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Andy Grant, director, high-performance computing (HPC) and big data practice, Bull

Andy Grant, director, high-performance computing (HPC) and big data practice, Bull

In a bid to bolster its high performance computing and big data solutions Bull said Wednesday that the company has appointed former IBM executive Andy Grant to the post of director, high-performance computing (HPC) and big data practice. The company said the appointment is a part of its plans to capitalise on convergence of big data and analytics to drive revenues and market share for the businesses.

In his new role Grant will focus on growing the HPC and big data business for Bull in the UK, which has become a more significant priority for the company since its acquisition by Atos a few weeks ago.

At the time Atos’s chairman and chief executive officer Thierry Breton said that the acquisition of Bull, which has HPC and big data expertise – particularly in the life sciences and financial services sector, would better position the company to leverage quickly growing opportunities found at the confluence of big data and high performance computing. The company believes the market for big data services is growing at 40 per cent per year, and is expected to reach €12bn by 2015.

“Our HPC business underpins our entire strategy so this is a key appointment for us. We believe Andy is ideally suited to this critical role.” said Andrew Carr, chief executive officer of Bull UK & Ireland.

“He brings expertise in, and an understanding of, the UK HPC market; customer requirements and the government’s focus on ongoing investment in HPC and big data to help the UK transition to a digital information economy,” he added.

Grant, who spent nine year at IBM as part of a team developing HPC solutions within IBM’s Strategic Growth Business Unit, explained that with the ongoing explosion in big data volumes, HPC solutions will become increasingly relevant across all market sectors – presenting a big opportunity for Bull and Atos.

“As a result, we will witness traditional HPC and analytics architectures coming together – and I see that as a fantastic opportunity for Bull to grow its presence and influence in these markets,” he said.

Before moving to IBM Grant was HPC sales manager, academic and sciences business for Silicon Graphics and before that, research computing manager at the University of Manchester. He currently sits on the E-infrastructure Leadership Council (ELC), a body established by the Science Minister, which advises government on all aspects of IT infrastructure including networks, data stores, computers, software and skills.