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Interview with Raju Chellam, Vice President for New Technologies at Fusionex
September 5, 2017 News analytics big data fusionex

Raju Chellam, Vice President for New Technologies at Fusionex

Big Community: Fusionex being at the forefront of bringing Big Data in the region and having an in-depth insight to how it is being accepted, how rapid or slow is the adoption rate we are experiencing and why is that so?

Raju Chellam: BDA (big data analytics) adoption rates varies by countries, with some countries like Singapore and Malaysia in Asean being highly aware and having specific programs or schemes to boost adoption of BDA.

For example, Malaysia would need 16,000 data professionals by 2020, according to MDEC CEO Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood. “In 2014, based on the estimated demand, we had targeted for 1,500 Data Scientists by 2020,” Dato’ Yasmin said at the Malaysia Big Data Week in 2016. “However, due to the increase in awareness and adoption, this figure has now been revised to 2,000 data scientists and 16,000 data professionals.”

As for Singapore, in April 2016, the MCI (Ministry of Communications and Information) announced that the Government will invest S$120 million in building ICT manpower requirements. This is to meet the expected 30,000 new jobs to be filed in the ICT sector by the year 2020.

Within countries, verticals like telecommunications and BFSI (banking and financial services industries) are leading the charge in BDA adoption due to competitive and regulatory pressures on the one hand, and security breach risks on the other.

Other verticals like healthcare and retail (both online and offline) are also boosting BDA PoCs (Proof of Concept) in BDA. All of which is excellent for companies like Fusionex which offer BDA both in-premise or on cloud across Asean.

Big Community: The company has a number of projects with the government. How has this helped with creating awareness about Big Data and what other projects are in the pipeline?

Raju Chellam: All governments in Asean realise the potential of big data. Fusionex is at the forefront in countries like Malaysia and Singapore, by actively participating in government and industry-led BDA events, PoCs and awareness creation programs.

Fusionex is part of Microsoft’s Global BI Advisory Panel and MDEC’s Big Data Analytics Centre of Excellence. Fusionex participated at the Strata Hadoop World Conference in Singapore in 2016; the Gartner BI & Analytics Summit in the US; the Big Data Week in Malaysia & Indonesia; the IoT Asia Conference; the IDA SmartNation DataWorks Singapore; The Edge SME Forum in Malaysia; and ASLI (Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute) Seminar in Malaysia, among others.

In Singapore, I’m personally involved in various industry and Government forums. I’m currently Honorary Secretary of the Big Data & Cloud Chapter of SiTF (Singapore Infocomm Technology Forum), Honorary Secretary of the Cloud Chapter at the SCS (Singapore Computer Society), and Honorary Deputy Convenor of the COIR (Cloud Outage Incidence Response) Group. COIR is currently working on cloud outage guidelines to help cloud service providers and customers navigate the SLAs (Service Level Agreements) that govern public cloud engagements.

We’re thus boosting BDA awareness, use-cases and best practices to educate citizens, companies and Government agencies on using BDA to boost productivity, increase efficiencies, lower costs and lead to higher ROI.

Big Community: What countries currently have Fusionex offices and are there plans to expand to other countries?

Raju Chellam: We have offices across the Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America regions. We are also planning to expand and establish a stronger footprint in the Philippines, China and South Korea.

Big Community: Can you share with us what are Fusionex’s new technologies and what is in store for this year and 2018?

Raju Chellam: The future is ABC, which is short for Analytics, Big Data and Cloud. Also on the horizon is NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) which is on the edge of BDA and AI (Artificial Intelligence). The future is AI and robotics.

AI will be the most disruptive set of technologies in the next decade. Gartner says companies that seek to leverage AI should consider use-cases such as Deep Learning, Deep Reinforcement Learning, Artificial General Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles, Cognitive Computing, Commercial UAVs (Drones), Conversational User Interfaces, Enterprise Taxonomy and Ontology Management, Machine Learning, Smart Dust, Smart Robots, and Smart Workspace.

“Technology will continue to become more human-centric to the point where it will introduce transparency between people, businesses and things,” Gartner notes. “This relationship will become much more entwined as the evolution of technology becomes more adaptive, contextual and fluid within the workplace, at home, and in interacting with businesses and other people.”

Fusionex is ideally placed to leverage the future because we have invested time, money and people in developing a big data platform as well as domain-specific solutions that can be ported to AI, IoT and robotics quickly to help customers derive ROI from their data.

Big Community: What made you decide to leave EMC/Dell after all these years and why did you choose Fusionex? (as we are sure you must have had many offers !)

Raju Chellam: Dell is a great company and I loved being part of an aggressive and dominant multinational that leads in almost all segments that it plays in. But times change and so do companies.

Meanwhile, the solutions business was also undergoing a tectonic shift, with cloud computing becoming a favoured platform, and managed services becoming a preferred choice.

This was all the more true in the rapidly-changing world of big data & AI. Fusionex was the right company in the right place at the right time. It offered managed services, it offered to do big data on-premise or on cloud, and even had a PPU (pay per use) model. It was the perfect “Fusion” of ABC (analytics, big data & cloud). That’s why I opted to join Fusionex.