Ex-Delta Force officer mixes special ops and data

Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:17pm EST
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By Nicola Leske

(Reuters) - What do a former U.S. Army special operations officer, a computer scientist and an experimental psychologist have in common? Data.

James Reese first came across data analytics company Saffron Technology when he was an officer with the U.S. army's Delta Force.

"I was first turned on to Saffron Technology while we were doing special operations in the Middle East," Reese said in an interview. "It does predictive analysis a lot faster than you and in military terms allows us to think faster than the bad guys."

Saffron Technology is a small data analytics company that uses technology that mimics the way the human brain connects between people, places and things, except at a much faster speed.

The company was founded by two former IBM Corp employees: Jim Fleming, a computer scientist, and Manuel Aparicio, who has a PhD in experimental psychology with a focus on biologically based neuro-computing.

Its technology was originally used in Iraq to predict where bombs would be located, but now it offers its products to corporations such as Boeing Co, which uses the technology to forecast when aircraft parts need to be replaced.

When Reese retired in 2007 to start security company TigerSwan he stayed in touch with Saffron Technology CEO Aparicio and eventually decided to partner with the company.

Reese, who joined the army after his football scholarship came to an end more than 20 years ago, now combines his expertise of special operations with data analytics for companies looking at mergers and acquisitions in emerging countries.   Continued...