MarkLogic Tells a Good Story

May 25, 2016

I lost track of MarkLogic when the company hit about $51 million in revenue and changed CEOs in 2006. In 2012, another CEO changed took place Since Gary Bloom, a former Oracle executive took over, the company, according to “Gary Bloom Interview: Big Data Driving Sales Boom at MarkLogic,” the company is now “topping” $100 million in annual revenue.

MarkLogic is one of the outfits laboring in the DCGX / DI2E vineyard. The company may be butting heads with outfits like Palantir Technologies as the US Army’s plan to federate its systems and data move forward.

MarkLogic opened for business in 2003 and has ingested, according to Crunchbase, $175 million in venture funding. With a timeline equivalent to Palantir Technologies’, there may be some value in comparing these two “startups” and their performance. That is an exercise better left to the feisty young MBAs who have to produce a return for the Sequoia and Wellington experts.

The interview contained two interesting statements which I found surprising:

The driver is Big Data: large corporations are convinced there is an El Dorado of untapped commercial opportunities — if only they can run their reports across all their data sources. But integrating all that data is too costly, and takes too long with relational databases. The future will be full of data in many forms, formats, and sources and how that data is used will be the differentiator in many competitive battles. If that data can’t be searched it can’t be used.

That is indeed the belief and the challenge. Based on what I have learned via open sources about the DCGS project, the reality is different from the “all” notions which fill the heads of some of the vendors delivering a comprehensive intelligence system to US government clients. In fact, the reality today seems to me to be similar to the hope for the Convera system when it was doing the “all” approach to some US government information. That, as you may recall, did not work out as some had hoped.

The second statement I highlighted is:

Although MarkLogic is tiny compared to Oracle there are some interesting parallels. “MarkLogic is at about the same size as Oracle was when I began working there. It took a long time for Oracle to get security and other enterprise features right, but when it did, that was when company really took off.”

The stakeholders hope that MarkLogic does “take off.” With more than 12 years of performance history under its belt, MarkLogic could be the next big thing. The only hitch in the git along is that normalization of information and data have to take place. Then there is the challenge of the query language. One cannot overlook the competitors which continue to bedevil those in the data management game.

With Oracle also involved in some US government work, there might be a bit of push back as the future of MarkLogic rolls forward. What happens if IBM’s data management systems group decide to acquire MarkLogic? Excitement? Perhaps.

Stephen E Arnold, May 25, 2016


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