Splunk: Can it be a back-end smart home play?

Splunk adds the most value to the industrial and commercial side of the Internet, but there's a case to be made for a smart home application in the future.

Splunk, a big data platform provider, aggregates information from sensors on multiple things — including buildings, trains and datacenter gear. Why not the smart home?

Godfrey Sullivan, CEO of Splunk, said the company adds the most value on the industrial and commercial side of the analytics equation.

The place where we probably offer the most value is more commercial. We are on the server side of that conversation more than we are on the device side so I think we can play a better role on the industrial commercial side of that were we are aggregating lots of different device types.

Does that rule Splunk out as a smart home analytics provider? For now. But consider the following:

  • Appliances makers are increasingly talking smart devices. 
  • Google has a smart home device with its Nest unit and Apple is rumored to follow with its own Internet of things approach. 
  • Multiple tech companies are eyeing smart home applications. 
  • At some point, a homeowner is going to want a platform to ride on top of her various smart sensors around the house. 
  • Splunk could play a unique role in that scenario whether it's white label or its own prosumer offering.

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Godfrey noted that Splunk will rely heavily on partners for specific industries such as utilities and transportation. My hunch is that Splunk could be a unifying analytic tool for smart homes, which will be a hodge podge of sensors and standards for the foreseeable future.

The Splunk CEO's comments came amid a first quarter that delivered strong revenue growth, but also saw expenses rise. The company reported a first quarter net loss of $50.75 million on revenue of $85.9 million, up 50 percent from a year ago. The non-GAAP loss for the first quarter was 4 cents a share.

Splunk's results handily topped Wall Street estimates, which called for a first quarter loss of 2 cents a share on revenue of $80.6 million.



As for the outlook, Splunk, which has 7,400 customers, projected second-quarter revenue between $92 million and $94 million. For fiscal 2015, Splunk is targeting $402 million and $410 million with a non-GAAP operating margin at about break even.

Overall, Splunk has become a multi-product company with Splunk Enterprise, Hunk (an unstructured data Hadoop tool, applications for VMware and Microsoft Exchange, and cloud offerings.