Coffee with Cloudera Partners: Intel

Meet Angela Gill and Gina Mcfarland, the powerhouse duo leading the Intel/Cloudera relationship. Angela brings technical expertise, while Gina drives the business strategy. By bringing together Intel, a world leader in computing innovation, and Cloudera, the leader in enterprise analytic data management, Cloudera and Intel are able to accelerate the pace of innovation and deliver customer value on an industry-leading platform.

Since this is Coffee with Cloudera Partners, what’s your morning pick-me-up drink?

Angela: I was a young and impressionable college freshman and wanted to look like the intellectuals who wore Birkenstocks and socks as they made their way across the snowy UofM campus and sipped from steaming mugs at the local coffee shop in Ann Arbor, MI.  So one day I decided to hang out at the coffee shop and order coffee for the very first time–a double espresso.  Never again!  Since then, straight water, preferably room temp is what works for me.  If I’m being extra, I’ll heat it up and add lemon :).    

Gina: Actually… I need two drinks to start my day.  First one is hot water with lemon and cinnamon.  Next, and perhaps the most crucial one, I need coffee!  The first one just makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my insides.  The second one helps my brain start working!

What makes Intel’s partnership with Cloudera unique? 

Angela: Intel and Cloudera work very closely together from a technical standpoint and a business standpoint to solve problems, give customers choices and offer solutions.  CDP Private Cloud is just one example of a solution that we’ve partnered on to bring the value of the public cloud to private data centers.   

What were some of the biggest challenges you had making this partnership so successful, how did you and the team overcome them?

Angela: Initially people didn’t understand why Intel, a perceived hardware company, would care so much about software.  We have made significant technical investments to ensure Cloudera’s platform is optimized to run best on Intel architecture to offer true value to customers.  We’ve gotten better at finding the overlap between what our customers are telling us they need and what Cloudera’s customers are telling them so that we develop joint solutions that truly help customer’s reach their goals. 

How has the partnership evolved from inception till now, and where do you see it going in the next 5yrs?

Angela: We’ve become better at listening to one another and we understand how our companies work so that we are better at navigating and getting things done. The relationship is stronger because it has been tested on several levels with successes and failures. Our conversations are more candid and we focus our joint efforts on doing what’s important for our customers.This comes with years of building rapport. Over the next 5 years we’re going to get more efficient at bringing our product portfolios together to create data solutions in Artificial Intelligence, 5G, and Edge Computing to help our customers succeed.

What are you most proud about in your current role?

Angela: That I look for the win-win-win.  Meaning that what Cloudera and Intel deliver must benefit our mutual customers AND each company.  If one entity is not served, then we won’t succeed as an alliance.  We have a saying in my family that I apply to my work with various partners, “It has to work for everybody!”   

Gina: I’ve been with Intel over 20 years – and I’ve had a LOT of different roles throughout that time.  I can honestly say — my current role is by far my favorite!  My answer is similar to Angela’s.  We’re working with ISV partners to help their products perform optimally on Intel technologies to benefit our mutual customers.  Our goal is to understand the ISVs strategy and see how Intel’s vast amount of resources – including engineering, ecosystem partnerships, and market reach can help another company (as well as Intel) be successful.  Win-win-win!  

How did you reach your level of success, given the sector’s gender gap, especially among leadership? 

Angela: I dare not stop to think about reaching a level of success because I may become complacent and actually start thinking I’ve arrived.  I’ll keep championing women and making room for many different voices to be heard so that ultimately we make better products and solutions and we all are better for it.  

Gina: Perseverance, adaptability, and authenticity.  Being at a company for 20 years, I’ve seen a lot of change.  Changes that came from re-orgs or changes I initiated.  I know I’m a person that likes to continuously learn, challenge myself, and I want to work in a role that matches my talents and passions.  I’ve persevered through new leaders, new teams, challenging personalities and goals, ambiguity, etc etc.  I recognize the fulfillment I get from sticking things out and accomplishing results.  I also recognize that I really care about the people I work with.  I want to know what drives them and figure out how best to work with them to achieve a common goal.  Intel is so full of amazing people – super smart, driven people!  I did not start my career with the goal of climbing the ladder.  I’ve always looked at my job as a way to grow myself as a person and expand my view of the world – Intel has helped me do that through its people, constant innovation, and its global impact.   










A huge thank you to Gina and Angela for taking the time to discuss the Intel and Cloudera partnership. If you are interested in learning more about our other partners or team members, check out some of our other interviews. 

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