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Databricks Continues Vertical Industry Push With Brickbuilder Solutions Initiative

Rick Whiting

The new Brickbuilder Solutions program, part of Databricks’ broader partner program, is targeted toward the company’s systems integrator partners and dovetails with the recent launch of industry-specific systems based on the Databricks Lakehouse Platform.

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Databricks has launched a program to help solution provider and systems integrator partners develop industry-specific data and AI solutions for the Databricks Lakehouse Platform.

The new Brickbuilder Solutions initiative comes on the heels of – and dovetails with – the company’s recent debut of data lakehouse packages targeting the healthcare and life sciences, financial services, and retail and consumer goods industries.

Databricks, which now has some 500 systems integrator and strategic consulting partners, has already begun working with a number of partners including Avanade, Deloitte, Infosys, Lovelytics and Tredence to jointly develop and implement vertical industry data lakehouse solutions.

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“Our partners are doing a lot of this work and there are amazing, repeatable use cases out there and architectures that we can capitalize on together to really help our customers get to that next level and deliver on that,” said Kori O’Brien, Databricks senior vice president of global consulting and SI partners, in an interview.

Under the Brickbuilder Solutions initiative, an extension of the Databricks Partner Program, the company is working with consulting and systems integration partners to jointly develop and implement a suite of solutions on the Databricks Lakehouse Platform that address industry-specific business requirements.

The effort piggybacks on the deep expertise, capabilities and solutions systems integrators already have around specific vertical industries. Databricks solution architects will work with partners to optimize their solutions for the Databricks Lakehouse platform, O’Brien said.

The joint solutions are expected to help customers solve analytics challenges, adopt more agile business processes and develop new revenue streams, according to the company. Examples include solutions around demand forecasting, revenue growth management, value-at-risk data models and AI-powered recommendation engines.

“Brickbuilder Solutions is a programmatic way of working with our partners in order to take the amazing work they have done with us around customers, based on the lakehouse, and start to create repeatable offerings [for] the industry and really democratize those opportunities,” O’Brien said.

“These are partners who are actually [building] our lakehouse architecture into those solutions, by vertical industry, and extending them out with their own data and IP [intellectual property] architecture expansion and offering them up for customers,” O’Brien said.

Databricks executives pointed to integration with Deloitte Consulting’s Trellis retail/consumer packaged goods supply chain management system as one of the first fruits of the Brickbuilder Solutions collaboration. Trellis has been linked to the Databricks Lakehouse Platform to optimize forecasting and procurement workloads, among other tasks.

“Deloitte’s deep industry and client experiences across the commercial and public sectors, as well as our experience building integrated, secure, and multi-cloud ready solutions on top of the Databricks Lakehouse Platform, has been a game changer for our clients,” said Francisco Barroso, Deloitte Consulting principal and analytics & cognitive offering leader, in a statement. “Now, they are able to focus on critical shifts in their business, assess data- and AI-driven insights, and see significant improvement in both top- and bottom-line performance – all at a faster pace, with higher quality, and with lower costs.”

“Our clients are looking to simplify data and analytics architectures as they unlock business value through the power of cloud and AI technologies,” said Maulik Shah, Deloitte Consulting managing director and Databricks alliance leader, in a statement. “Our clients are taking an AI-first approach to migrating and modernizing legacy data platforms to the cloud – in addition to the traditional BI and SQL use-cases, they are architecting for forward-looking use-cases, such as real-time, data sharing and interop, AI/ML, and multi-cloud, to achieve long-term and sustainable business value.”

“Along with Databricks, we have combined the significant investments and strengths of both companies to meet and support client demand through industry solutions,” said Alan Grogan, executive lead, data platform modernization at Avanade, another Brickbuilder Solutions partner.

“We have jointly released customer personalization accelerators and low-risk enterprise Hadoop migration to accelerate business results for financial services clients. Most recently, we worked closely with Databricks to develop risk management for financial services, a suite of lakehouse solutions covering regulatory, financial and business risk solutions,” Grogan said in a statement.

In addition to the solutions development work, Databricks and its partners will undertake joint go-to-market and sales initiatives under Brickbuilder Solutions, including marketing campaigns and jointly identifying and targeting major accounts.

The new initiative is a key focus for O’Brien, who joined Databricks in March 2021 after working for more than eight years at CRM application giant Salesforce in various channel management posts, most recently as senior VP of alliances and partner sales.

The Brickbuilder Solutions program was a key element of the Databricks Partner Kickoff event on March 28. Work with some partners has been underway for about six months and O’Brien said there are already nine available solutions.

Altogether Databricks has about 500 consulting firms and systems integrators in its partner program. O’Brien said partners account for about two-thirds of Databricks’ customer engagements.

O’Brien said Databricks is doubling down on partner initiatives this year. In addition to the Brickbuilder Solutions program the company is growing its global partner team and investing in partner program infrastructure and processes – to make it easier for partners to work with the company, O’Brien said – and expanding partner training programs.

“We’re really investing in our SI and ISV communities this year. We’re doing a lot to evolve the program and I think we’ve had really fast growth,” O’Brien said. “It’s not lost on me that we need to make sure our program keeps up with the investments our partners are making.”

In November Databricks launched Partner Connect, a portal for customers looking for ISVs and technology partners who provide validated data, analytics and AI tools that work with the Databricks lakehouse across multiple cloud providers. Vendors including Fivetran, Labelbox, Microsoft, Prophecy, Rivery and Tableau are among those offering Databricks lakehouse integrations, with others on the way.

Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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