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Cloudera, MongoD: Still digitally transforming biz. Still losing money

Results are in for open-source data software slingers

Open source data software slinger Cloudera drastically slashed net losses in the first quarter of its fiscal new year but only after hacking away at a string of company expenses from R&D to staff costs.

Financials for the three-month period ended 30 April 2018 showed a 29 per cent upward swing in sales to $102.7m with both products subscriptions and services jumping.

“In Q1 we executed the initial elements of our transition plan to position Cloudera to capture a larger portion of the market,” said CEO Tom Reilly in a call with analysts.

“I am very pleased with the performance of our team given the significant changes we initiated in late Q4 and early Q1.”

This work included carving the business into three units - Machine Learning, Analytics and Cloud - with the respective business unit GMs reporting to senior veep for High Growth Businesses, Charles Zedlewski. The company is still in the process of recruiting a new head of sales.

“We know that a transition of field leadership will sharpen our focus on the right customers and prospects, that refining our go-to-market strategy would be hard,” said Reilly.

The organisational revamp, announced late April, came weeks after Cloudera reported fiscal ’18 results for the year ended 31 January showing historically high net losses of $385.8m versus a loss of $187.3m in the prior year.

The makeover will take multiple quarters to complete, the CEO added, and so will take time to feed into any sales increase.

This is not a drill. This is not a drill

Cloudera used that hackneyed phrase, “digital transformation” to explain why its top line was rising, but it didn’t drill down into specifics.

Chief finance bod Jim Frankola did, however, talk up work in one area that is perhaps easier to control: costs.

Total operating expenses dived to $119.7m from $241.8m in the prior year. This included R&D spend dropping by more than a half to $43.6m, sales and marketing costs falling to $59.7m from $110.4m, and general & admin costs being cut to $16.3m from $35.5m.

As a result, operating losses fell to $50.4m compared to a loss of $222.34m a year earlier. After other income and tax was accounted for, Cloudera reported a net loss of $51.04m versus a net loss of $222.31m.

Mongo bongo

Fellow open source software developer MongoDB also revealed numbers for the opening three months of its fiscal ’19 with sales up 49 per cent year-on-year to $48.2m, closing the quarter ended 30 April with 6600 customers, up 83 per cent on Q1 ’18 but only 394 that spent more than $100k with it.

CEO Dev Ittycheria, who also pulled out the digi transformation phrase, said business in the quarter was a "healthy mix of new logo wins and strong upsell activity, both of which include the customers migrating workloads from legacy databases to Mongo DB".

Operating expenses at the business actually grew from $42.99m to $63.76m, leaving MongoDB with an operating loss of $29.28m versus a loss of $19.6m a year earlier. The net loss was largely the same. ®

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