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50 Fastest Growing Tech Companies 2015

Where Neuroscience meets Data Science: Saffron

Inspired by the human brain to build Saffron’s associative memory technology, Saffron was founded in 1999 by Jim Fleming and a neuroscientist, Dr. Manny Aparicio. By utilizing the concepts of association memory – autonomously learning about associations and their frequencies – Saffron has baked in the best data science available by providing the ability to learn, adapt and anticipate as new data arrives, in real time. What that means for companies is that the tool is designed for business users, not technical data scientists, making it intuitive and easy to find insights.

A hybrid of machine learning, artificial intelligence and advanced analytics, Saffron is experiencing rapid growth in the nascent market of enterprise cognitive computing. Specific to enterprise organizations and its direct sales efforts, Saffron’s go-to-market strategy is focused on: launching repeatable solutions for organizations principally focused on the industrial internet to provide distributed and collective intelligence across devices and systems of systems. Saffron’s Natural Intelligence PlatformTM is a hosted cloud analytics service capable of learning and unifying knowledge from data stored “anywhere” – in the cloud, on premise, or on the device – without relocating the data.

Saffron’s patented technology is best suited for challenges involving disparate, multidimensional, dynamic data sets. Its associative memory technology learns, remembers and reasons in real-time to understand the connections between people, places, things, issues, defects, products, customer requests and more. By capturing the context and frequency of connections between people, places and things in the data, Saffron offers customers the first combined semantic and statistical knowledge store with autonomous learning for big data analysis. With this fundamentally different approach to memory and learning Saffron shatters the limitations of other computing paradigms.

Building upon the unique capabilities of the Natural Intelligence Platform, Saffron recently released SaffronStreamline TM for the resolution of issues and defects in product and application lifecycle management. By providing a unified knowledge layer above the entire lifecycle, SaffronStreamline integrates with popular cloud-hosted testing systems such as Jira and Bugzilla, open source tools such as StackOverflow and API develops connectors for PLM tools such as Siemens, HP and SAP.

Driving innovation to attain new heights
Since inception, Saffron has flipped the traditional analytics platform on its head. Quickly attracting the attention of the government, Saffron cut its teeth finding bad guys doing bad things across mountains of disparate data and difficult aliases. That unique ability to combine statistics and semantics excelled not only in government arenas, but also in the private sector. Saffron is implemented in private industries from leading aeronautics manufacturers to gas and oil providers to the leading insurance and financial services players and high-tech chip manufacturers.

“From the knowledge we’ve gained in predictive maintenance to fraud detection and issue and defect resolution, we developed our latest application, SaffronStreamline. Built on our cognitive platform, Streamline is a cutting-edge product designed to detect issues and defects in the product lifecycle, while pointing the engineering department to a possible resolution”, says team Saffron.

By fusing Product and Application Lifecycle Management into Customer Lifecycle Management, , the company serves as leaders in operational intelligence and decision support in manufacturing, financial services, energy, healthcare and defense.

As a cognitive solution, Saffron plays in the same sandbox as IBM Watson, but with a very different approach. “It isn’t a ‘fact and answer’ tool, it doesn’t require an army of engineers to implement and maintain the data science, business users can easily exploit their own data and frankly we cost much less”, says team Saffron.

Challenges are the key to the future lying ahead
“We have a platform that is so versatile, it’s extensibility is it’s own challenge. If you have copious amount of structured and unstructured data, you need Saffron and since almost all companies and verticals are dealing with this growing challenge, we are the “vitamin” they need to continue making critical decisions in real-time. But we also recognized that we needed to create the “aspirin” to accompany the “vitamin” – a series of targeted applications to solve specific challenges. SaffronStreamline is our first release to address this aspiration, specifically focusing on fusing intelligence across PLM and ALM applications to drive better, more accurate decisions for issue resolution”, believes team Saffron.

With its future focus on developing targeted applications on top of its platform technology, specifically SaffronStreamline, Saffron aims to position itself as the operational intelligence solution for Product and Application Lifecycle Management, shortening the time for new products to get to market and driving higher quality products. The result is tens of millions of dollars being saved and more market opportunity seized.

“By the end of 2015 Saffron will be the leader in connecting product lifecycle management and application lifecycle management for smart asset and device manufacturers. In addition to developing key relationships with new strategic customer accounts, we are developing strategic market relationships with product lifecycle management companies and large system integrators. By the end of 2015, Saffron Streamline will be the intelligence fabric across existing PLM and ALM tools”, they add.

Knowing the Key Executives Dr Manny Aparicio Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder
Saffron’s CTO and the visionary behind Saffron’s associative memory technology. With more than 25 years experience in the industrial development and commercialization of software solutions supporting real intelligence for intelligent agents, Aparicio has long been an evangelist for broad adoption of associative-memory technology.

Prior to Saffron, Aparicio was Chief Scientist of the IBM Knowledge Management & Intelligent Agent Center. At IBM, he and Jim Fleming, Co-Founder and Chief Software Engineer of Saffron, worked on the development and commercialization of associative memory systems. Aparicio also served on the Board of Directors for The Agent Society and the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents, an international standards body.

Aparicio holds several patents for memory-based technology, and has published numerous papers and journal articles. For example, he wrote “Concepts of Personalization” for The Practical Handbook of Internet Computing, and “Learning by Collaborative and Individual-based Recommendation Agents” in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the latter co-authored with Dr. Dan Ariely, a leading marketing economist. He co-edited Neural Networks for Knowledge Representation and Inference and is now writing Making Memories: Applying Neuron-inspired Associative Memories to National, Business, and Consumer Intelligence.

Aparicio formed Saffron in 1999, serves on Saffron’s Board of Directors and currently serves as an executive advisor to TigerSwan, Inc. A frequent speaker and guest lecturer, Aparicio is an alumnus of the University of South Florida, where he earned a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, with a focus on biologically based neuro-computing.

Jim Fleming- Chief Software Engineer & Co-Founder
Fleming leads Saffron’s research and development in Associative Memory Technology and is Chief Software Engineer for the SaffronMemoryBase®, the company’s core intellectual property and the company’s flagship product. Fleming’s engineering leadership has resulted in Saffron becoming the world’s first commercially scalable associative memory analytic platform. Prior to founding Saffron Technology, Fleming worked for IBM, Lotus/cc:Mail and Microsoft’s PowerPoint division. He is an alumnus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he earned his bachelor of science in computer science.

Gayle Sheppard CEO & Chairman
As CEO and Chairman, Sheppard is responsible for Saffron’s corporate vision, market focus and fundamental company direction. Prior to joining Saffron as CEO, She worked with Saffron’s founders and customers as its Executive Chair of the Board of Directors, before which she worked extensively in around the world to automate and update the world’s supply chains. Sheppard served as the VP and MD at PeopleSoft, Inc., CEO and President of MarketMile LLC (now part of Rearden Commerce) – an American Express, Kleiner Perkins and Bain Capital Funded Start-Up, VP – Worldwide Sales, J.D.Edwards& Company, President and GM, J.D. Edwards Japan, K.K., and VP – Sales and Marketing, J.D.Edwards Asia Pacific Ltd. Sheppard also serves on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Life and Sciences Museum, dedicated to life long learning in science and technology and is a Charter Member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) – Carolinas; the world’s largest non-profit entrepreneurial organization.

She is a graduate of the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, where she received a B.S., Business Administration. “A simple approach to complex data. No rules. No Models. The Data Science Inside.”