Progress Acquires DataRPM to Add Cognitive Computing IP

The $30 million acquisition is a key part of Progress's strategy to provide a new-gen platform to build and deliver cognitive-first applications.

Progress.Software

We need to get used to the term cognitive computing, because it's getting a lot of traction now as a new section within the IT analytics market.

Cognitive computing is the simulation of human thought processes in a computerized model. It involves self-learning systems that use data mining, pattern recognition, machine learning and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works.

IBM has been the largest proponent of this during the past few years, especially since Watson replaced Charlie Chaplin (remember Big Blue using the great comedian's image when the PC debuted in the early 1980s?) as the front man for the corporation.

Along these lines, Progress Software on March 31 announced that it is going into the cognitive computing vendor column by acquiring DataRPM, a leading provider of predictive analytics solutions. The purchase price was $30 million, with $28.3 million paid in cash and the rest in stock.

This acquisition is a key part of Progress's strategy to provide a new-gen platform to build and deliver cognitive-first applications, the company said.

Known for its ability to solve the predictive maintenance problem for industrial IoT, DataRPM provides integral machine-learning cornerstone for Progress' portfolio. The timing is optimal, because industry researcher IDC has predicted that global spending on cognitive systems will grow to more than $31 billion by 2019. Within the next two years, half of all consumers globally are expected to interact with cognitive technology on a regular basis, the company said.

As data stores continue to explode--driven by machine-generated and human-generated data--and devices and digital touchpoints proliferate, organizations must use cognitive-first applications for business benefit to compete and win.

"Progress has always provided the platform for building and deploying mission-critical business applications. The future of applications is cognitive-first, and Progress is committed to providing the best platform to build and deploy them," said Yogesh Gupta, CEO, Progress.

"Our customers and partners already use many of the key product capabilities from Progress necessary for this approach: front-end application development tooling, mobility, back end application services, and data connectivity. With the acquisition of DataRPM, we now have leading predictive analytics capabilities to round out our cognitive apps platform."

DataRPM has a cognitive predictive maintenance solution for industrial IoT. The patented platform automates predictive modeling, leveraging proprietary Meta Learning capabilities to increase quality, accuracy and timeliness of equipment failure predictions, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in savings. The technology enables customers such as Jaguar, Samsung and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to predict and prevent asset failures, and increase yield and efficiencies to generate outcomes for industrial IoT, the company said.

DataRPM brings the following differentiators to Bedford, Mass.-based Progress:

--DataRPM technology detects random and unknown IT failures, using a combination of unsupervised and semi-supervised learning techniques, which can save businesses money by preventing failures of critical assets and maximizing quality and efficiency.

--DataRPM solves the huge data science talent crunch by teaching machines to automate data science using a technique called Meta Learning, which learns from experience and feedback, saving industrial companies from having to invest in large armies of data scientists.

--The DataRPM platform has been proven to horizontally scale to monitor and track any number of industrial machines, addressing the needs of even the most demanding use cases.

With the acquisition of DataRPM, Progress enables use to harness previously untapped volumes of data to build cognitive apps -- democratizing machine learning and making it accessible to any organization.

DataRPM will continue to offer its leading solution for cognitive predictive maintenance for IIoT under the Progress umbrella, supported by an increase in investment and resources. Integration of DataRPM technologies and Progress products is already under way, and the updated offerings are expected to be available to early-adopter partners and customers later this year.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...