Splunk Inc. (SPLK) CEO Doug Merritt and his executive team thanked partners roughly two-dozen times during Splunk's earnings call yesterday. Many of the shout-outs included specific channel partner and technology alliance partner names. Throughout the call, Merritt and his lieutenants reinforced the growing role partners play in Splunk software deployments.
In its latest quarter, Splunk's revenues surged nearly 40 percent to $306.5 million -- which was roughly $18 million more than Wall Street had been expecting. The company's software allows customers to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data. Partners leverage Splunk to assist customers with everything from IT operations to security, compliance, fraud detection, log management and predictive analytics. The company now has 13,000 customers -- including 700 customers added in Q4.
Splunk Channel Partners, Technology Partners
Splunk held its annual sales and partner kickoff gathering earlier this week, and then mentioned many of those key partnerships during yesterday's earnings call. Among the tips of the hat:
- Dell EMC helped the sofware company to win a major application monitoring deal with FedEx.
- Carahsoft and SLAIT Consulting have deployed Splunk for multiple agencies, counties and programs within the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, for instance, leverages the software for real-time security and compliance monitoring.
- The Amazon Web Services solutions team deployed the software for financial applications at Raymond James.
- In multiple examples, Splunk pointed to technology partners like CrowdStrike, ForeScout, Proofpoint, Palo Alto, Symantec and others.
Overall, the Splunk ecosystem now spans 1,300 applications -- the vast majority of which were built by partners and third-parties, according to Merritt. Looking ahead, Splunk will continue its channel partner program investments because partners are a "fundamental" requirement for the company, Merritt added.
Despite continued momentum, Wall Street wants even faster growth. The company's stock actually fell about 4 percent on the earnings news because investors think growth may not keep pace with earlier expectations.
Splunk also faces challenges in the channel, where many partners have yet to master big data, analytics and machine-oriented data tools. Channel Chief Brooke Cunningham is striving to explain the opportunities to VARs, global systems integrators and MSPs. In fact, it sounds like a more defined MSP push is coming soon.
Cunningham shared partner program strategy details in this recent podcast with ChannelE2E and CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux.
Splunk must also explain how its toolset fits alongside Application Performance Monitoring (APM) options like Cisco AppDynamics, Dynatrace and New Relic -- along with IT service management systems like ServiceNow. During the earnings call, Merritt said his company continues to work alongside each of those ISVs, and he doesn't expect any changes amid Cisco's buyout of AppDynamics.