CenturyLink Buys Big Data Firm Cognilytics
Inside a CenturyLink data center. (Photo: CenturyLink)

CenturyLink Buys Big Data Firm Cognilytics

Sees big opportunity in combining managed hosting with analytics

CenturyLink has acquired a predictive analytics software company called Cognilytics in the latest in a series of technology acquisitions the large Monroe, Louisiana-based telco and cloud service provider has made over the past two years.

Differentiating through extensive technological capabilities is a major part of CenturyLink’s strategy in the cloud services market, where bare infrastructure services are going through rapid commoditization. The company bought Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider Tier 3 and Platform-as-a-Service provider AppFog in 2013, and earlier this month announced acquisition of cloud DR provider DataGardens.

CenturyLink’s recent major development in cloud analytics came in November, when it announced a partnership with Cloudera. The company will provide Cloudera’s distribution of Apache Hadoop as a cloud service.

San Jose, California-based Cognilytics is an SAP Hana and Hadoop expert and has tailored analytics solutions for several industry verticals, including financial services, retail, consumer products, healthcare oil and gas, manufacturing, high tech, and logistics.

Big Opportunity in End-to-End Hosted Analytics

In the short term, CenturyLink will make Cognilytics services available to its sales channels, Girish Varma, CenturyLink’s president of global information technology services, said in an email. The company does eventually plan to make Congnilytics services available as cloud analytics applications and services for mid-size businesses and enterprises.

Varma also sees an opportunity in providing end-to-end solutions that include applications, hosting infrastructure, and network.

“[Cognilytics] have the ability to enable follow-on sales in hosting, managed hosting, and cloud deals,” he said. “For example, hosted SAP Hana and Hadoop offerings could be integrated with our network services.”

The big data company’s strong partnership with SAP is valuable for CenturyLink. The company can offer hosted analytics solutions on Hana, which Varma believes will play well into SAP’s strategy of simplifying analytics for customers.

“This deal significantly enhances our IT consulting and analytics capabilities as well as provides strong pull-through on our managed hosted services,” Varma said.

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