Page 4 of 7
MicroTech's adventurousness aside, the fact remains that most of HP's Autonomy and Vertica sales have been direct. At a roundtable meeting with partners in October, Whitman divulged that about 15 percent of Autonomy and Vertica sales go through the channel and said she intends to boost this into the 40 percent range.
One partner who has been fielding inquiries about Autonomy has been frustrated with what he says is a lack of clear communication from HP about when it will give the green light to partners to sell Autonomy products. Because of this, he says HP is missing a golden opportunity to showcase its big data assets in the context of enterprise hardware deals.
"We're missing out on discussions about HP converged infrastructure with Vertica and Autonomy as part of the solution," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "We have had salespeople sell significant amounts of converged infrastructure hardware and software, recognized revenue and had customers be happy. But that was a one-off situation. That is still the big frustration -- we're not able to have a programmatic discussion."
Converged infrastructure on which big data applications run is the fastest-growing portion of the partner's business, with revenue growing five times this year compared to last. "Would there have been additional revenue if I could sell Vertica and Autonomy? Absolutely," he told CRN.
HP in July appointed Stephen Reny, senior vice president of market development for Autonomy, to serve as the unit's channel chief. He told CRN at the time that HP does plan on rolling Autonomy out to the channel, but declined to provide a time frame for when this would happen.
Meanwhile, there is talk in the channel that HP's certification requirements for Autonomy are exceedingly difficult, and that it is requiring partners to pay an up-front fee for the right to sell Autonomy products. HP didn't respond to a request for comment on whether it is offering formal Autonomy certification and training to partners or whether it is charging partners to sell Autonomy. Vertica doesn't yet have a formal channel program either, although sources said HP recently began reaching out to select partners to discuss sales arrangements. Kadifa, HP's software chief, told All Things Digital in October that Vertica could eventually be a billion-dollar business, but without channel distribution, it's tough to see how he arrived at this figure.