Cloudera and Hortonworks jointly announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which the companies will combine in an all-stock merger of equals. Under the terms of the agreement, Cloudera stockholders will own approximately 60% of the equity of the combined company and Hortonworks stockholders will own 40%. While both have been fierce competitors, this merger (if approved) will raise the bar on innovation in the big data space, especially in supporting an end-to-end big data strategy in a hybrid and multicloud environment.

We believe that it’s a win-win situation for customers, partners, and the vendors. This merger will help:

  1. Create an end-to-end cloud big data management offering. We see that cloud big data management platforms are still evolving, especially when it comes to end-to-end support for multicloud in the area of storage, integration, metadata, transformation, and governance. We believe that a combined platform will help overcome this gap based on their solution offering.
  2. Deliver a comprehensive big data fabric environment. While Hortonworks has evolved its data fabric strategy over the years with support for hybrid and multicloud fabric in the areas of administration, integration, and management, it complements well with Cloudera’s AI/ML offering that focuses on intelligence and self-service areas — an area critical for fabric to gain mass adoption.
  3. Support broader services to support complex deployments. Hortonworks has built the company based on open source software and strong services as its foundation. Together, Cloudera and Hortonworks are likely to create an even more broader services offering that will benefit customers to support even more complex and larger big data initiatives.
  4. Create a more powerful Hadoop/Spark (HARK) offering. Forrester has evaluated Hortonworks and Cloudera in several Forrester Waves™ in the past — big data Hadoop distributions, big data Hadoop cloud solutions, big data warehouse, big data fabric — and they are currently in the Hadoop/Spark platforms Now Tech. Overall, both have a good offering, but with a combined release in the future, we expect an even more powerful Hadoop/Spark offering in the areas of security, integration, streaming, and management.
  5. Deliver a data warehouse that’s highly automated. We estimate that 7% of organizations have completely migrated their traditional data warehouses to big data platforms. The merger will help evolve their data platforms to support a more comprehensive data warehouse strategy that’s easier to migrate and support, especially in the hybrid-cloud environment.

This merger will benefit all, including:

  1. Customers. With unified big data platform that’s end-to-end and supporting hybrid and multicloud, customers will get an even more advanced product offering, especially in the areas of AI/ML-driven data platforms. This will help customers deploy even more use cases and adopt cloud environments faster.
  2. Partners. With a broader unified big data platform, this merger will help partners support new solutions that cater to specific vertical industries and help support migrations with minimal effort.
  3. Vendors. Both companies, when combined, are likely to grow more quickly and compete against traditional platform and cloud vendors.
  4. And, of course, investors.