Splunk Lab in Asia Launches to Develop New IT Search Apps

The last two weeks I’ve been traveling throughout Asia with our new partners at Systex and the Splunk Asia team. In Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan we met with government agency, high tech manufacturing, insurance, online gaming and managed service provider customers who told us how critical Splunk is to their IT organizations, especially as budgets get even tighter.

Systex is now our master distributor covering Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. Systex is an amazing company fueled by Taiwanese entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. The company is part distributor, part reseller, part system integrator and part independent software developer. The 2,900 Systex employees are led by CEO Hilo Chen and COO Frank Lin. Hilo did a stint at Yahoo! Asia before joining Systex as CEO. He is a very friendly, engaging and good nature executive who commands the passion of his team. Frank is detail oriented and intense and he has an ability to focus on what seems to be the impossible and get it done.

I’m not used to people pushing faster than I do, but the Systex team are reminding me what start-up speed is all about.

The Systex system integration and software business is fueled by more than 1,400 engineers with deep domain expertise in financial trading and banking systems, network security, database administration, storage, virtualization, disaster recovery, IT service management, telecommunications OSS/BSS, unified communications, business intelligence and more. This past week we unleashed the creativity of more than 400 of those engineers, product managers, sales personnel and business unit heads. We met at a three day kickoff event for the launch of a joint Splunk Lab designed to come up with new areas to apply IT Search and new Splunk Apps for a variety of use cases.

It is our hope that our joint work together will result in lots of new Apps available for download by Splunk users all over the world.

The event started Thursday with a press conference at the Westin in Taipei. We were joined at the press conference by more than three dozen press covering innovation in Asia. We discussed the design of the partnership, the Splunk Lab and some of the joint customers including Allianz Insurance, IAH Games, and The Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office. Allianz is using Splunk to report on F5 Big IP load balancer activities. IAH is mining their online multi-player game events and logs for insight into user patterns and activities including market basket analysis across different game properties. The Malaysian PM’s office uses Splunk to secure their email messaging system.

The press asked some very good questions about various use cases and our strategy for accelerating activities in Asia with Systex. Richard Tang and Johnny Lin attended the event from Systex as well and provided a great overview of how the Splunk Lab is coming together and what kind of solutions Systex is creating around Splunk. Richard has been very patient with me and has taught me enough Mandarin to completely embarrass myself during my last few visits.

On Friday 260 engineers and product managers attended an all day Splunk Boot Camp at the Systex UCOM training center in downtown Taipei. The day was divided into two three and a half hour sessions. Each session covered using, administering and deploying Splunk. There was a brief section on developing Splunk Apps including building of a network management application.

One of the product managers commented to me at the end of the day, “My mind is broken on Splunk, there is so much you can do with it.”

Saturday’s session was the Splunk Lab kickoff event and creative activity attended by 300 business unit heads, sales people, product managers and field sales engineers. I was amazed. We went from 8:30am to 6:30pm on a Saturday. The level of energy was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. Taking the long trip back from Taipei by way of Tokyo, I am just in awe at how two organizations half a world a part have so tightly bonded in just six months. I’m very impressed by the Taiwanese work ethic and dedication.

Kord Campbell, Splunk’s Director of Developer/ISV program gave a great talk on developing Splunk Apps to start the working round tables. Each business unit (twelve in all) spent three hours coming up with ideas for Splunk in their unit including what Splunk Apps they were going to create and which customers they were targeting. The areas included

  • Financial Trading Platforms
  • Banking and ATM Systems
  • Database Serivces
  • Information and Security
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
  • Customer Service
  • Data Management & Integration
  • Unified Communications
  • IT Service Management
  • Education & Training

Teams were judged on several factors including creativity, feasibility, significance to current business and target customer profiles.

The winning team didn’t use slides but instead acted out their presentation in a 15 minute skit. It was wild and reminded me of how dysfunctional most IT organizations are today. Not that we needed reminding :-)

The Financial Services Business Unit was judged the winner. This team has developed market trading platform software in a joint venture with Reuters and explored using Splunk with their quotes and trading solutions and for market compliance. The first scenario involved monitoring TAIFEX, TWSE and OTC trades and examine patterns indicating potential fraudulent activities.

The second scenario showed how IT Search can be applied to troubleshooting the electronic system including buy side, sell side, cash position, web interfaces, trading systems and risk management. Actors in the scenario ranged from investors, web infrastructure managers, dealer groups, trading managers, CRM users and back office personnel. The team called their solution “A Lighthouse in the Dark.”

Perhaps the most interesting integration of Splunk though was the mining of data from the web application platform to determine which features users tapped into and which ones they tried once but never went back to. By examining page views for new functions and correlating those with trade volume deltas the team can continuously monitor the revenue effects of application and site changes.

The Splunk Lab launch has us thinking about how to get other people collaborating to build new applications for IT Search. We’re planning to launch a public site soon that will allow domain experts from all over the world to work together and create great Splunk Apps. So we decided to take the elevator to the top floor of Taipei 101, the world’s tallest building to look for more…

Top Floor at Taipei 101

View to the East of Taipei

Press Conference

Frank Lin, COO, Systex


Robert Lau – Splunk & Emy – Systex

Hilo Chen, CEO, Systex

UCOM Technical Training Center

Kord Campbell – Splunk

Splunk Lab Team Competition

Winning financial services App

A little bit of fun

Taipei 101 – World’s Tallest Building
Posted by