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HP partners aren't the only ones growing impatient with Vertica's slow move to the channel. "I do have to admit that while Vertica is still growing strong, both in talent and sales, the lack of leverage through the HP channels has been a bit disappointing," a source close to HP told CRN. "Forward progress is there; it is just slower than we'd like."
Not all of Vertica's issues are HP's fault. Despite having a highly regarded technology, Vertica for years has not been effective in marketing its products, sources told CRN. HP recently appointed a new vice president of marketing for Vertica, Chris Selland, but that position had been vacant since June when Scott Howser left to become vice president of marketing at Hadapt, a Boston-based big data startup.
HP's Business Critical Systems and Industry Standard Server units were supposed to be the primary internal sales channel for Vertica, but that has yet to be happen, sources told CRN. The problem here is that HP's internal sales reps are giving preferential treatment to SAP Hana and Microsoft SQL Server, and sometimes even Oracle, in deals where Vertica could be an option, sources said.
"It happened all the time. I got sabotaged more than once," one source who has witnessed this firsthand told CRN, speaking on condition of anonymity.
HP did not respond when asked if it plans to adjust its sales compensation plan to incent salespeople to lead with Vertica over competing products.
Further complicating matters, there is an Apache Hadoop contingent within HP that doesn't work well with Autonomy and Vertica, essentially viewing them as competitors, sources told CRN. In July, HP and Cloudera, a Boston-based Hadoop startup, teamed up to release a preconfigured HP AppSystem appliance and reference architecture.
"There are islands within HP that want to be a big data powerhouse. But the executive team has its work cut out for it in trying to manage the problematic parts of the company," said one source with knowledge of the inter-departmental conflicts within HP.
The Autonomy accounting scandal, and HP's broader financial turmoil, could give employees plenty of motivation to seek positions at other companies. Interestingly enough, all the upheaval doesn't seem to be affecting morale; employees are simply taking advantage of opportunities in a hot market, sources said. Competition in the big data space is fierce at the moment, so it's not surprising that both the Vertica and Autonomy units have lost significant amounts of employees.
Vertica has been particularly hard-hit, losing around 30 employees from an original post-acquisition head count of around 130, sources told CRN. Though most of Vertica's top engineers have remained on board, the litmus test for their long-term commitment to HP will come next April when at least four top engineers will receive tenure-based cash bonuses, sources told CRN.
"Vertica has superior engineering talent, but HP stands to lose many people that are well-established in the big data space," one source with knowledge of the situation told CRN.
It is unclear how many Autonomy employees remain from the roughly 1,800 that joined HP in the acquisition. HP declined to provide a current head count for Autonomy or to comment on how many employees have left since the deal closed, but a spokesperson told CRN last week the remaining staff has reacted positively to being part of HP. "Autonomy employees have responded well to greater integration with HP. In fact, attrition is lower than pre-acquisition levels," the HP spokesperson said in an email.