Czech Ataccama cleans Big Data, is growing and looking for new people

This Czech company creates tools for working with data, competing with giants like Oracle or IBM and ranks among the best in the world in its field.

Ataccama is not among the most well-known young Czech technology companies. However, it exhibits numbers that certainly ranks it among more interesting projects. The company is growing annually by 30 percent and reported revenues of $15 million in the last fiscal year. “We want to grow faster,” said Michal Klaus, Chief Executive Officer at Ataccama, commenting on future plans.

In what they do, Ataccama absolutely belongs among the world leaders, sometimes even the very best. The Czech company develops software tools for analyzing, cleaning and remastering data. It currently has a number of large clients such as American Airlines, GE Capital, the subsidiary Lufthansa AirPlus, Lloyds Bank, other large US banks and the largest domestic players in telecommunications, banking (ČSOB, KB and others) and healthcare.

In many ways, the Czech company competes with giants like Oracle, IBM, SAS and Informatica. It often succeeds in action due to its speed. “We made the deal with GE in about four months,” outlined Klaus. “When we have the opportunity to showcase our technology to someone, most of them buy it.” Ataccama was also recognized as a visionary in the traditional Magic Quadrant from Gartner and Teradata and others are among its partners.

Growth of dozens of people

The company employs around 65 people in their branches in Prague, Canada, the United States, London, Germany and Russia and is currently trying to get more. “Originally we wanted to get about fifteen people in the current wave, but eventually it will be more,” continued Klaus. “The market is thriving and we want to be more aggressive.”

Its headquarters in Karlín are counting on twenty new employees, and ten at the branch in Toronto. In addition to people for development, they are also looking for qualified people in pre-sales, consultants and technical support. There is not only interest for senior people, as about 50 percent of those newly employed people are graduates, whom the company mentors their growth in the company.

Ataccama is currently at a certain turning point. The company was founded in 2007 as a company set aside for big data from Adastra, specifically based on developing internal tools for working with data in which the leadership has found potential. The new enterprise began to develop applications that aided the expansion of business and the Adastra network itself and is still serving in this role as part of the Adastra Group.

Ataccama is now at a stage where their instruments are being transferred to the cloud as a service (SaaS). So far, it is sold only as a traditional license (the price is based on different modules) where these models are subject to new versions, upgrades and the like. With the transition to the cloud, the annual innovation cycle will now be dramatically shortened and Ataccama’s de­velopment will be built on DevOps.

“We will first transform one module into the cloud, specifically for Reference Data Management. But we will gradually port all parts, which should take about eighteen months,” calculated Klaus.

After three years in the black

There are even more reasons to move to the cloud. First of all, it is modern. It also requires partners to sell Ataccama software, specifically like Infor, for example. “We will probably really convince a lot of customers with the SaaS model, opening a new market segment. But most of all, everyone wants to know if we are going in that direction. We want to be ready when one day even the big banks will reach the cloud. We want to make products even for markets that have are just being created,” continued Klaus.

About 65 percent of sales at Ataccama come from the North American market. Overall, the company has over 250 customers from different countries. Historically, there has been a lot of success in Russia but due to recent events, the situation is somewhat languishing (from the original fifteen people, only a third remain). Plans for the Czechs to move into Asia are not in the pipeline, as it is not part of the current strategy and also due to the lack experience in this region.

In its primary development, Ataccama’s parent company Adastra invested money into it and any future development was funded from the start-up business. “After three years Ataccama is still profitable. Everything is organic growth,” added the president of Adastra Group, Jan Mrázek.

Last year, Ataccama moved to new office space at the Futurama Business Park in Karlín in Prague. There, among other things, it organizes the Hadoop User Group (HUG) meeting. Hadoop is a technology that the company actively uses itself. Ataccama’s plat­forms have grasped very well pure Java and Hadoop from the start. The company wants to run its cloud products on Amazon Web Services.