Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

@BigDataExpo: Article

Why the Titans of Business Are Investing Billions in Semantic Technology

When the transition to the Semantic Web is complete, all data everywhere will be linked in the cloud as connected points

Whether you've bought into it yet or not, the Semantic Web (aka Web 3.0) is coming - and mega-companies are leading the way. Not just the Googles, Facebooks and Apples of the world, but also massive organizations with business models as diverse as Wal-Mart, The New York Times, Dow Jones and Ford. All of them, and many more, are heavily invested in semantic web technologies.

One reason: When the transition to the Semantic Web is complete, all data everywhere will be linked in the cloud as connected points on a massive global graph. Unlike data in silos, the linked data in graphs allows computers to read it, understand it, infer meaning and produce an answer that's exactly what the searcher is looking for, whether the searcher is a shopper, reporter, marketer, financial analyst, cancer researcher or even the CIA.

Semantic search doesn't just yield a far better Web experience. It tremendously increases knowledge, understanding, click-thrus, conversions, opportunities and intelligent decision making.

If you're the biggest retailer in the world - aka Wal-Mart - and have one of the biggest data piles on the planet plus audacious e-commerce goals, you figured this out a while ago and made getting onto the Semantic Web a huge priority. Not least because, in one observer's words, "The retail giant needs to keep getting smarter if it wants to compete with Amazon, the leader in online retail."

Here's how to do it STAT:

Step one: Jumpstart the process and buy a semantic technology company
Wal-Mart acquired Kosmix, a semantic company that connects people, places, topics, events and products, in April 2011, changing its name to @Wal-MartLabs. Estimated price: $300 million or so. (Digital trivia: The team that built Kosmix also built what was probably the first shopping search engine ever, which Amazon bought for $250 million in - ancient history alert - 1998.)

Step two: Build your own semantic search engine
Barely 15 months later, @Wal-MartLabs announced that it had built and deployed Polaris, its own semantic search engine, on Walmart.com, with speedy results: "It has already boosted conversions to sales by 10-15 percent." Why? It gets what you want. For example, if you search for a Kindle, which Wal-Mart doesn't sell (take that, Amazon), Polaris instantly understands what you're after and shows you a very competitively priced array of Kindle alternatives that it does sell - including plenty of Nooks and iPads.

Step three: Don't stop there
In 2013 alone, Wal-Mart bought Inkiru, Torbit, OneOps and Tasty Labs for improved semantic search, better mobile support and optimization of its Big Data capabilities, including fraud detection.

Step four: Reap the ROI rewards
While the company has spent millions (no one will say how many, but many), the payoff is in the billions. For the current fiscal year, Wal-Mart expects to have $9 billion in online sales, a nearly 50 percent increase from its estimated 2011 online sales of $6.31 billion.

Meanwhile, The New York Times, tight-money times or not, has forged ahead with its own semantic strategy: the imperative if daunting task of getting all of its articles and information in a semantic database called rNews. The Gray Lady not only is spending a tidy bundle on doing this but also on working with Schema.org to establish global standards for making news data semantic.

In fact, whole industries have been going on semantic shopping sprees, particularly financial services (the likes of Dow Jones, Bloomberg LP, Citigroup), pharmaceuticals (Merck, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, J&J) and car companies (Ford, Audi, Volkswagen). These and other mega-companies are buying and/or building their own internal semantic solutions as fast as they can find the right tech.

Like the Titans of Technology (Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, et al), the Titans of Business know the Semantic Web is a must to harvest the limitless knowledge inside Big Data. In their world, Web 3.0 is already happening. Many are hunting hard for the urgently needed next big breakthrough in semantic technology: a high-performance, affordable graph platform that will explode the development of RDF applications, including site-specific search, and transform Web 3.0 from vision to reality.

Once the price and performance issues for semantic RDF applications are solved, the new opportunities are endless. The global impact on business, research and society will be far more disruptive than Web 1.0 ever was.

References

More Stories By Charles Silver

Charles Silver is CEO of Algebraix Data Corp., the semantic web company. Through its patented math-based technology, the company is building the next generation platform for semantic computing applications. Silver was cofounder of RealAge, Inc., which he built in the 1990s from scratch, raised over $15 million in capital, negotiated strategic relationships and positioned the company for profitability, which enabled it to survive the dot-com bust. In 2007, RealAge was successfully sold to the Hearst Corporation.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducte...
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, discussed h...
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Chuck Piluso presented a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Prior to Secure Infrastructure and Services, Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Te...
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Meiner, an Engineering Director at Oracle, Corporation, analyzed a range of cloud offerings (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and discussed the benefits/challenges of migrating to each offe...
Puppet Labs has announced the next major update to its flagship product: Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. This release includes new features providing DevOps teams with clarity, simplicity and additional management capabilities, including an all-new user interface, an interactive graph for visualizing infrastructure code, a new unified agent and broader infrastructure support.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
Learn how to solve the problem of keeping files in sync between multiple Docker containers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Aaron Brongersma, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Modulus, discussed using rsync, GlusterFS, EBS and Bit Torrent Sync. He broke down the tools that are needed to help create a seamless user experience. In the end, can we have an environment where we can easily move Docker containers, servers, and volumes without impacting our applications? He shared his results so yo...
Palerra, the cloud security automation company, announced enhanced support for Amazon AWS, allowing IT security and DevOps teams to automate activity and configuration monitoring, anomaly detection, and orchestrated remediation, thereby meeting compliance mandates within complex infrastructure deployments. "Monitoring and threat detection for AWS is a non-trivial task. While Amazon's flexible environment facilitates successful DevOps implementations, it adds another layer, which can become a ...
In their session at 17th Cloud Expo, Hal Schwartz, CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), and Chuck Paolillo, CTO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), provide a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. In his role as CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), Hal Schwartz provides leadership and direction for the company.
In a recent research, analyst firm IDC found that the average cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 to $1 million per hour and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to the findings on the cost of the downtime, the research also highlighted best practices for development, testing, application support, infrastructure, and operations teams.