One cannot disregard the fact that evolution in technology has throttled humanity’s development to a scale where most of the important things in our life—food, healthcare, finance—can be accessed at our fingertips. However, one can also not disregard the flipside of the coin—cybersecurity risks, fraud, and data privacy threats.
In the business world, the capability to solve a problem is what gives you an edge, making you stand out from the crowd. When it comes to the problems of those critical aspects of technology, companies across the world strive to demonstrate their expertise in solving them. Such companies encompass the potential to bring about paradigm shifts and carve their own identity.
Among such companies, Aparavi has always endeavored to be the best at what it does – solve problems of and regarding data.
Delivering the Data Intelligence and Automation Platform, Aparavi helps organizations find and unlock the value of data no matter where it lives. Its cloud-based platform finds, automates, governs, and consolidates distributed data.
In the following interview, Adrian Knapp, the founder, and CEO, shares valuable insights about Aparavi’s unique offerings, its proficiencies in the world of data, and the blueprints of its future goals.
Following are the highlights of the interview:
Please brief our audience about Aparavi, its USPs, and how it is currently positioned as a leading player in the Data Intelligence and Automation solutions niche.
Every company has too much data! Data is great, but only if you keep the data that has value. There is far too much data that shouldn’t exist and creates no value but cyber risks and crazy costs. Data storage is NOT cheap as the industry wants you to think. It is super expensive and risky in reality. But I do not expect the creators of the problems to solve them.
Aparavi is the solution to the problem. We help clean data, shrink data footprint to the max and get the best value out of it. That is what our data intelligence and automation platform do better than any other tool in the market. With deep intelligence that rapidly discovers duplicates, automatically classifies, and optimizes highly distributed data to mitigate risk, reduce costs and exploit data value, we are the trusted disrupter in the sector.
We optimize secure access for modern data demands of analytics, machine learning, and collaboration, connecting business and IT to transform data into a competitive asset. We augment tons of great existing solutions in the governance, compliance, backup, archive and machine learning, and artificial intelligence space. We clean, prepare and optimize before you ingest into those vertical solutions.
Although we have a single platform, it is utilized for numerous different use cases which we share as solutions ranging from data discovery and clean up, M&A Integrations, cloud data migrations with intelligence, and more, however the vast volume of ‘Data Services’ provided and delivered by our MSPs who are data experts with in-depth experience in customer verticals including financial services, insurance, legal data services, healthcare as well as data services such as tape data discovery and migration.
Adrian, please brief us about your journey in the industry and how you have contributed to the company’s success.
I have been in the data-centric business with different companies for over 20+ years, and continually fascinated by data and how it has evolved, the scale, creation, and sharing of data has created both opportunities for innovation acceleration, especially in collaboration with minds, organizations, applications and the utilization of AI, machine, and deep learning as well as much complexity, risk, and untapped value. Many organizations are still operating like it in the 1990s. It is fascinating how much the right data at the right time can be both truly revolutionary and a disaster at the same time.
Looking at the data ecosystem of vendors from storage hardware, processing systems, cloud storage, and many players making copies of data for high availability and data protection, which unfortunately have no idea of the real-world impact of the data nor its value to the business or potential harm to the business.
Much data integration and analytics vendors have grown especially, but this still focuses on structured data in databases and then integration between application-controlled data such as CRM, ERP, collaboration applications such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Slack, and others.
Silo upon silo control of data does not help you understand what data you have so you can build efficient life cycle management of the data, mitigate risk, reduce cost, and truly exploit your data for competitive advantage.
I believe there is a much better way starting with augmenting such silos with intelligence and automation and truly transforming data utilization versus all the vendors fighting over who has control. That is why I started Aparavi.
What impact has the adoption of modern technologies such as AI and machine learning had on the Data Intelligence and Automation solutions niche, and what more could be expected in the future?
Let’s break this down clearly AI, machine learning, deep learning technologies, and algorithms are rapidly evolving. However, they are only as good as the data that is feeding them. The data must be found, cleaned, and ingested efficiently to ensure optimal trusted results. With trash data in the mix, you slow down the whole operation.
Our platform has several elements of data learning or cognitive capability, which we are evolving toward our longer-term vision of data independence from being locked down by applications or other systems.
As it pertains to solutions to expect, the mind boggles as every time we discuss with our end-user customers and MSPs, new use cases are thought of and in many cases, they have deployed our platform for one challenge and then used for numerous other data management areas.
Taking into consideration the current pandemic, what initial challenges did you face, and how did you drive your company to sustain operations while ensuring the safety of your employees at the same time?
Aparavi is fairly distributed in the US, with team members on the West Coast, East Coast, and Central, so we were already quite used to working remotely and collaborating closely over video communication software.
An increase in companywide communication on the company progress, as well as on any pandemic news. The support and leadership from our HR team also kept employees apprised of official news, and a number of support programs for personnel shared for all to take advantage of through uncertain times across the globe. It was time to get personal and that we are all in this together and all react differently. The team really huddled together, albeit virtually, and pushed on.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the Data Integration solutions market?
First of all, I do not like to give unrequested advice to anybody. Data is the lifeblood of nearly every business today, from transactions to analytics, production, and inventory systems and more so, the dependency on data availability is mission-critical, but not everyone manages their data the same way.
There are tons of misconceptions. I bet many of you have heard ‘data is the new oil.’ No way! Wrong. Oil is not indefinite – data is. Oil is not created by everybody – data is.
Find your own spot in this market but think about yourself first and go from there. What is bothering you that is based on data? And find a better way of doing it. You either want to completely reinvent as Aparavi does, or you can be a consultant or an integrator. Just do what you think works best for the users based on a problem you saw and solve it.
How do you envision scaling Aparavi’s operations and offerings in 2021?
I envision nothing for 2021. My thoughts go into 22 and 23. This year we opened up a major office in Munich, Germany, and staffed rapidly headed up by Gregor Bieler as CEO of Europe, who was the GM at Microsoft Germany. Our route-to-market is also accelerating globally as traditional VARs transform into Managed Service Providers; we offer our software platform so that MSPs can deliver numerous Data Services powered by Aparavi.
This works well with the trusted relationship between the end customer and the MSP with the power of data intelligence and automation of Aparavi to truly know their data and transform their data ecosystem, mitigating risk, reducing runaway costs, and, more importantly, how to exploit their data for business advantage.
Going on, my focus is on giving our solution into the hands of the business people. IT sets it up – users operate. Think like your smart home. A specialist plans and installs the technology. That is your IT department or your MSP. Then it is on the businesspeople to manage, exploit and optimize data. If legal needs a legal hold, they can quarantine potential compromised information/data before they even fire out the hold. All power to the user is where we want to go. Making sure we develop our platform this way and have appropriate marketing/sales approach will keep us super busy. Operations wise I’m not worried about the team we have.