Talend's Open-Source Approach to Serving Data-Driven Enterprises: Accelerated Large-Scale Data Ingestion at an Affordable Rate

Talend's Open-Source Approach to Data Integration and Management

TL; DR: Talend makes vast data resources more accessible, reliable, and mobile to help customers make business decisions based on real-time insights. By taking a rare open-source approach to big data integration, the company can innovate, develop, and adjust products rapidly to meet customer needs. The open-source platform opens the door for cost-effective commercial features and upgrades. Talend regularly conducts research to identify and stay ahead of data integration trends, making it easy for enterprises to leverage data into better business practices and more productive consumer relationships. That’s why we are presenting the company with a Developers’ Choice™ award for inspiring data-driven business decisions.

From supply chain management to customer interactions, world-leading PC vendor Lenovo relies on multiple solutions from Talend to aggregate and understand massive amounts of information.

On the consumer side, Lenovo’s hybrid architecture ingests data from 60 different sources each day, accounting for more than 11 billion transactions annually. When it comes to supply chain management and inventory, Talend software consolidates information on more than 5 million unique product IDs to guarantee accurate reporting and cataloging.

“We needed an easy-to-use and agile solution that could connect data in real time from a variety of sources and then efficiently transfer that data to our global inventory management and procurement center,” IT Senior Manager Robin Li said in a press release. “Talend’s open-source architecture gave us great flexibility and stood out for its speed and effectiveness in handling massive volumes of data.”

By deploying Talend data solutions, Lenovo reduced operating costs by $1 million in just six months and grew revenue by 11% per retail unit.

“With the 360-degree view of the customer we’ve been able to achieve, it has given us a sense of acceleration where we’re able to quickly understand what our customers are expecting from a personalized experience and what products they’re expecting from a customization standpoint,” Senior Manager of Big Data Architecture Marc Gallman said in a case study. “We’re able to get answers and insights faster.”

Talend Takes Open-Source Route When Building the Business

Although open-source programs have enjoyed remarkable success across seemingly every technology industry, Talend was the first commercial open-source vendor of data integration software when the company debuted in 2005.

The company offers core functionality through free downloads, while added features and support are included when customers purchase annual licenses.

Illustrating the changing reception to open-source software, the wildly popular Hadoop and Spark frameworks for storing and processing large datasets are maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. The platforms launched in 2005 and 2014, respectively.

Philosophy Behind Being Disruptive in the Big Data Market

According to CEO Mike Tuchen, open-source products are most successful when they shake up an existing market. By capitalizing on an engaged user community to reduce development and marketing costs, open-source companies can provide services for significantly less cost than do proprietary vendors.

Portrait of Talend CEO Mike Tuchen with logo

According to CEO Mike Tuchen, open-source products don’t preclude a sound business model.

“To create a new market, you have to find early adopters who want to try something out that has never existed in the world before,” he said in an article. “You’re going after unique problems.”

The company has seen more than 3 million downloads of open-source products, which translates into roughly 1,500 enterprise customers. The TalendForge community of 270,000 members extends the source code to meet specific needs and are the first to test, translate, and enhance new releases.

Open Studio: Free Tools for Data Integration, Quality, and Management

By offering the Open Studio platform available for free, Talend aims to lower the barriers for companies to adopt data integration practices. Open Studio simplifies ETL, or the extracting, transforming, and loading of data from separate sources into a central repository.

The simple, graphical tools generate native code to leverage Hadoop and NoSQL databases in a scalable architecture. Open Studio supports more than 900 connectors and components for integration, and organizations can improve data quality and accuracy with tools for end-to-end monitoring and profiling.

The platform also includes an enterprise serial bus, or ESB, to connect other applications and data resources, along with tools for master data management, enabling organizations to consistently define and administer data.

Commercial Solutions Introduce Collaboration and Management Tools

Users can ease into Talend’s subscription-based services with free trials and Sandboxes. The enterprise-grade platform offers many of the same open-source programs, upgraded with additional features, wizards, and support.

Paid customers enjoy automatic upgrades, access to bug tracking and user forums, along with unlimited technical support with guaranteed response times through the website or email.

Screenshots of Talend products

Talend’s products provide simple, graphical ways to interact with data.

Most significantly, the commercial products introduce collaboration capabilities by including additional licenses for preparing, sharing, and managing data repositories. The 2016 release of Data Fabric included cloud integration services and more advanced data preparation tools.

“It’s well understood that companies must become data-driven in order to compete, yet there are still several major barriers preventing businesses from making data an organization-wide core competency,” Senior VP of Products Ciaran Dynes said in a press release. “Talend Data Fabric delivers a governed, fully integrated data platform that empowers IT to deliver self-service capabilities so business workers get full access to the information they need, without putting information at risk or undermining compliance.”

Data Research to Improve Business Practices & Customer Interactions

Shoes and accessories retailer Aldo recently turned to Talend to replace the company’s eCommerce platform. The unreliable and expensive system frequently resulted in cart abandonment, lost orders, and unsatisfied customers.

Talend integrated 100 applications, services, and databases to process millions of events per day — just in time for the demanding holiday shopping season.

Using data to improve consumer relationships will be key for companies in the future, as an international survey Talend funded showed a surprising gap between customer expectations and the provided business services.

Nearly 90% of IT leaders believed their organization understood customers, while only 60% of consumers felt companies recognize their needs. To close the gap, 63% of the IT respondents said using data to better understand customers is a top business priority in 2017.

Another survey showed that, internally, self-service data access, metadata management, and real-time analytics make up nearly 70 percent of the projects IT teams expect to take on in 2017.

Interestingly, the respondents indicated that the relationship between a company’s IT department and the rest of the business was the biggest challenge to becoming data-driven — more of an obstacle than budget or existing skills.

CEO Mike Tuchen Ushers Talend Through Successful IPO

When the company first went public in 2006, Talend’s IPO was considered a resounding success — largely behind the sound fiscal management and lean business practices Mike enforces, in addition to big bets on cloud computing and big data.

Shares closed the first night at a higher price than anticipated, then leaped almost 50% early the next day. The company now reports strong quarterly earnings and remains cash-flow positive. Beyond the financial growth, Mike said that going public positively impacted Talend in other ways.

“It’s a unique message for recruiting talent because there are few $100 million companies that are cash positive and growing rapidly,” Mike said in an article. “With a successful IPO, the stock doing well, and revenue acceleration, other people can see what’s going on here. Because of that, we’ve stepped on the gas to get these people in the door faster.”

Laura Stamey

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