ML/AI Vendor Roundup: September 2018

Product enhancements, customer references, partnerships, acquisitions, or other significant contributions to machine learning.

In general industry news, Forrester releases 2018 “Wave” reports for data science and machine learning. Positive implications for SAS, IBM, RapidMiner, Oracle, and Domino Data Labs. Negative implications for Microsoft, Dataiku, Anaconda, and Google Cloud Platform. Full story here.

Vendors listed below in alphabetical order.


Dataiku announces the immediate availability of Data Science Studio Release 5.0. Key new features include support for deep learning and containerized execution.


Databricks announces a strategic partnership with Snowflake.

Databricks and Two Sigma introduce Flint, a time-series library for Apache Spark.


DataRobot announces a partnership with Intel. According to the announcement, DataRobot will leverage Intel technologies to power its automated machine learning platform. announces Release 1.3 of Driverless AI. Enhancements include a capability for text analytics, which positions as “Natural Language Processing.” Spoiler: it’s not NLP. 


In a press release, IBM bloviates about some new Watson stuff. Blah, blah, blah.

IBM announces a new service to “automate bias detection”, releases open source tools that do not detect bias, but folks in IBM Research spent a lot of time writing papers and such.


Mathworks announces Release 2018b of MATLAB and Simulink, with expanded deep learning capabilities.


Microsoft announces updates to the Azure Machine Learning service, including an automated machine learning capability. 


SAP announces new “machine learning” features for SAP Analytics Cloud. New features include an automated predictive modeling capability embedded in a business planning application.


SAS holds its annual Analytics Experience conference, announces nothing. 


SparkCognition announces plans for its Time Machine AI conference (November 6-7).


TIBCO announces that it will soon offer Alpine TIBCO Data Science in the AWS Marketplace. (TIBCO Data Science is the Alpine Data Labs software TIBCO acquired last year with the TIBCO brand slapped on it.)


  • Hello Thomas!

    What’s your opinion on the influence of Forrester / Gartner etc nowadays? It used to be that executives, senior management, and consultants conducted vendor selection considering these reports as the gospel. Is that still true and how is that phenomenon trending in your opinion?

    Curious on your thoughts.

    • Hamel,

      Thanks for reading!

      I’ve never seen hard evidence one way or the other. It’s reasonable to believe that there is a segment of customers who rely on them religiously, another segment that ignore them, and a third segment that considers what they say, but with a grain of salt. How big are those three segments? I have no idea.

      Vendors behave as if they matter. Companies spend a lot of time and energy cultivating analysts. The applications are extremely demanding — like selling to the toughest customer in the world. And when they do well, they trumpet the results.

      Back in the day when software vendors sold exclusively through perpetual licenses, you absolutely needed an independent analyst to guide the buying decision. Now, with open source software, pervasive free trials, and subscription licensing, customers can evaluate the software themselves.

      Gartner is a public company and discloses its revenue. There are some ups and downs in its quarterly revenue, but the overall trend is modestly upward. So people are still buying what they sell, which is likely the best test.

      — Thomas

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