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Cloudera Revamps Channel Program, Incorporates Former Hortonworks Partners

Nearly one year after its merger with rival Hortonworks and two months following the launch of its new Cloudera Data Platform, the big data company is turning to solution providers to accelerate its growth.

Cloudera is expanding the resources and incentives the big data software developer offers solution provider partners through its Cloudera Connect program, emphasizing the need to enable partners as they pursue on-premises, hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud customer opportunities.

The revamped partner program is Cloudera’s first major channel initiative following the company’s merger with former rival Hortonworks in January and the subsequent combining of the two companies’ channel operations.

The overhauled program includes new solution competencies and expanded technology certifications, business models for cloud reselling, market develop funds, sales and pre-sales resources, and a revamped partner portal.

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“This is a way for our partners to demonstrate their technical capabilities, industry expertise and customer success on the Cloudera platform,” said Jess Tan, managing senior director, global strategic channel sales, strategy and products, referring to the new solution competencies and technical certifications, during an interview with CRN.

“Cloudera Connect makes it easy to do business with Cloudera,” said Prat Moghe, CEO of Cazena, a Cloudera MSP partner based in Waltham, Mass. “The company has invested in a program that fits industry realities with both cloud and on-premises business models and meets partner needs for flexibility, skills building and differentiation.”

Cloudera has discontinued the Hortonworks Partnerworks channel program. Many Hortonworks partners also partnered with Cloudera prior to the acquisition, according to Tan, although several hundred that worked only with Hortonworks before the merger have been moved into Cloudera Connect.

Altogether Cloudera now has about 3,000 partners in Cloudera Connect including solution providers, systems integrators, ISVs, MSPs, hardware vendors and OEMs. Partners pursue a number of go-to-market models including reselling and co-selling Cloudera’s software, hosting the software, developing applications that run on the platform, and providing a range of consulting and integration services around the vendor’s products.

Tan says that a majority of Cloudera’s sales involve a partner in some way.

The Cloudera Connect enhancements are designed to help partners sell the Cloudera Data Platform, the vendor’s new flagship product that debuted in September and incorporates technology from both Cloudera and Hortonworks.

The company is counting on partners to help sell the platform for use within hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, including helping customers develop their big data strategies and migrate data workloads to the cloud, Tan said.

Cloudera has updated its reseller agreement to allow for multiple form factors for multi-cloud and hybrid cloud deployments. The company is also offering market development funds for both resell and co-sell business models, receiving a percentage for every new and expansion opportunity they either resell or source.

Cloudera is offering new solution competencies that help partners “demonstrate their expertise, technical capabilities, industry know-how and proven customer success” with the Cloudera platform, according to a company statement. Competencies are attained “for specific categories of business problems, enterprise data use cases or industries.”

The company also promotes joint solutions through its Solution Gallery on Cloudera.com. “This is a way for customers to identify partners with specific expertise [and] find the right partners for the business problems they are trying to solve,” Tan said.

The company is revamping and expanding its Cloudera Connect Technology Certifications program that supports partner products that work with the Cloudera Data Platform.

Cloudera launched a new partner portal earlier this year and is adding to the resources and training it provides through the portal including new sales and pre-sales resources such as demo tools and regional enablement workshops. The portal also offers best practices, reference architectures and sample code.

"With this latest announcement, Cloudera Connect now accommodates the diverse journeys that our clients will take as they step onto the digital transformation path, build their data strategies and move more workloads to the cloud,” said Emmanuel Le Roux, senior vice president of big data platform at Atos, a systems integration partner based in Paris, France. The company’s Atos Codex Datalake Engine is built on the Cloudera platform.

For the first six months (ended July 31) of its fiscal 2020 Cloudera reported revenue of $384.2 million, up 77.5 percent from $216.4 million (as adjusted for the Hortonworks acquisition) in the first half of fiscal 2019. The company will report its fiscal third quarter results on Dec. 5.

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