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  • Barron’s
  • Aug 18, 2017

Tom Siebel is Back! A Software Pioneer Explores IoT and A.I.

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By Tiernan Ray, Tech Trader Daily, Barron’s

Tom Siebel, who was employee number 20 at Oracle and later sold his company to Larry Ellison for billions, has a new startup that is riding the convergence of artificial intelligence with the Internet of Things, as the world zooms toward perhaps 50 billion connected sensors by 2023.

Tom Siebel is a legend in enterprise software, having sold his company, Siebel Software, to Larry Ellison’s Oracle (ORCL) in 2006 for $5.8 billion.

You might not immediately suspect that about him in person. His mop of curly hair and his thoughtful expression give him the air of a Bob Dylan of technology, an artist, while his youthful enthusiasm suggests he’s still on the Silicon Valley startup road trip, even though at age 64, he’s seen four decades of the tech world’s evolution.

Unlike many very accomplished people, he deflects from his own ego and endows his peers in tech, such as Ellison, with heaps of praise, calling them “brilliant” “very, very smart,” or “so, so smart."

Siebel recently swung by the Barron’s offices to chat about C3 IoT, his next company…

Read the full article: Tom Siebel is Back! A Software Pioneer Explores IoT and A.I.

Article excerpts:
  • The company is now the largest vendor of IoT applications
  • The C3 technology is a cloud computing service that runs in conjunction with AWS. It allows one to gather all the data sources for a given domain, and perform machine learning to detect patterns that can save industries billions of dollars.
  • [C3 IoT] is a platform for doing A.I. at scale.
  • The showcase customer is Enel, the Italian electric utility, the largest such utility in the world outside of China, involving millions of meters. It also has to monitor the transmission and distribution points in the electric grid, involving technology known as “SCADA” from industrial giants such as Siemens. All this pumps out vast quantities of measurement from sensors by the second. “The velocity of data is very high,” says Siebel.
  • The electrical grid is the perfect test bed for applications at scale, because with all its points of interconnecting pipeline and metering and control systems, it is really the biggest single machine the world has ever seen. The Enel application his company has built is “the largest production IoT app on earth,” he says.
  • One customer is a health care provider covering 125 million people in the U.S. By studying all manner of health records for those individuals, it’s possible to predict individual response to drugs and anticipate things such as potential opioid addiction, and presumably head it off.