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DataRobot acquisition of ParallelM to enhance AI management

DataRobot machine learning tools should see a boost following the company's acquisition of ParallelM, a startup with tools for deploying, managing and monitoring AI.

DataRobot acquired ParallelM, a startup vendor of a machine learning model management, deployment and monitoring platform, in a move to give users more control over their AI lifecycles.

It's the fourth DataRobot acquisition in two years. The machine learning and data science vendor made its latest purchase in February 2019, when it bought collaborative data platform Cursor.

The deal, revealed June 20, comes amid a spate of major software acquisitions, some of them multibillion-dollar deals such as Google's acquisition of Looker and Salesforce's purchase of Tableau.

The price of the DataRobot acquisition of ParallelM, a privately funded company founded in 2016, was not disclosed. DataRobot is also privately held.

Complementary products

For DataRobot, the acquisition will help strengthen its machine learning capabilities and helps put DataRobot into a better space for production, said Dave Schubmehl, research director for AI software platforms, content analytics and discovery systems at IDC.

The acquisition makes a lot of sense for DataRobot.
Dave SchubmehlResearch director for AI software platforms, content analytics and discovery systems at IDC

"The acquisition makes a lot of sense for DataRobot, and I think it puts them into a good space in the marketplace," he said. "We're seeing a lot of people move to experimentation to production now [with machine learning]."

The MCenter platform, ParallelM's featured product, enables users to create a rule-based environment to more easily track and manage their data and machine learning models in real time. Collaborations with infrastructures such as Apache Spark, Kubernetes and TensorFlow also ease model deployment for MCenter users.

ParallelM, named a "cool vendor in data science and machine learning" by Gartner last year, has long been a partner of DataRobot, offering integrations with DataRobot's machine learning and data science platform.

DataRobot, ParallelM, Jeremy Achin, Sivan Metzger, DataRobot acquisition of ParallelM
DataRobot CEO Jeremy Achin and ParallelM CEO Sivan Metzger

"We are working on a product integration plan that will include parts of what ParallelM has built and some items that DataRobot has built to create our new MLOps [machine learning and operations] product," said Sivan Metzger, CEO of ParallelM, based in Sunnyvale, Calif.

With the acquisition, DataRobot will expand its platform's model monitoring, management and governance capabilities, Metzger said.

DataRobot will continue to support ParallelM customers while the vendors integrate technologies, he added.

ParallelM has also partnered with other companies in the past, including H20.ai. Schubmehl noted he is interested to see if ParallelM will continue support for those partnerships.

Staying ahead of the market

The acquisition, along with DataRobot's other recent purchases, puts the company in a good position among independent AI vendors, Schubmehl said.

The pickups of other complementary vendors "make sense if DataRobot wants to be one of those top five vendors going forward in the machine learning platforms area," he said. He added that, over the next several years, DataRobot has the potential to become one of those top vendors.

"They're definitely making the right moves," he said.

As of June 20, all ParallelM employees have become DataRobot employees.

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