Tim Stevens, Cloudera’s VP Business development and who is running its alliances and partners, says the next two years will be the time when Big Data moves into specific application areas, where vertical market specialist channels will get involved in a major way.
Big Data has changed a lot, he told IT Europa at IPExpo (below, talking to Editor John Garratt, left) and there is a lot of demand, particularly in Europe for new specialists channels who can help customers get more from it.
“Big data generates interest but a lot of what we hear is people asking for help in understanding it. Data has been siloed in the past, with data being moved into applications for specific uses. It’s just too big now, and beyond that is not in a clean transaction-based form. It is messy, and often human created.”
So for customers it is using data differently, and bringing together data populations in different ways to drive new insights. “As an example in retail it is amazing how many customers have retail stores and other POS sales capture technologies, and the e-commerce stores in a different system. They can’t relate their customers across the two. One of the strongest capabilities that Cloudera has in its platform is to bring data from those two disparate sources into a single source and make it analysable.”
Big data as a concept is maturing very rapidly, Cloudera claims a head start and he says he has seen a doubling of paying customers each year. There are more than 10,000 organisations using the open source version, but the paid version with its additional tools and features now has more than 500 customers who are growing the platform. "We are adding nearly 100 paying production customers each quarter. And the pace is accelerating; more than half of those are enterprises generating more than $1bn a year, so the large scale is established."
Europe has been the fastest growing region for the last two years. Though not as large as north America, the global customers are deploying it. “We also see security and privacy as being very important here, and that is a particular strength of Cloudera. This is a strong proposition for European customers. It really matters to their data. We see interest from financial services, telcos and customer loyalty systems, but when we look into it, every single vertical has good representations – healthcare has been growing strongly, and manufacturing is using many more sensors which are sending back data.”
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, there is a lot of data and it is growing. The large systems integrators are an obvious partner group, and a strong channel, but large hardware and systems providers including Cisco, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Fujitsu, NEC, Oracle are all building appliances based on Cloudera or reference architectures. And it has a particularly strong relationship with Intel.
There will be a strong market for smaller channels – the conversations is currently about Cloudera as an enterprise data hub in a horizontal sense. However, as more vertical applications emerge from ISVs and the software industry, just like the database industry evolved CRM, HR and ERP, this is exactly what is happening in big data, probably in the next couple of years. "I have more than 300 software partners building on the Cloudera platform" he adds.
This is when we will see channels start to deliver in vertical markets, with something much more specific to sell.
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