Confluent Launches Revamped Program To Boost Service Opportunities For Systems Integrators

The expanded Accelerate with Confluent initiative offers resources and expertise to help systems integrators develop repeatable services and solutions around the Confluent data streaming platform and help customers realize value more quickly.

Data streaming technology developer Confluent has launched a revamped partner program to help systems integrators better develop and deliver solutions based on the Confluent platform and provide professional services around those solutions.

Given the complexities of real-time data streaming, systems integrators don’t always have the resources and expertise they need to bring data streaming to their applications and their customers without direct support from Confluent’s own professional services operations, according to the company.

The Accelerate with Confluent program, with its emphasis on expediting service repeatability and profitability, is designed to better support systems integrators with solution co-delivery, strategic staffing and the ability to work with customers to develop long-term data strategies.

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“The idea behind Accelerate is really for us to co-sell services with our partners in order to get customers towards a business goal faster,” said Paul Mac Farland (pictured), Confluent senior vice president of partner and innovation ecosystem, in an interview with CRN. “This is us trying to capture a $60 billion TAM [total addressable market] … and the partners are the ones who help us build the entire solution lifecycle for the customer.”

Confluent, headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., has been stepping up its channel initiatives in the last year. In July 2023 the company launched the Connect with Confluent program to assist developers of database, data analytics and other big data software build integrations with the Confluent data streaming platform. And in February of this year it debuted the Confluent Migration Accelerator program to assist partners – especially systems integrators – who help customers migrate to Confluent’s platform from legacy data streaming and messaging systems.

Confluent has long worked with global systems integrators, including Accenture, EY, TCS, Deloitte and KPMG, along with regional systems integrators – as many as 1,000 altogether. And many of them have hundreds and even thousands of people with skills around Apache Kafka, the open-source data streaming software that Confluent’s platform is based on.

But those experts, working with Confluent’s own professional services staff, are often more focused on project-specific deployments rather than long-term customer engagements and data strategy planning, Mac Farland said.

“So what we're doing here is we're bringing our sales forces and [systems integrator] sales forces together so that we can have a more prescribed journey all the way through the customers’ deployment,” Mac Farland said. “Not just point-in-time services, which is what our professional services organization is … We want systems integrators to be embedded with our customers with that expertise and continue to drive towards business goals that drive consumption for us and services for the partner.”

The program is also designed to provide systems integrators with resources and incentives to drive customer consumption. “The main purpose is to enable our partners to get towards a customer business outcome through co-selling with Confluent,” Mac Farland said.

The channel executive noted that Confluent’s professional service consultants tend to focus on complex, leading-edge implementations rather than repeatable deployments with fast times to value. “We don’t have any intention of building a large services business. We’re a software company. And that’s why systems integrators are so important to us.”

“Confluent's partner program is leading to substantial growth as we grow EY's Data in Motion Practice,” said Doyle Leabch, North America Head of Integration at EY, in a statement. “The partner program's new offerings, focusing on advanced training and increased access to sales and executive resources, are poised to elevate our joint go-to-market strategies. Aligned with our commitment to a robust Data in Motion practice, these innovations promise cutting-edge service offerings, reinforcing our differentiation in the market.”

The revamped program provides systems integrator with partners several paths to engage with Confluent’s professional services organization including co-delivery (utilizing and integrating specific and complementary skills from both Confluent and the partner), strategic staffing (partners bring Confluent subject matter experts into customer engagements) and partner-led initiatives to help customers develop long-term data strategies.

The program also provides assistance for specific roles within a systems integrator including pre-sales technical architects, general sales representatives, and implementation consultants.

The Accelerate with Confluent program includes service opportunities, such as those through Confluent Migration Accelerator, built into Confluent’s go-to-market initiatives. And the Confluent Partner Portal has been updated with tools and resources to “improve partner collaboration, drive sales, boost marketing efforts and optimize technical activities,” according to the company.

“Accelerate with Confluent empowers success and amplifies growth through partnership where our professional services capabilities can truly enhance customer experience and ROI while delivering transformational results,” said Siriwat Vongjaukorn, CEO of MFEC Public Company Limited, a computer systems design company that partners with Confluent.

“With Confluent’s partner-first approach, we are ready to scale our Confluent practice and joint go-to-market engagement with a differentiated value proposition of industry-specific use cases and relentless innovation for maximum customer impact. We believe our partnership with Confluent is poised for rapid growth and this program is well timed to ensure we are both successful in driving customer adoption,” he said in a statement.