The next step in Hewlett-Packard Enterprise’s plans to become a cloud company has been common amongst all the front running names in the industry: Offer machine learning as a service.
HPE Haven OnDemand provides high-level APIs aimed at enterprise app developers who need packaged solutions to problems like image and speech recognition. The application is not for training new algorithms, it is meant to create high-level applications for businesses which are already existing.
The APIs that were offered at the launch were very similar to the IBM Watson on Bluemix or the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, so those who have worked on them would be familiar with the offering. Most of these applications deliver common business functions, such as automatically converting file formats or enterprise search and other functionalities, such as needle-moving apps for machine learning are relatively familiar.
This product is the first item that has come out after HPE’s troubled acquisition of Autonomy. The offering grew up as the result of the work that was done with Autonomy’s IDOL content-processing platform.
You might be thinking why you should use this product. The first and easiest reason is the historically cozy partnership between HPE and Microsoft. Most recently, that included HPE providing hardware for running private and hybrid clouds via Azure, each being a “preferred” customer of the other’s products.
HPE’s foray into Azure does seem a lot more practical unlike the one by IBM. Both companies are involved in cloud and services, however, IBM has been betting heavily on insights into big data via machine intelligence.
IBM’s switch has been a mixed bag. The reaction is quite varying and not everyone is confident its machine learning platform can produce the kind of revenue stream it hopes to have.