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HP is facing stiff competition in the big data space, from scrappy startups to established big names like SAP Hana, IBM Neteeza and EMC Greenplum. Given the abundance of alternatives, one longtime HP partner executive told CRN he doesn't think the Vertica certification is worth the investment.
"The HP hardware certifications are intense, and we would not invest the time in Vertica due to the long sales cycles," said the executive, who requested anonymity to avoid damaging his other HP business relationships.
HP's Selland says HP rarely runs into big data startups in competitive situations, though he acknowledges that HP does regularly compete with Greenplum and IBM Neteeza. Vertica's performance is the key differentiator that is helping HP to "win more than our fair share of deals," Selland said.
Competition for big data talent is intense and growing fiercer, and Vertica has already seen former CEO Chris Lynch and several other top sales, marketing and engineering staffers depart for greener pastures in the emerging big data hotspot of Boston.
HP certainly isn't alone in facing the threat of big data talent poaching, but Selland doesn't see this as a long term problem. In fact, he says Vertica's marketing department has grown 300 percent since he joined HP.
"People move, but I don't see us having a high attrition rate. I would say the rate is relatively low," Selland told CRN.
Selland wouldn't give a figure for how much HP intends to spend on marketing Vertica in the coming year, but he told CRN HP's senior management is paying plenty of attention to the unit.
"There is a great deal of commitment inside HP to what we are doing at Vertica. I can see we are getting a pretty high profile inside the organization, and there is a ton of growth opportunity," Selland said.
With Vertica certification now available, partners will now look for HP to shed more light on its plans for bringing Autonomy to the channel, which it has previously earmarked as part of its big data strategy.