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The 2014 Tech 50: John Bates
At the CeBIT technology extravaganza in Hannover, Germany, in March, both U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel stopped by the exhibit of Software AG. “That’s how big we are,” says John Bates of the €973 million ($1.3 billion)-in-revenue company. Outside Europe and particularly in capital markets, Darmstadt-based Software AG doesn’t have the brand recognition of the much larger German enterprise-software provider SAP. Bates, 44, and the intelligent-business-operations platform he oversees are changing that. While teaching at the University of Cambridge in the 1990s, Bates was an inventor of complex-event processing, now ubiquitous in algorithmic trading and other high-performance computing operations. Apama, the CEP company he founded, was acquired in 2005 by Bedford, Massachusetts–based Progress Software Corp., where Bates was chief technology officer until the July 2013 sale of Apama to Software AG. Still a CTO, based in the Boston area but spending much of his time on the road, the British-born computer scientist is a key player in Software AG’s push to deliver “smart big data”solutions. Along with the mark Apama and its analytics have made in e-trading, compliance and regulatory surveillance, other Software AG properties, such as Terracotta (in-memory databases and low-latency messaging, acquired in 2011) and JackBe (real-time visualization, 2013), constitute “a new paradigm for high-velocity capital markets applications,” says Bates.