Q&A with Sam Chance, Our New Managing Director of Pre-Sales

Posted by Kirk Newell on Feb 1, 2017 4:50:00 PM
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We’d like to introduce you to the newest member of our team, Sam Chance, who has joined us as managing director of pre-sales. In this newly created position, Sam will work closely with the sales and engineering teams to accurately define and communicate the value of our Anzo Smart Data Lake® (ASDL) platform to our growing roster of customers, while also architecting a customized solution for their environments.

sam_chance.jpgThe following is a brief Q&A with Sam.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your background.

I have more than 35 years of information technology (IT) experience, specializing in semantic web technologies, software systems engineering, architecture development, lifecycle management and Web 3.0. I received my master’s degree in information technology from the Naval Postgraduate School, and my bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering and engineering mathematics from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Before becoming an IT architect, I served in the U.S. Navy as an enlisted technician and then a commissioned Naval Officer for 23 years of service overall.

I’m also very involved in the industry. I’ve co-authored several published works in ontology lifecycle management and Semantic Service-Oriented Architecture (SSOA), and enjoy speaking at national and international conferences, including the International Standards Organization Open Forums, Object Management Group, Jini™ Community Meetings, DODIIS Worldwide, and JavaOne.

Q: What goals do you wish to achieve in your new position as managing director of pre-sales?

My goal is simple: promote worldwide adoption of the Anzo Smart Data Lake. Since 2001, when I was introduced to the Semantic Web vision, I have applied considerable effort to learn, promote and apply semantic technologies. The advent of the Anzo Smart Data Lake represents the technology enabler for broad, large-scale adoption of a superior approach to intelligent, interoperable information systems.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working in the data semantics industry?

I enjoy most articulating to people the value proposition of adopting semantic technologies. Helping solve problems, and following through on the delivery is particularly rewarding. Semantic technologies provide a foundation on which organizations can achieve deep interoperability of their IT systems. One of my professional dreams is to testify before Congress on the value of semantic technologies to realize truly interoperable systems.

Q: What would you say is the number one benefit that companies can experience from implementing smart data solutions?

I think it boils down to information on demand. At first, that may sound ordinary or cliché; however, information on demand enables decision makers to traverse the “decision cycle” as quickly and effectively as possible. The outcome of decisions, tactical to strategic, can determine the course of lives, countries, businesses, and history itself. To succeed, one must traverse the decision cycle more quickly and effectively than your opponents; this applies to commercial and military settings. So, in my view, smart data leads to intelligent systems, which leads to increasingly autonomous systems, which more completely and immediately inform decision makers.

Q: What predictions do you have for the big data industry over the next year?

The “Smart Data Lake” label is not just a catchy term; it is another way of saying “context” – and a lot of it! I argue that “context is key” to informed decisions. Current big data deployments contain islands of data sets; however, until big data deployments specify the salient concepts and relationships among the contributing data sets, analytics will continue to suffer from lack of context, which means organizations are not as effective as they should be. So, while many might focus on analytics or machine learning, I argue the “silent innovation” will be the provision of “big context”; that is, the Smart Data Lake. Oh! I’ll give a shout out to the Internet of Things as well. While it’s not big data per se, IoT will benefit enormously from semantic technologies!

Q: How does the Anzo SDL compare to other solutions in the space?

I’ve been exposed to various semantic technologies and vendor solutions throughout my career, but the Anzo SDL is the most impressive I’ve seen to date. For example, ASDL’s ease of adoption by contemporary software developers is superior. JEE developers use the Anzo APIs in the same way they use other Java APIs. For users, the interactivity of the Anzo dashboards is unrivaled in the space. An overarching theme to Anzo is “configuration over development,” and represents a key adoption enabler. From a scale point of view, the horizontal scale of the Anzo Graph Query Engine is a “force multiplier.” In sum, ASDL is enterprise class.

To learn more about our Anzo Smart Data Lake platform, download our whitepaper here.

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Tags: Smart Data, Semantics, Semantic Web, Smart Data Lake