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COLUMN: CPP Associates Is Betting Big On The Future

The hybrid cloud solution provider is making a $1 million investment over the next five years to bring a wide range of breakthrough artificial intelligence data solutions to customers.

CPP Associates, the fast-growing hybrid cloud solution provider, is making a $1 million investment over the next five years to bring a wide range of breakthrough artificial intelligence data solutions to customers.

The $1 million bet is part of the Clinton, N.J.-based company’s heavy investment in a new data intelligence practice that is aimed squarely at bringing heretofore out-of-reach AI solutions to midmarket customers.

“The data intelligence practice is all based around AI, IoT and big data,” said Paul O’Dell, the hard-charging director at CPP. “We are targeting companies with 500 to 5,000 employees with AI-based use cases like fraud detection, business analytics and voice-to-text recognition.”

CPP’s big AI bet is the kind of investment that is a hallmark of the best and brightest solution providers. It is, in fact, the passion, drive and capital investment of entrepreneurs like O’Dell that translate these big technology shifts into real-world customer solutions. CPP calls it helping customers move “closer to the money.”

“We know our AI data intelligence practice will drive productivity, cost savings and ultimately change the customer experience,” he said.

CPP’s big investment involves real-world practical applications that midmarket customers would have a hard time doing on their own. In the case of an orthopedic practice, CPP is working on a voice-to-text capability that will conservatively cut in half the time it takes surgeons to do paperwork.

Among the vendors taking center stage for the CPP practice are Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Kinetica, a high-performance database vendor; and TensorFlow, an open-source machine-learning platform. HPE’s Container-as-a-Service platform with BlueData and MapR is vital to the new data intelligence practice, said O’Dell. That’s because it provides a self-service portal for developers with a shared infrastructure and an emphasis on governance and compliance.

O’Dell credits HPE President and CEO Antonio Neri for providing the AI innovation spark that is bringing the channel into higher-margin markets. “Antonio has great vision on where the market is going,” he said. “Look at everything he has done with the acquisition of SGI and Cray. He’s an engineer at heart. We like that. HPE has made smart acquisitions that give HPE and partners a very differentiated value proposition. This allows us to deliver new value.”

O’Dell sees AI as a “gigantic opportunity” to change the way business is done. In fact, he says, it will impact every business in profound ways. The most successful companies in the world like Amazon, Tesla and others are investing heavily in AI. What’s exciting about CPP is it is bringing it to the midmarket customers who have up until now been left out of the AI conversation. “This is helping these midmarket customers save money or make money in a way they have never done before—that is real value,” said O’Dell. “We think the payback is going to be dramatic.”

Dramatic indeed. Those companies that invest in the AI revolution will thrive. Those that don’t will wither and die.

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