Jeff Kennedy, Federal Sales Director at Kinetica, joined the Telekinesis podcast to discuss his career in technology, his love for the outdoors, and navigating the new normal while sheltering in place. Check out the highlights below:
On Kinetica’s work with the State Department for Earth Challenge 2020 (4:40):
Kennedy: “We’re looking at things like climate change, pollution, all the things associated with the planet to try and keep the planet healthy. The State Department is pretty integrated into this through the greening diplomacy initiatives that they have worldwide. We were fortunate enough to get involved early and have Kinetica as the baseline architecture database, the information ingest point for data that citizen scientists were putting live into Kinetica yesterday.
So they’re downloading apps, taking pictures of trash and pollution, uploading it, and in real time, we could see results around the world of what was going on and people cleaning up plastics and recycling them. It was pretty fascinating.
And the other thing is, as we’re collecting data, what’s going to happen is we’re opening up the API so that citizen scientists can take the data out of Kinetica, putting it into some of their own models if they want, make updates, adjust the metadata, and then recycle the data back in. So it’s going to be a growing platform.”
On building a federal sales team (9:50):
Kennedy: “At Oracle I was working with the federal group, thinking, how do we supercharge the revenue inside Oracle? It was that we need to build an ecosystem. We need to have contractors and the big federal systems integrators. We need these guys all on our team, all integrated together so that any agency we go after, we want to provide a solution. We’ve got service personnel, I’ve got contracts, I can execute. That’s where this kind of model came together. Today, Kinetica, we’re building out the ecosystem that supports our engagements with customers to solve their big problems.”
On advice to a young sales person in the public sector world (10:50):
Kennedy: “It’s not for everybody, the sales cycles tend to be long or at least traditionally you think they’re long because there’s multiple cycles. The selling cycle is the easiest cycle. The acquisition cycle is harder in a lot of cases and so you have to kind of thread the needle on those. So if you’re partner friendly, if you’re a multifaceted sales thinker, you’re going to be fine. If you try to do everything on your own, it’s not going to work out that well. You might get lucky, but it’s just harder to do.”
On where Kinetica provides value in the public sector (12:15):
Kennedy: “I think we’re at a very interesting place in government. Our federal government has most likely, more geospatial data than any other organization or market in the world. Most of that is untapped. So if you’re looking at things like service to the citizen or public safety or looking at where money’s being misused. In all of these cases, that data exists, but there’s nobody that’s been able to do the data fusion, data correlation, and to do it at scale.
We’re in a place where we can do that now. One thing that’s kind of hard is that we actually have a platform that can solve so many problems, that we have to be careful about where we focus and just narrow in on the right use cases.
I look at a couple of things I want to tie together. And if they’re not tied together, then I’m not interested. So one, it has to be geospatial. I want to have interactive maps that a business analyst or an operations specialist is going to be using. I want to have AI / ML models that need to be deployed at scale in an operational setting. And it has to be just an immense amount of data that is coming off of sensors or IoT. Those three things together, there’s nobody that can beat us.”