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Starburst Data Launches Channel Program, Steps Up Partner Recruitment

With the new Starburst Orbit partner program in place, the provider of software and services around the Presto query engine technology looks to enlist the channel for more than 50 percent of its customer deals and engagements.

Starburst Data Thursday launched its first channel program as the big data startup looks to expand the range and number of systems integrator, consulting, reseller and technology partners the company works with.

With the new Starburst Orbit partner program, Starburst intends to create a partner ecosystem that will expand partner-led sales of the company’s data query engine software to more than 50 percent of customer deals and engagements over the next one to two years.

“We want to build a partner-first and ecosystem-centric company, embed it into our culture early on and into our go-to-market approach,” said Harrison Johnson, the executive who manages Starburst’s partnerships and alliances, in an interview with CRN.

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“We want to establish [Starburst Orbit] as a core pillar of our success,” he said. “We view it as a significant vehicle for achieving scale and helping customers be successful.”

Starburst Data, based in Boston, develops Starburst Enterprise for Presto, the company’s commercial offering of the Presto open-source, distributed SQL query engine for finding and analyzing data that resides in a variety of data sources scattered across multiple systems.

Presto is capable of querying data where it resides without having to move it—a major advantage in environments with increasingly distributed data sources. That makes it a more cost-efficient alternative to data warehouse systems.

Founded in 2017, Starburst raised $22 million in Series A funding in November 2019 and another $42 million in Series B financing in June.

Starburst has been working with major cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Red Hat through their co-sell programs and makes the Starburst software available through those companies’ online marketplaces. Just last month Starburst said that Starburst Enterprise for Presto was available through the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

Starburst has also been working with technology/ISV partners, including business analytics tool vendors like Tableau (part of Salesforce) and Looker (owned by Google), and data management tool vendors such as Alation, Immuta and Privacera, to ensure that Starburst’s offerings work with software from those companies.

More recently the company has begun working with solution providers, systems integrators and consulting companies including Insight, RCG Global Services, Slalom and Trace3.

“We’ve been working really hard to identify the founding members of our systems integrator and consulting partner channel,” Johnson said.

“As organizations look to transform and develop a modern culture of data, Slalom is focused on helping them achieve new levels of velocity and become insight-driven businesses,” said Greg Taylor, Southwest regional delivery team director at Slalom, in a statement. “With Starburst, Slalom is rapidly helping our clients scale their data fabric through a single source of access for analytics across the enterprise.”

“At Trace3 we find technology leaders are looking to take their data and use it to drive business outcomes. We’ve found that Starburst and their latest offering, Orbit, is another amazing solution to bring to Trace3‘s enterprise data customers,” said Josh Lindstrom, principal consultant, data intelligence, at Trace3, in a statement. “It fits perfectly into our strategy of ’Ingest to Insight’ and we are excited to partner with Starburst on their new Orbit program.”

Today about 30 percent of Starburst’s customer deals and engagements come to the company by way of a partner, either as a referral or a resale deal, Johnson said. The goal with Starburst Orbit is to boost that to 50 percent or more within two years—and possibly by the end of next year. “We want to push partner involvement to well over 50 percent of our active opportunities, deals and customer engagements,” he said.

Starburst CEO Justin Borgman (pictured) said the company’s software touches a lot of IT operations, from cloud and on-premises systems, data sources and data analysis tools. “Because of that, the ecosystem is naturally very rich. And it makes sense for us to try and enlist all these folks as allies— including the systems integrators who are often tasked with putting these architectures together in the first place and helping people migrate,” he said in an interview with CRN.

“We see these people all the time in our accounts and it makes sense to deepen those relationships and make them mutually beneficial,” Borgman said.

The Starburst Orbit program offers a broad range of incentives, services and support spanning go-to-market materials and resources—including the same sales and marketing resources used by the company’s own sales representatives—as well as resell and referral financial incentives, and joint marketing and branding activities. The company is also providing extensive training and support services around implementing the Starburst software and building solutions around it, Johnson said.

The Orbit program will consist of three program options tailored to partner types. Starburst Orbit for Consultants & Systems Integrators, for example, provides a co-sell relationship with financial benefits, knowledge and sales enablement resources.

Starburst Orbit for Resell Partners is designed to enable go-to-market success for resellers to generate revenue and profit and drive new customer acquisition and overall growth. Starburst Orbit for Technology Partners is focused on ensuring tight product integration with ecosystem technologies and creating joint-solutions offerings.

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