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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2018

A Game-Changing Approach: Guavus, a Thales Company, Is Providing the Ability and the Intelligence to Manage Big Data and Take Decisive Actions in Real Time


Over the past few years, the Internet has drastically changed how businesses operate, governments function, and people live. With all the advancement in the Web, a new technology has come into the scenario - “Big Data.” Big data is nothing but a large body of information; it starts with the fact that there is a lot more information floating all across the web and it is being put to prodigious uses.

In 2006, there were a number of use cases that started with the analysis of large volumes of network data at service providers. Service providers are the largest generators of data and hence the opportunities to use massive amounts of data to transform their operations were very welcome. This was the time when big data was progressing up the hype cycle without tangible real-world use cases that could provide insight to transform operations.

An ingenious mind, Anukool Lakhina, came up with a way to leverage data and founded Guavus in 2006. Since the inception, Guavus has been at the forefront of streaming big data analytics innovation and the company has been successful in determining how to utilize data. Today, it attracts the top tier carrier service providers (CSPs) seeking to transform their business operations and is known as a business transformational leader in AI-powered data analytics.

“We fundamentally believe that in order for businesses to become truly data-driven enterprises there needs to be a new model for analyzing the massive petabytes of data that are being generated on networks,” says Anukool. “By enabling service providers, enterprises and governments to analyze data the instant it’s captured, we provide our customers the unique ability to be decisive in today’s data-driven world.”

In-Conversation with the Leaders, Faizel and Anukool:

Q. What challenges did you face in Guavus’ initial years?

Guavus is based in Silicon Valley and one of the interesting things about the Valley is that it is built on a culture of disruption. In big data the disruption comes from the optimization of operations. Now, machines can make some decisions faster than humans which was a huge shift.

Leveraging the power of AI, businesses can predict the needs of their customers and tailor their products and services based on the derived behavioral insights. But, there was a huge problem; explaining or educating the customers that with data, the machine can actually tell what's wrong when it wasn't obvious to the humans.

Q. How has the customer feedback been over the years and how do you retain your customers who were with you from the very beginning?

If you look at the evolution of Guavus, the customers started with very basic problems such as capacity planning and data collection. And as our technologies went into place, the customer's needs shifted like the Maslow's hierarchy of needs and we also continued to enhance our products and services. Our solutions have resulted in huge cost savings and new revenue for them and that has been the biggest recipe for why our customers have been with us for the longest time.

Q. How do your products drive innovation in your customers’ business?

Innovation is needed to drive an exponential change in business operations, where you are not seeking 10-20% improvements, rather 200-400% or better. This rests on utilizing data and insights with the ability to react like the human brain, in real-time.

Creating a technology that leverages a large volume of historical, stored data and combines that with what is happening at the moment to make great decisions, is the basis of great AI systems. By combining this with Guavus’ ability to understand data and gain actionable insights, this allows for a transformational technology and thus the basis of innovation.

Q.To be one the most ‘innovative’ companies, employees must think like innovators; employees need to feel they have a decent outlet for sharing their observations and ideas. Is this true with your company?

Innovation is often based on risk and out-of-the-box thinking. Risks that enable innovation foster an environment that accepts and embraces lessons learned and this ideology is at the heart of Silicon Valley, where Guavus is based, and hence we extend it to all aspects of our business.

We at Guavus don’t focus on failure. Rather, we focus on the learnings and reward those who take chances to stretch the bounds of what’s possible to achieve truly transformative technology that helps solve huge problems for our customers.

Q. What Makes Guavus one of the most innovative companies in the industry?

Digital Transformation is the latest buzzword and Guavus has been transforming service provider operations for over a decade. The digital transformations we have enabled resulted in billions of dollars in cost reductions and new revenue sources across the telecommunications industry. This ideology to use big data and apply it to unique transformations by using AI and reasoning is Guavus’ strength. And I believe that definitely makes us one of the most ‘Innovative’ firms right now.

Crafting the Future Roadmap

Being a leader in the area of transforming business operations, Guavus keeps innovation at the top of its priority list. With its top-tier products solving the critical pain-points for their clients, the company has proved its worth in the industry.

Guavus recently launched a high performance, high volume, and high variety software analytics fabric for big data called Reflex®. Reflex works with standard Hadoop distributions and adds a real-time decision making capability to rapidly build transformational applications for large, complex, high transaction infrastructures.

Looking at the future of Guavus, the company believes that it is going to be stronger in the area extending beyond service providers into this internet driven world. Guavus will supply real-world AI applications across all across the Internet of Things marketplace.

Meet the Guavus Leaders

Faizel Lakhani, CEO: Faizel has extensive experience in data security, network security, switching, and routing in both enterprise and service provider markets. Prior to Guavus Faizel was the President, COO and Board Member at SS8, a network intelligence company. Prior to SS8, he was the Vice President of Data Loss Prevention at McAfee.

Faizel holds an MBA from The University of Ottawa, an MS in Engineering from Carleton University, and a BS in Engineering from McMaster University.


Dr. Anukool Lakhina, Founder and President: Anukool brings two decades of thought leadership in large-scale data analytics and has published more than a dozen papers on the subject. His Ph.D. dissertation put forth the theory and algorithms for streaming analytics on high-dimensional data, which forms the basis for the technology at Guavus.

Anukool holds a B.S., M.S. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Boston University.

“We're not the better cheaper, faster version of something but we are a technology that changes fundamentally how business is operated.”