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25 February, 2013 - 16:54 By Tony Quested

Reno move no gamble for Cambridge Intelligence

Cambridge Intelligence CEO, Joe Parry

A wave of deals in the cyber security and defence segments has triggered US expansion for fledgling UK technology business, Cambridge Intelligence (CI).

But opening an office in the casino capital of Reno, Nevada, is no gamble for CEO Joe Parry who founded CI after IBM swallowed Cambridge-based i2 where he had spent 12 years.

US-headquartered global giants including Apple, Microsoft and Amazon have already spun the wheel and emerged as winners by building campuses in Reno – a growing technology corridor in the American West.

The Cambridge startup makes innovative visualisation software that lets organisations see the networks in their data. Its analytics software, KeyLines, is browser-based and works on desktops, tablets & even smartphones.

CI has now broken cover on a number of major new deals, increased headcount – it is still in hiring mode – and in March moves into bigger offices; from ideaSpace into the burgeoning business district at Millers Yard.

Perhaps most significantly, Parry revealed to Business Weekly that Cambridge Intelligence was now going head-to-head with i2/IBM for contracts – and it emerged victorious from the last showdown.

In a matter of months CI has gone from Parry and a colleague to five permanent staff with two more hires on their way in. Marketing and pre-sales staff have predominated among the new arrivals although another programmer or two are just around the corner as the company continues to scale up.

One or two of the new people are former i2 but Parry left the family silver intact when he went solo following IBM’s swoop.

Parry says he has been working six days a week – sometimes seven – to turbocharge CI out of its infancy. Cambridge Intelligence is now engaging with big players in the security, defence and pharmaceutical arenas and OEM deals are looming larger on its radar.

CI takes the sting out of the big data issue for heavyweight companies that are swamped with data but not seeing it – and therefore failing to max the power of what they hold in the system.

Concentrating on the networks element of the big data dilemma is proving a real differentiator for CI, according to Parry.

“The variety of clients we are starting to see suggests we have a number of target markets; one of our recent successes has been with a London PR company that wanted to optimise its networks to demonstrate how a business ensures it reaches the right person in any campaign.

“Europe – and in the long term Asia – could prove fruitful but apart from one customer in Australia, Asia Pacific isn’t really our focus just now. The US, however, is really starting to yield some exciting deals for us.”

New recruit – data analytics veteran Corey Lanum – will oversee US operations for CI. Parry said: “To ensure we are best able to service our existing customers and manage new opportunities, we realised we needed to expand globally and establish an operative base in the US.

“We have known Corey for a long time; he has great experience in the security sector and we are certain that he is the right person to lead and grow our US operations.”

Cambridge Intelligence has forged a new partnership with Neo Technology, Inc., providers of Neo4j, the world’s leading graph database, whose customers include Adobe, Cisco, and Deutsche Telekom.

Another partnership has been struck with California company Objectivity, Inc., provider of InfiniteGraph, and whose clients include Ericsson, Siemens and the US Department of Defense.

In terms of business segments, increasing traction in the military sector is already becoming obvious. And Parry sees huge growth in banking where financial security is a red hot issue.

Geographically, Latin American territories could come online in future. CI is already getting interest from Brazil.

Parry said: “Yes, the technology has global potential but the important thing for Cambridge Intelligence is to live up to its name and grow organically with good strategic focus. We have had approaches from VC investors but have stayed faithful to that plan.

“We retain friendly relations with the VCs who have approached us – it would be unwise not to because you never know what might happen in the future – but for now we are happy with our chosen strategy.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Cambridge Intelligence CEO, Joe Parry

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