15 Years Loving Graphs: Big Congrats & Thanks to Our Italian Partner LARUS

I just returned from Venice, where enjoyed not only the weather and food but …​

On the first day, we had presentations and workshops with students at the University of Venice, hearing from researchers and practitioners how graph analytics will shape the future.

On the main conference day, we saw presentations from partners and customers of LARUS as well as guests from Neo4j in a historical Venetian setting.

LARUS BA, a Neo4j Partner in Venice, Italy, just celebrated their 15th anniversary

And thanks to Olimpia’s tip, I was able to see da Vinci’s “Vetruvian Man” and other rare drawings for real in the Accademia Gallery. It was amazing. I missed Bansky though 🙁

Looking into the Past

I had first contact with Lorenzo Speranzoni, the founder of LARUS BA from Venice, Italy, about 5 years ago when he captured the life-journey of Vincent van Gogh in a Neo4j graph. Lorenzo was using Spring Data Neo4j for the application side of it and being the project lead for SDN back then, I reached out about potential collaboration.

Our collaboration was very fruitful, it lead to a joint presentation at SpringOne 2016 in Dallas, TX.

Since then, I have enjoyed not only working with LARUS as a partner but also the friendship with Lorenzo, his family and employees.

venedig micha

We visited them several times in Venice and even had the honor to take part in their Venetian wedding in 2017.

But Lorenzo’s love for graph databases and Neo4j reaches back much longer. In 2014, he met Jim Webber during a presentation in Italy and heard about the wonders of Neo4j.

larus neo4j

The discussion with Jim got Lorenzo hooked, and in 2015, Stefan Armbruster helped with training the LARUS team. As a result, LARUS became the first Neo4j Partner, Training Partner and Solutions provider.

Their teams worked on a number of Neo4j client projects, including Cerved – a main provider of clearing information – and Banca Mediolanum.

The Present

Since those early days a lot has happend.

In 2017, LARUS started to take over responsibility for some of our open source projects, starting with the Neo4j JDBC driver. The work has expanded much more since, and we’re happy that the team from LARUS helps Neo4j Labs along the way.

I’m working with folks from LARUS on a daily basis, especially Andrea Santurbano, the author of the graph and Neo4j integration in Apache Zeppelin.

As part of our partnership and contract-based development, they have contributed major parts to important Neo4j Labs projects, such as:
During the event, several of LARUS’ Italian partners and customers showed applications and use-cases which were really impressive, including:
    • RIOS – Rete Italiana Open Source
    • Serena Arrighi, CEO of Bnova
    • Stefano Pampaloni, CEO of Seacom
    • Pedro Parraguez, CEO of Dataverz
    • Alessandro Scuderetti, Data Architect at Banca Mediolanum
    • Nunzio Pellegrino, Senior Data Scientist at Cerved
    • Matteo Gatti, Head of Business Information Services at Innolva
    • Matthieu Besozzi, Partnerships Manager at Linkurious

Find out all about the event and the slides for the presentations here: https://www.larus-ba.it/larus15/

And the Future

LARUS is extending their engagement in graph-based customer projects with larger organizations and mission-critical applications in Italy, which is great to see. They are also opening new offices and competence centres across Italy.

From our discussions at the University of Venice, there are several possibilities to work with researchers and students on applications of graphs in analytics and machine learning.

It will also be interesting to see how LARUS’ engagement with startups like DataVerz from Denmark, will turn out. Their founders gave presentations on both days on graph-based, data-driven insights, and I had a lot of really good discussions with them.

Going forward, our collaboration will extend to the Neo4j GraphQL integration as well.

For our partnership with Confluent, they will be able to help us official support Neo4j customers for the Kafka integrations.

larus future

I can’t express enough how enjoyable and productive it is to work with Lorenzo and his team. I really hope we continue the collaboration for a long time.

Thank you all!


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