Monday, 02 October 2017 14:37

Successful big customers steer Splunk APAC growth


Enterprise big data aggregator Splunk continues to enjoy rapid growth in the APAC region. Within Australia, the company has continued to increase its headcount over the last 24 months.

The increased operations are not purely sales, pre-sales and engineering, but both cloud support and cloud operations have made their home in Australia, with the offices a fully contributing member of Splunk's global 24 hours "follow the sun" support.

The experience is similar across the APAC region; the Splunk Japan office has increased headcount and is moving to larger premises in November. The Singapore office has expanded to thrice its size. A Beijing office has opened in China to supplement the existing Shanghai operations.

Simon Eid, area vice-president, ANZ, says Splunk has some sizeable customers. Australian success story Atlassian is one, and its own exponential business growth is, in turn, fueling Splunk's regional increase. "It's probably one of our largest customers in terms of capacity," Eid says, "Though a couple of telcos will overtake them shortly."

Within Hong Kong two large companies increasing their Splunk footprint are Networld and the Marine Department, says Chern-Yue Boey, ‎vice-president, APAC. "Networld is like Amazon. People can buy and sell, and by leveraging Splunk merchants will know categories that are trending and what's not, and all this data used to be managed in spreadsheets," he said.

"The Marine Department in Hong Kong automates how ships come into the dock. Previously, it was consolidated with paper and pen, mapping the path along the water."

Along with Atlassian, Eid cites Monash University as a key ANZ Splunk customer. "They started using Splunk for IT operations and security but expanded it around delivering student experience," he said.

Eid says Splunk has given the institution insights into how many people are on campus at any given time and where, and this information has helped make tremendous facility improvements.

"By using Splunk results, the University can set schedules for where lectures are so people don't have to walk around campus. They can turn lights and air conditioners on and off based on where people really are. It's saved them a lot of money. The data now even helps inform where to place facilities like air conditioners, vending machines, security services ... it really makes sure the customer experience is where it should be," he said.

Monash plans to use Splunk further to look at student attendance and marks and be proactive in helping students, intervening early to prevent attrition.

"Splunk is focused on finding solutions to customer problems," Eid said. The company seeks to engage with staff at all levels to identify use cases around what can be done with Splunk, expanding to the "art of the possible".

This includes running hackathons, where a customer's IT staff and business staff join together to say "here's the data, what sorts of things do you want to ask of it?"

"The hackathon uses real data, and because it answers real questions, the applications built typically go into production straight away," Eid says. "It's about getting people's minds into the same problem no matter which part of the business they come from."

Splunk also offers workshops around different use cases that can be achieved with the company saying it is keen to focus attention on the "art of the possible", focusing on the true business side of data analytics, transcending its roots as a log aggregator.

The writer attended Splunk .conf 2017 as a guest of the company.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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