Alexa for Business, Private Skills and Splunk

I was very excited to hear of the availability of Alexa for Business at AWS re:Invent 2017.

When the freely available and open source Splunk Alexa Integration was created in early 2016, it employed a little hack to make the skill private to the user and not published as a public Alexa Skill.Which is what you need when you are integrating with your own private Splunk environment.

This essentially entails running the Splunk Alexa skill under your own private development account.

Alexa for Business totally addresses this need with private skills.

I had an inkling this feature would be released by the Alexa team at some point, and it is now here.

So thank you Werner “Santa” Vogels and Team!

“… With Alexa for Business you can make these skills available to your shared devices and enrolled users without having to publish them to the Alexa Skills store…..”

“… When your skill is ready you can mark the skill as private, submit the skill, and then distribute it to your Alexa for Business account….”

We are here to help you with any setup and configuration of your Splunk Alexa environment that you require as well as custom development with the developer extension hooks built into the integration(look for “create your own dynamic actions in the docs“) that allow you to essentially achieve anything you can conceive of above and beyond the core functionality of mapping your voice intents to underlying SPL searches.

So please contact us so we can get you talking to Splunk.

Merry Xmas everyone and happy Splunking with your voice.

So you need a Splunk App or Integration built , here are 10 reasons to consider us.

We’re the most widely downloaded and production installed developers in Splunk’s history. Splunk field staff, partners, customers and the community have consumed the solutions we support on Splunkbase for nearly a decade in all verticals. I’ll let this speak for itself, it’s not just talk. We’re proven to have created solutions that are compelling and innovative, that there is a genuine demand for, that deliver real data value and that run reliably and robustly in production environments.


All work we do is overseen by Splunk’s former Worldwide Developer Evangelist who has years of internal experience in Splunk development, mentoring other customers & partners to build their successful solutions and was part of inventing and blazing the way for much of what is considered standard today in many aspects of Splunk development.
This translates to experience and hands-on attention to your solution that you simply won’t get elsewhere.


We are a 100% privately held company and well capitalized, we won’t leave you in the lurch for support after we have created your solution for you.We’re in this with you for the long haul.


We have offices and development/support staff spread over multiple time zones across Asia and the Pacific.


We are an official Splunk Partner(TAP) in the Partner+ program.


We believe in the tenet that working software is the primary measure of progress, not emails, meetings and powerpoints.Working code. Throughout the development process, we keep the customer in complete visibility of the work in progress with your own dedicated demo/feedback environment, you are never black boxed out of the picture at any stage.


We have many different support options available so that once we have delivered your solution you can choose or design a support package that best suits your requirements and/or budget.


Many of the free/open source Add-Ons that we support on Splunkbase have formed the core of other successful apps over the years.What a great way to get a running start to creating your solution.Need a JVM based app  ? Then start with the JMX App to bring in your data.Reuse is your friend.


We have world-leading Splunk expertise in many domains and several of our creations have become de facto standards in these domains.Need a JVM based solution, an IoT solution, a Messaging based solution, an integration with an SDK,  we have the proven experience and expertise to guide you.


We love to chart new waters with challenging Splunk integrations that have a real WoW factor.This is what will set you apart and generate A-Ha moments.Anyone can create an Add-On to just pull in some data , we like to take the Splunk platform to new and exciting places.Look at some of this integration work for example.


We walk the talk.And we have the proven pedigree to create a best of breed Splunk solution for you.So please get in touch and let’s start talking about your requirements.

Get it on – Splunk Alexa Integration at Splunk Conf 17

Really great to see the Splunk Alexa integration front and centre at the registration area at Splunk Conf 17 allowing people to talk to data in Splunk , cheers to the team for setting this up !

UPDATE : check out this blog on the Splunk blogs site. 

Skate to where the puck is going to be , how will YOU interact with your data in the future ?

Innovating with AWS and Splunk

Splunk Conf 17 is just around the corner and this year AWS is a Peta level sponsor.

We’ve built several Splunk solutions that integrate with AWS over the years.Check out some of these innovative ways to bring the 2 platforms together for an even greater experience with your data!

AWS Kinesis

We wrote the original App for indexing data in Splunk from Kinesis and it is used extensively to this day by Splunk customers.

What’s cool about this App is that it can handle text AND binary data in the Kinesis streams.  What’s even cooler is that you can plug in your own custom handlers to preprocess the raw received data in the streams any way you want before indexing it in Splunk, powerful stuff!

The App is free to download and use and if you need any support, please reach out to us.

AWS Alexa

We made it possible to talk and listen to Splunk using Alexa, check out this blog here.

The App is free to download and use and if you need any support, please reach out to us.

AWS Rekognition and S3

Upload images into Splunk, store them in S3,  analyze the contents of the image using Rekognition and index all the juicy meta data in Splunk to build out your own imaging analysis use case.

Here is a screenshot of some work we did at Splunk where a photo was taken on a mobile phone and uploaded directly into Splunk.

AWS at Conf17

And of course, there is a whole load of other great AWS content at Splunk Conf 17 that you can check out. If I didn’t have a young baby nipping at my ankles, I’d be at many of these great sessions.

Do you need a custom integration performed with Splunk?

Whether it is with AWS or some other platform that you want to integrate with Splunk, please feel free to contact us so we can turn your ideas into working software!

 

Splunking Soldiers and First Responders

When I was an employee at Splunk, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work on some innovative military projects.

One such project  was the Smart Soldier App , with contributions from Justin Boucher (a US Army Veteran) and Ramik Chopra.

This App is essentially a data correlation narrative that aggregates data from multiple sources to provide more effective, targetted and expedited triage for soldiers in the field and provide commanders with real time insights into the condition and locations of soldiers and resources in the battle theatre :

  1. Soldier and Medic geolocation data and details
  2. Soldier real time health and condition metrics
  3. Soldier historical medical/patient information
  4. Soldier “smart suit” condition
  5. Geomapping based visualizations to determine the nearest medic and best treatment facility for an injured soldier

But why restrict this to just soldiers in the battlefield?  You could take this use case as inspiration to apply to any type of first responder scenario. The possibilities in your data are limitless, so do reach out to us if you have any ideas that you want to collaborate on.

You can find out more about the Smart Soldier App in the links below :

Smart Soldier Video

Smart Soldier PDF

Art of the Possible

Get your BINARY data into Splunk

In a world of text log files and JSON over HTTP, do not forget about the absolute treasure trove of incredibly valuable binary data that can be captured and preprocessed.

To name just a few examples :

  • proprietary industry protocols such as MATIP in Aviation or ISO8583 in Payments Processing
  • media files , images/audio/video
  • compressed data
  • encrypted data
  • binary application dumps

A few years ago I wrote a really cool free and open source Splunk App called Protocol Data Inputs (PDI), in use by many customers today, that allows you to capture any data (binary or text) and then preprocess it for textual indexing in Splunk.

Check out some of the content in these blogs and presentations, I hope you can get some inspiration from them and start looking around for what binary data you have to unleash!

Protocol Data Inputs

Data Obfuscation in Splunk Enterprise

Send Data to Splunk via an authenticated TCP Input

Sending compressed payloads to Splunk

Talk to Splunk with Amazon Alexa

What do you think the future experience of interacting with your data is going to be?

Is it going to be logging in by way of a user interface and then using your mouse/keyboard/gestures to view and interact with something on a display panel, or is it going to be more like simply talking with another person?

Introducing the “Talk to Splunk with Amazon Alexa” App

This is a Splunk App that enables your Splunk instance for interfacing with Amazon Alexa by way of a custom Alexa skill, thereby provisioning a completely voice based Natural Language Interface for Splunk.

You can then use an Alexa device such as Amazon’s Echo, Tap or Dot or another 3rd party hardware device to tell or ask Splunk anything you want.

  • Get answers to questions based off Splunk Searches
  • Ask for information, such as search command descriptions
  • Return static responses and audio file snippets
  • Developer extension hooks to plugin ANY custom voice driven requests and actions you want

The App also allows you to train your Splunk instance to the conversational vocabulary for your specific use case.

Vision

The ultimate vision I foresee here is a future where you can completely do away with your keyboard, mouse, monitor & login prompt.

Even right now there are use cases where having to look at a monitor or operate an input device are simply counter productive, infeasible or unsafe.Industrial operating environments immediately come to mind.

You should be able to be transparently & dynamically authenticated based on your voice signature and then simply converse with your data like how you would talk to another person… asking questions or requesting to perform some action.

This app is a step in the direction of this vision.

Demos

Echo

Dot

Advanced Usage Example

Go forth and talk!

This App is now available for download on Splunkbase.

Comprehensive usage documentation can be found here where the source code is also available.

I encourage feedback and collaboration particularly around creating custom dynamic actions to share with the community so we can organically grow the capabilities of this offering!