Global Cloud-Computing Leader Discusses Big Data at UM Colloquium, ATG Sponsors Reception

ATG employees

The University of Montana’s leading research and programmatic development in Big Data has gained the attention of a top executive at Salesforce, Peter Coffee, who will be at the university next week to talk about how Big Data is transforming society.

On Monday, Dec. 7, Coffee, vice president for strategic research for Salesforce, will discuss “Big Data Goes to Work: Liberating Latent Value in a Connected World.” The presentation will be held in UM’s School of Business Administration, GBB 106, from 3:10 p.m. to 4 p.m.  A reception will follow from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at UM’s Davidson Honors College Lounge and is sponsored by the Advanced Technology Group Missoula Solutions Center (ATG). The presentation and reception are free and open to the public.

The presentation is part of UM’s Mathematical Sciences Colloquium, organized by Leonid Kalachev, UM professor of mathematical sciences. It will focus on ways data helps businesses document past behaviors, seek opportunities and build predictive tools that have the power to change behaviors and create new value.

With revenue of more than $6 billion annually and a market capitalization of $53 billion, Salesforce has established itself as an undisputed thought leader in cloud-computing and customer relationship management software, according to Tom Stergios, vice president of ATG. A high-tech company in downtown Missoula, much of ATG’s work is done within the Salesforce ecosystem.

Coffee’s presentation at the University of Montana is the result of a conversation that started more than a year ago between Coffee, Kalachev and Brian Steele, one of UM’s math professors involved in teaching Big Data courses, Kalachev said.

In addition to the work done by the mathematics department, UM has established numerous interdisciplinary programs in the Big Data space, including computer science, marketing and management information systems, Kalachev said.

UM’s School of Business Administration offers a certificate degree in Big Data Analytics and is close to finalizing a Master’s of Science in Business Analytics, according to David Firth, a UM professor of management information systems.

Missoula tech company, ATG, has been the beneficiary of numerous graduates from these programs, according to Stergios.

A high-tech firm that does business with multi-million to multi-billion dollar companies throughout the world, ATG is a customer of Salesforce, and most of ATG’s clients are Salesforce customers as well.

ATG has grown rapidly since it opened in 2011 and now has 60-plus employees. More than half of them are fairly recent graduates from the University of Montana’s business school and computer science department.

“The University of Montana has been a key component to ATG’s dramatic growth over the past few years, and much of our work is within the Salesforce ecosystem,” Stergios said. “We are excited to hear what will come out of the collaboration between Salesforce and the University of Montana.”

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