Confluent unveils data streaming tech at Kafka Summit 2024, plans expansion in India

Kafka was the highlight of the Kafka Summit 2024, organised by Confluent, where the leadership team introduced the products while also addressing future plans of the company.

Jay Kreps, Founder and CEO, Confluent

At the recent Kafka Summit 2024 in Bangalore, Confluent, the leading data streaming technology company, rolled out a series of innovations aimed at improving real-time data management and analytics. The event was held in Bangalore, where the Confluent leadership team shared new product capabilities, and Jay Kreps, the Founder and CEO of Confluent, shared his vision for Confluent and data streams.

During the keynote, the conversation was majorly focused on Apache Kafka, Kora, the cloud-native engine for Apache Kafka, and Apache Iceberg Sink Connector. It also discussed an open-source project called Flink that processes real-time data as it flows. 

As Chief Product Officer, Shaun Clowes introduced a new line of universal data products, emphasizing adaptability and ease of use. These products, he noted, are intended to transform existing data management challenges into strategic business advantages.

Shaun Clowes, Chief Product Officer, Confluent

“The overall theme is really about what’s emerging in companies, which is when we thought about data and data systems, it’s really been data storage,” said Jay Kreps, Founder and CEO of Confluent, at the Summit while talking about the current need for the solutions Confluent is trying to provide. 

“There’s been all these big database companies that have piles of data that’s sitting still. But increasingly, companies today, there’s lots of applications and they all have some amount of data. So the challenge is how do they all connect and how do all those parts of the business work together in real time.”

Confluent Platform for Apache Flink now supports hybrid solutions, allowing on-prem or private cloud stream processing with expert support, adding flexibility and scalability to data workflows.

CEO Jay Kreps introduced Confluent Tableflow, which simplifies the conversion of streaming data into Apache Iceberg tables, enhancing data analysis capabilities. Kreps stated, “Tableflow works together with the existing capabilities of Confluent’s data streaming platform… to unify the operational and analytical landscape.”

One of the key announcements was the introduction of AI Model Inference. This feature allows businesses to leverage SQL syntax for AI development, streamlining AI and data processing workflows. By enabling real-time, AI-driven decisions, AI Model Inference can significantly enhance business operations and decision-making processes, making it a valuable addition to Confluent’s product portfolio.

In a press briefing, Jay touched upon Confluent’s plans to increase its workforce in India by 25% in 2024 to meet the growing demand for its technologies. The company aims to establish itself firmly in India while targeting significant opportunities in various sectors. By emphasizing partnerships and strategic initiatives, Confluent seeks to enhance its presence and foster growth in the public sector. 

“Nearly 20% of our workforce is now in India. So it’s a very significant investment across pretty much all line of functions,” Jay commented on the current workforce. He added that the market in India is a very substantial investment and one of the fastest growing markets, which only highlights the company’s upcoming growth in India.  

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