Interview

AITech Interview with Krishna Subramanian, Co-founder, President, and COO of Komprise

Insights about solutions to manage stored data

Welcome to this interview where we will be discussing one of the biggest challenges faced by organizations today – the problem of uncontrolled unstructured data growth. With the rise of cloud computing, the proliferation of mobile devices, and the internet of things (IoT), data is being generated at an unprecedented rate. This exponential growth of data is posing serious challenges to IT budgets for storage as well as visibility in hybrid cloud environments with a growing number of data silos. In order to learn more, we at AITech Park interviewed Krishna Subramanian, Co-founder, President, and COO of Komprise.

She has extensive 20+ experience in addressing this problem and will be sharing insights on how organizations can effectively manage and store their data in a scalable and cost-effective manner. 

So, let’s get started and learn more about the solutions to this pressing issue.

Kindly provide your background and info on your role as the lead of Komprise

I am the COO, President, and Co-founder of Komprise. I have spent the last 20 + years as a senior software executive and Komprise is my third startup. I have successfully founded, built, merged, and acquired businesses to generate over $500M+ in new revenues. I’ve also worked in marketing and corporate development leadership roles at Sun, Citrix, and others.

Please share your source of inspiration for exploring various facets of technology

I am interested in finding elegant, easy-to-use technology solutions to customer problems that simplify customers’ lives and allow them to do things that they never could before. I focus on enterprise infrastructure because this is the area where my co-founders and I have deep expertise. We aim to apply complex technical concepts in a way that is easy for customers to adopt and delights them.

Please brief our audience about Komprise and give us an overview of its solutions

Komprise is a SaaS solution for unstructured data management and mobility, founded in 2014. Komprise Intelligent Data Management is used by enterprise IT teams, particularly storage and infrastructure managers, to get visibility on all data across silos, and to understand key data characteristics which inform the best data management strategy. Businesses are literally drowning in data, and 80%+ of the data today is not in a database. This unstructured data is audio, video, genomics data, medical images, user documents, IoT and machine-generated data, and the like. It is difficult to manage because it has a wide variety of formats, it accumulates in many places, and due to the large volume that’s generated every day gets expensive quickly. Komprise shows customers analytics on how their data is being used across data storage silos. Through policy it continuously right places the data in a specific location and tier of storage. This cuts costs while maintaining uninterrupted transparent access to the data no matter where it lives. For instance, by seeing which data is cold or rarely accessed, IT teams can create a plan for Komprise to tier it to cheaper, secondary storage in the data center or cloud. This typically saves customers over 70% on storage, backup, and cloud costs while ensuring a great, nondisruptive user experience with our patented Transparent Move Technology. The Komprise Global File Index is another core value-add for customers: it gives users a simple, powerful way to search for data across silos, and then copy or move it for different needs, such as to a cloud data lake or AI tool.

What are the core values on which the organization is formed and what is the mission of the organization?

My cofounders and I started Komprise to address the problem of uncontrolled unstructured data growth, which we saw was challenging not only IT budgets for storage but visibility in hybrid cloud environments with a growing number of data silos. Without visibility, organizations cannot manage data across its lifecycle to save money, meet basic departmental needs for search, access, and cost-effective storage, or leverage data for new value. From the beginning, our mission has been to help enterprise IT organizations save and make money on their unstructured data.

Being a thought leader, how do you strategize to bring to light Komp rise’s mission and vision?

We have been very customer-driven as a company. We have involved customers early in our inception and they have been powerful advocates of our technology. Highlighting their experiences has been key to getting market recognition for what we do and how our solution can benefit nearly every enterprise.

In your opinion, how important is it to augment AI and ML in a way that they can be utilized to their fullest potential and not be a substitute for human skills?

Anytime a new technology comes along, there is a natural hesitation and fear that it can usurp human potential. But we as humans have proven that by harnessing the potential of each new technology, we can advance to higher levels of critical thinking. I believe AI has a tremendous potential to augment our human capacity and make us smarter, more efficient, and more resilient.

How important is it to leverage the power of AI in order to boost business performance?

Like everything else, it depends upon an organization’s unique needs and challenges, but it’s safe to say that most businesses could benefit from some form of AI because our ability to process data now relies on automation and algorithms. The size of data within enterprises is simply too large to efficiently process and analyze. We’re hearing of more unique use cases for AI every day–whether that’s to analyze customer interactions for buyer intent, process insurance claims faster, reduce fraud, look for areas of waste in inventory operations, analyze clinical data to reduce adverse outcomes or streamline R&D processes and bring a new product to market faster. We are now facing a new generation of AI applications that are extremely powerful but they require the appropriate training datasets to avoid bias or inappropriate use of the technology. I think many enterprises will be closely evaluating these new technologies to determine what is the proper balance for early adoption and how to merge AI bots with human intelligence and reasoning.

Please brief our audience about the emerging trends of the new generation and how you plan to fulfill the dynamic needs of the AI-ML infrastructure.

There is an enormous opportunity to fully leverage unstructured data for use in AI and ML engines. Traditionally, data analytics and business intelligence programs have relied upon data warehouses and databases as their primary data sources. Yet today, most data is unstructured. Every CT scan or X-Ray you get, every genomics test conducted, every video you take and every move by your electric car generates unstructured data. Finding, organizing, and moving the right data sets to AI and ML tools is difficult because data is highly distributed, moving large amounts of data is expensive and time-consuming, and it’s hard to search and index so many different data types. The role Komprise plays in AI/ML projects is to provide a platform that rapidly indexes your data and delivers an easy interface. This allows users to search for data, enrich it as needed with additional metadata such as demographics or project keywords, and then quickly identify what is truly necessary and move the culled dataset to a data lake or other location for analysis. Our 2022 release of Smart Data Workflows made this possible with a streamlined, automated process that saves the time and hassle of manually finding and moving the right data sets to analytics tools. So, Komprise helps automate feeding AI engines with the right data and it also helps harness the value of AI with ongoing workflows.

What would be your valuable advice for budding entrepreneurs and industry professionals?

Often people worry about rushing to market with an idea before someone else copies it. I have found that the biggest competitive differentiator is a deep-level understanding of the problem you are solving and a commitment to stick with it through thick and thin. Advice that we have followed in our companies is to take the time upfront to research your idea, talk with as many prospective customers as possible, and be unafraid to poke holes. It’s okay to drop the idea if it doesn’t make sense. It’s best not to start a company until you are convinced of the difference you can make and can commit yourself fully.

How do you plan to scale up Komprise’s growth in 2023 and beyond?

We founded Komprise with the mission of helping customers solve the two biggest problems they face with unstructured data – managing its growth and extracting its value.  Komprise is executing this vision and we have a market-leading solution today that is used by hundreds of enterprises. We continue investing to grow our market presence, and our customer base and scale the use cases we support to incorporate edge data and more data workflows for AI and Machine-Learning.

Krishna Subramanian

Co-founder, President, and COO of Komprise

Krishna Subramanian is the COO, president, and co-founder of Komprise. In her career, Subramanian has built three successful venture-backed IT businesses and was named a “2021 Top 100 Women of Influence” by Silicon Valley Business Journal.

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