketing platforms, most still need to reach deeper down the stack and unify product and marketing tools with data tools at a platform level.   Because they refer to the same data source, there will be no discrepancies between insights and actions.  For example, segments defined for analytics will maintain the same properties in A/B testing or content delivery.  Applications developed on top of unified data platforms will be inherently more flexible and manageable.

From VentureBeat

Omniata is coming out of beta on September 24th!  You can reach us at [email protected] to learn more. Though just coming out of beta, we’re already tracking 300 million monthly active users, 2 billion events per day, and handling over 17,000 requests per second!

Alex Arias is the CEO and cofounder of Omniata, a unified data, analytics and user engagement platform.  For more than 10 years, Alex has been an entrepreneur and driver of innovation in digital services, working previously at Digital Chocolate and EA.  He’s been helping companies define their own Data Value Journey since cofounding Omniata two and a half years ago.



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