Channel technologies, Enterprise

MapR’s Big Data Partners Have Seen the Light

Rich Brazeau
Rich Brazeau

At first glance, recent weeks haven't been kind to the big data and Hadoop markets. Some Wall Street pundits worry that the big data industry isn't growing as quickly as expected, while others think Apache Hadoop is struggling to go mainstream.

But take a closer look and you'll find good news emerging at MapR Technologies -- one of the top providers of Hadoop and big data solutions. Indeed, the company's annual billings rose more than 100 percent in 2015 vs. 2014. Roughly 96 percent of those customers run multiple use cases on a single cluster -- meaning that MapR's software solves multiple big data problems within the typical customer setting.

Equally important: Partners are playing a big role in MapR's growth, according to Rich Brazeau, senior director, business development. "Partners are an important part of our overall GTM (go-to-market) strategy," Brazeau told ChannelE2E. "We have a rich and growing partner community that has doubled in the past 12 months and includes resellers, consultants, system integrators, and technology alliance partner."

Those channel partners, he says have taken advantage of MapR's on-demand training and free partner certification program, which has "helped them accelerate their capabilities to better assist their clients with Big Data projects. As a result, we're seeing an increased demand in collaborating with our partners leveraging the MapR Converged Data Platform for projects that incorporate multiple use cases and go far-beyond simple Hadoop data-warehousing implementations."

Big Data Is More Than Hadoop

Reread that quote and it contains an important twist: While MapR remains committed to Hadoop -- the low-cost storage grid technology -- the company continues to emphasize its broader software and solutions portfolio.

Customers, the company asserts, deploy multiple MapR products to converge multiple data sources on a single platform. Those sources can include analytics at scale, enterprise storage, database operations, and streaming analytics like Spark.

Some pundits think Spark and Hadoop will ultimately compete with one another in the big data market. MapR, in stark contrast, believes the technologies are complementary.

MapR Builds Its Channel Partner Ecosystem

MapR took numerous steps to scale its business in 2015. For instance, the company hired former Oracle executive Matt Mills as president. Then, the software firm launched MapR Streams -- a “converged data platform” that allows channel partners and customers to integrate file, database, stream processing, and analytics to “accelerate data-driven applications and address emerging IoT needs."

Perhaps most importantly, MapR continued to promote training to partners and customers. More than 50,000 partners and customers received free MapR On-Demand Training in a wide range of big data technologies including Hadoop and Spark. Plus, more than 3,000 users and developers attended MapR-hosted Big Data Everywhere conferences that focused on Hadoop, Spark, and data convergence.

More Data Points

All of that anecdotal evidence suggests MapR enjoyed serious momentum heading into 2016. But it's impossible to know for sure since the privately held company doesn't disclose actual revenue or income statements.

No doubt, the Hadoop market has suffered from some perception problems in Wall Street over the past year. Hortonworks, a MapR rival, recently disappointed some investors when it disclosed plans to raise more money. And the overall big data market seems to be growing a bit less quickly than Wall Street had hoped.

Still, the anecdotal evidence suggests MapR remains in healthy growth mode -- thanks at least in part to a growing, maturing partner base.

Channel Partners: Late to Big Data

Generally speaking, most channel partners have yet to ride the big data wave. While big integrators like Accenture and Capgemini enjoy success with Hadoop deployments, smaller channel partners often aren't sure how or why to get started with big data.

Some potential first steps involve studying the major Hadoop suppliers (Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR) or studying big data cloud services from Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and IBM Softlayer.

Instead of selling big data solutions, partners can also leverage them in their own businesses. A prime example involves LogicCards, a machine learning system from LogicNow. The platform gathers information from SMB networks, and then makes upsell and cross-sell recommendations to managed services providers.

MapR, of course, also is opening its arms to more channel partners. So far, Brazeau seems pretty pleased with the company's partner program progress.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.