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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Why is data integration critical for business success?

Talend CEO Mike Tuchen shared his views on why data integration has become an important focus of investment amongst successful companies.

In a world where the Internet of Things (IOT) applications seem to be a primary demand, data is increasingly becoming the new battleground, according to Mike Tuchen, CEO of software integration vendor Talend. He added that the situation is clear for companies – their future depends on how quickly and efficiently they can turn data into accurate insights. As such, this challenge has put immense pressure on IT departments to not only manage ever-growing data volumes, sources, and types but to also support more data users as well as new and increasingly complex use cases.

Data integration, the process of collecting data from a range of sources so it may be used by companies as the basis for informed decision making, has become an important topic of discussion in various IT departments. Particularly in Asia, Tuchen cited a recent study by IDC forecasting that there will be 8.6 billion connected devices by 2020. With the exponential increase of data through IoT devices and sensor technology, companies are recognising the need to harness and utilise this data meaningfully, he said.

In this exclusive interview with Singapore Business Review, Tuchen shares more about the importance of data integration.

SBR: Can you tell us about your company and what you offer?

Talend is a leader in cloud and big data integration software. We help companies to turn their data into a strategic asset that delivers real-time, organisation-wide insight into customers, partners, and operations. Through our integration platform, Talend Data Fabric, we deliver what we refer to as “data agility”. Data Agility is really about having the development speed and flexibility required to leverage new market innovations and quickly scale to meet the constantly evolving demands of modern business.

Simply put, our software helps organisations in any industry use the data they already have more effectively, so they can gain new insights, automate their business processes and improve their overall business performance. That’s what we do at Talend.

SBR: Why is data integration important to IT departments and companies?

We are in an increasingly data-driven world where winners and losers are defined by how effectively they leverage data, and in which intensely data-driven companies like Amazon, GE, Netflix and Uber are changing the basis of competition. Data integration has become so important to IT departments and companies, and why it’s a major area of focus and investment.

SBR: What are some of the challenges faced by Asian enterprises in big data strategies?

As they attempt to support their digital transformation, companies and governments have to face the fact that expectations are continuing to increase exponentially; therefore they need to support increasing data volumes, more data types and data sources, more complex use cases and to deliver data insights out to more and more end users. Also, organisations face problems as data reside not only on-premise, but also in different applications, databases, file formats, and as well as in the cloud.

We help them to get value out of that data by leveraging next generation technologies like real-time, machine learning, and self-service capabilities. We are seeing a lot of our customers moving to multi and hybrid cloud environment, and we can help ease this migration.

SBR: Could you share some use cases / customer case studies in Asia?

Companies like Standard Chartered Bank or Bank Danamon Indonesia, have selected Talend. Our solutions support more than 150 companies over the region, 1 500 worldwide.

To better understand their customer and enhance their satisfaction through marketing tactics, Lenovo, the world's largest PC vendor, is using our Big Data solution. With Talend, they streamlined their integration process and the delivery of data reports used in their marketing department to analyse the effectiveness of their campaigns. Nearly 300 data integration processes, which include a multiplicity of data types and source, running at the same time with Talend.

With the 360° customer view created, Lenovo is able to measure customer behaviour and journeys. From an ROI perspective, this resulting in an 11% increase in revenue per retail unit, combining all their data has helped Lenovo to know better their customers and better serve them while operating cost was reduced by $1 million.

SBR: Singapore is often regarded as one of the more technologically advanced Asian countries. What are your thoughts on the maturity of big data adoption in Singapore, and what can be improved?

The Singapore Government has clearly bet on data, which plays a major role not only in Asia but also internationally. The initiatives it took with the Singapore’s Smart Nation vision is a great example of Singapore’s maturity as a hub for data innovation. There are many initiatives being run by the Singapore Government that are making use of data to improve citizen services, enable innovation for businesses, and build a more connected and sustainable country.

Some additional examples would be the Land Transport Authority’s use of data to enhance the public transportation network, as well as the development of a digital identity for every citizen.

We're pleased with the growth that we see in the Singapore and in the Asia Pacific region. Our success here is a key growth driver for Talend as we continue investing in those regions.

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