What Does Attivio and Its $34 Million Mean for Other Vendors?

October 16, 2012

Boston.com’s “Attivio Collects $34 Million in New Funding to Help Companies figure Out What They Know” caught the attention of the goslings here in Harrod’s Creek. I have spoken with several senior managers in the content processing and analytics space, and I can report that none of these individuals had his or her arms around the broader meaning of the $34 million Attivio landed.

Boston.com reported:

“One thing our software does is correlations,” Riaz explains. “You may have an unpaid invoice that belongs to Cisco, and we help you figure out that the reason its unpaid is that you may have all these support issues with them that you need to address.” Riaz says part of the appeal of Attivio’s software, which it calls the Active Intelligence Engine, is that “we can merge into their existing information infrastructure so that we’re adding value in days.”

What the reports of Attivio’s funding omits is the possible impact of the money on the search and content processing sector. Let me outline four consequences of this funding deal:

First, the competition is going to have to find a way to cope with Attivio’s marketing and sales activities. Attivio is a pretty good marketing operation. However, with additional funding, Attivio will be able to compete against its traditional competition and push into sectors which are more familiar with IBM- and Oracle-type solutions.

Second, the prospect pool for Attivio will grow. Money today works like catnip. Companies looking for a way to cope with distributed and fractionalized data will include Attivio in their short lists. Money works this magic.

Third, people who are working at smaller analytics firms or who are in a cube at a Google-type operation will consider Attivio as a job hop option. This means that smart people will gravitate to Attivio because it offers a green field opportunity.

Fourth, innovators are likely to knock on Attivio’s door. Raw invention is one thing, but turbo charging comes from learning about hot new systems and methods. I think Attivio will benefit from a flow of ideas from small outfits looking for a mover and shaker.

Good news for Attivio. Maybe some other investment firms will look at the information delivery sector and another hot prospect. Exciting times.

Stephen E Arnold, October 16, 2012

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