A key figure at Silicon Valley firm Actian says the secret sauce of ‘personaliation’ drove rapid expansion at tech giants such as Uber.

John Bard, senior director of product marketing at the data analytics firm, pointed to cloud technology and its ability to build personal relationships with customers as the key driver.

“The more information you have about your customers and the more personalised you can make your offers, the more that can affect your growth and your competitiveness in the marketplace,” he told BusinessCloud.

“[You can see this from the] disruptions caused by companies like Uber and Airbnb, and earlier companies like Netflix and Amazon.

“That's the power that analytics can offer companies: for example, mobile phone companies are fighting over every customer and trying to expand their relationship with their customers from voice services to data.

“The more information they have about their customers and the more they can put appropriate offers in front of them to get them to expand their business relationship with them, the better.”

Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, the company has a major development base in Egham, Surrey, and is now expanding its UK team as it aims to help more companies prepare for the cloud on these shores.

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John Bard

Actian, which was acquired by India-based technology company HCL for $330 million last year, also has bases in Texas and Germany, with around 300 employees worldwide.

Bard (pictured above) said not all companies are ready for their data to be moved to the cloud, but should have it as their long-term goal.

“It's hard to say that there are companies that should not be in the cloud – although I don't think every application and every function will be there,” he said.

“They need to assess their readiness for the cloud but should have a long-term plan to get to there.

“We were talking to somebody in business and it became very clear they weren't ready for it, they didn't have the governance and the internal processes that would allow them to move their data from their data centre.

“From a security standpoint and from a data management standpoint they just weren't ready, but longer term they could be – so in the shorter term they could deploy a service like ours on their own servers and data centre but then as they develop those governance policies and the security capabilities, they could move it to the cloud.”