MapR Technologies Launches Top-Tier Channel Program To Recruit, Enable Systems Integrators

Big data platform developer MapR Technologies is expanding its channel partner initiatives with a new Elite Premier program for the company's global and regional systems integrator partners.

The main focus of the new Elite Premier program, part of the company's larger MapR Converge Partners program, is to recruit and enable systems integrators to work with the vendor's MapR Converged Data Platform, said Geneva Lake, vice president of worldwide alliances.

"Systems integrators are becoming a more critical part of MapR's business," Lake said in an interview with CRN, noting that the company began a push to recruit systems integrators last year.

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"We really need to make sure they understand the product and how to implement it. It's very important for us to have that high-quality, high-performing group of systems integrators."

The MapR Converged Data Platform integrates Hadoop, Spark and Apache Drill with a real-time database, event streaming and other capabilities for running big data applications. The company, based in San Jose, Calif., competes with Cloudera and Hortonworks in the Hadoop/big data platform arena.

MapR currently works with one global systems integrator and is developing enablement plans with two more. Lake said MapR would probably cap the number of global systems integrators in the program at three. The vendor is working with about 10 additional boutique, regional and super-regional systems integrators and is looking to recruit more, especially in geographies and vertical industries where the company doesn't have a presence.

Some systems integrators focus on implementation work while others provide additional services or have consulting practices in areas such as business analytics and business process management. Enabling them with the proper training and resources is key, Lake said, because projects incorporating the MapR Converged Data Platform tend to be complex.

Through the Elite Premier program systems integrators will be offered comprehensive training on MapR's software, including a boot camp training session on installing and deploying the product.

One systems integrator MapR is already working with is RCG Global Services, based in Edison, N.J. The company incorporates MapR's software into its data analytics practice, which includes big data strategic planning, systems development and implementation services, said John Bender, senior vice president and general manager. The company develops use cases and analytical applications for system maintenance, health care and other tasks.

The new Elite Premier program signals a "greater level of commitment" by MapR to its systems integration partners and will "further the strategic alignment between our two companies," Bender said.

The program will provide RCG with access to more training and certification opportunities "to keep our skills up to date," he added, and help the company stay on top of new software releases. And he expects the program to provide more joint sales and marketing investments, although he said the two already hold joint marketing events for prospects.

Lake noted that while MapR Technologies does have a professional services business, it only accounts for about 15 percent of the company's revenue and it has no plans to expand that business – hence the need for experienced systems integrators.

MapR has a range of consulting/integration, ISV, OEM and distribution partners. More than 50 percent of the vendor's sales involve a partner in some way, according to Lake. Systems integrators play an influencer role in about 20 percent of MapR's sales – a number that Lake said has been increasing.