On InterSystems Virtual Summit 2021. Q&A with Scott Gnau

Q1. What is new at this year’s Summit? 

This year was our second annual Virtual Summit and we were excited to bring a plethora of keynotes and on-demand sessions that touch on how data is evolving and demonstrate the value tucked inside InterSystems data platforms. 

To put some context behind this, data supply is exploding across every industry, to the tune of 2.5 quintillion bytesdaily. From financial services to healthcare to supply and logistics, our activities are generating new and more useful information in larger volumes.

Meanwhile, our data-centric society’s expectations for experience are extremely high. Everyone wants to leverage and monetize all this new data, coming from smart devices and everywhere else. And as the cloud becomes pervasive, our ability to store and process information is less expensive and more streamlined. This trend is creating a microservices environment in which any organization can gather data, build an app, and start deriving insights.

Despite these challenges, some organizations are making data-driven decisions at scale. This year’s Virtual Summit focused on how smart data fabrics can provide the foundation of all innovation through a consistent, accurate, real-time view across enterprise data assets. We explored real-world stories from experts across various industries such as healthcare, financial services, and supply chain about how they’re addressing these net new data challenges in a far more connected world. Over the past few years, we released a series of capabilities, from analytics everywhere to new cloud footprints that we were excited to share with everyone. Spreading game-changing knowledge is the best way to push innovation, and that’s exactly what we’ve done with this year’s Summit.

Q2. What are you presenting at the Summit?

As we all know, businesses are awash with data. It could be data from third parties that we consume, cloud-based solutions, and even public data – social, government, or online news. All of this data surrounds us and it can be siloed, which makes it very difficult to consume. Siloed data can be department-specific; it can be less timely, and there are more silos being created every day. Furthermore, we now have new kinds of data, from ERP data and images, to sound, web logs, and much more. We also have new kinds of analytics, from traditional BI and online analytical processing, to machine learning, deep learning, and statistical analysis. That, combined with the volatility of growing data volumes and the many external disruptions – economic, political, the pandemic – we face today, effectively leveraging all of this data has become a major challenge.

Meanwhile, data-driven insights have become more important than ever. Consumers are now connected and have very high expectations of what we deliver to them. That means our offers have to have relevance and timeliness to be considered – but getting from point A to point B successfully has grown immensely in complexity. 

In my keynote, I discussed examples of business users across various industries, from financial services to healthcare and supply chain, and how they’re handling these new data challenges. I dug into how new kinds of data and new kinds of analytics we see today are pushing a shift away from traditional approaches to data management. 

One of the main points I wanted to drive home is how, despite growing in popularity over the last year, data lakes and cloud data warehouses aren’t always the solution to these challenges that people think they are. I discussed how building a data lake or moving your data warehouse to the cloud is like putting a shiny new interior in a 1972 Gremlin – it’s likely going to be a much better experience, but it might not actually get you to your destination because of these new types of data, analytics, and timeliness requirements I mentioned before.

From there, I shared our new product vision around smart data fabric and why this approach is better suited for these net new requirements and factors. I went over the basic construct of smart data fabric to set up Jeff Fried’s talk about all the new things we’re building into our data platform and the technology enablers that can help organizations on their path to success.

Q3. Do you have any relevant resources to share?

We had a really amazing line-up of keynotes and focus sessions, which you can access on-demand at anytime here

If you’re interested in learning more about InterSystems and what we’re focused on, our PULSE and Data Excellence blogs provide a plethora of resources and information. And if you’re interested in checking out our InterSystems IRIS data platform, you can try it for free here.

Q4. Anything else you wish to add?

If you’re an InterSystems partner, I’d bet that your data platform contains untapped potential. Many are learning that they already have the technology required to build a smart data fabric, which provides the foundation of all innovation through a consistent, accurate, real-time view across enterprise data assets. Over the past few years, we released a number of capabilities, from analytics everywhere to new cloud footprints. They’re available to you today, free of charge, to improve your insights.

If you’re not yet an InterSystems partner, check out these impressive results to get a sense of what we’re helping our customers accomplish:

  • Mondial Tissus: By leveraging InterSystems IRIS, France’s largest network of fabric and sewing supply stores digitized 100 stores, equipped its salesforce with 800 smart devices, and took control over its inventory of 50,000 products. All of this required no administration — a win for the four-person IT department that oversees 98 remote databases.
  • Amcare Women’s and Children’s Hospital Group: This Beijing-based healthcare organization achieved deeper operational insights and stronger decision-making through an InterSystems data platform, which delivered real-time, aggregated, normalized, healthy data.
  • Financial Center First Credit Union: To integrate data and execute machine-learning based predictive models from more than 30 different behavioral metrics, this Indiana-based cooperative credit union relied on the Customer 360 solution, powered by InterSystems technology. As a result, real-time insights and subsequent customer outreach enabled FCFCU to break three sales records and achieve a 57% increase in loan production compared to the prior year.

These are the kinds of real-world stories that have a way of spreading game-changing knowledge, and that’s precisely what we covered at InterSystems Virtual Summit 2021. That’s why I’m thrilled to have seen such a great turnout at this year’s Virtual Summit. After all, learning from other industry leaders is what might just inspire you to kick the liftgate and open the hatch to what’s possible. Check out our on-demand sessions to learn more!


Scott Gnau, VP Data Platform , InterSystems

Scott Gnau joined InterSystems in 2019 as Vice President of Data Platforms, overseeing the development, management, and sales of the InterSystems IRIS™ family of data platforms. Gnau brings more than 20 years of experience in the data management space helping lead technology and data architecture initiatives for enterprise-level organizations. He joins InterSystems from HortonWorks, where he served as chief technology officer. Prior to Hortonworks, Gnau spent two decades at Teradata in increasingly senior roles, including serving as president of Teradata Labs. Gnau holds a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University.

Sponsored by InterSystems

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