These 5 Big Data Vendors Want Your Channel Business

big data

Big data, the tech industry's buzzword for technology that sifts through mountains of data in server logs and other IT systems to find useful insights, is still at a very early stage in its development. And given the open playing field, solution providers need to be paying attention to this space.

While there's no shortage of big data software vendors out there, from traditional old school enterprise companies to scrappy startups, big data isn't yet much of a channel story. But in the age of mobility and cloud, that's changing.

Solution providers say these two industry forces are dramatically increasing the amount of data that organizations produce. As companies battle to get a handle on the data flood, partners that can tame and make sense of this data are poised to capitalize on what's likely to be a massive opportunity.  

"With the explosion of mobile and social data in particular, big data has matured from a buzz word to a client problem that needs to be solved," Karen Bellin, vice president of insights and action (i.e. analytics) at Digitaria, a San Diego-based Google Analytics Certified Partner, told

Some vendors saw the big data opportunity coming early on and have set up their channel programs to get partners up to speed on selling the technology. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of channel-friendly big data vendors, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Hortonworks and Cloudera are among the leaders when it comes to going to market with big data channel partners in mind.

Following is an analysis of the vendors' respective big data technologies and the channel strategies they’re using to drive into the marketplace.


Microsoft's SQL Server, which debuted more than two decades ago, has over time morphed into a key pillar of its big data story. In April, Microsoft rolled out SQL Server 2014, which adds in-memory processing for the first time and can handle online transactions up to 30 times faster than previous versions.

Microsoft's big data strategy is increasingly focused on the cloud, and customers can tier their SQL workloads in the cloud to ensure a consistent level of operational performance.

SQL 2014 is opening the door for partners to build hybrid cloud scenarios, including cloud disaster recovery (DR) for SQL Server, said Chris Hertz, CEO of New Signature, a Washington, D.C.-based Microsoft partner.

"This is a huge win for our customers, who are increasingly stepping into Azure. And SQL Server is often mission- and business-critical and an area where the cost of delivering DR can be substantial," Hertz said.  

Microsoft launched a new offering in April called Analytics Platform System (APS), a "big data in a box" appliance that handles queries across SQL and Hadoop data stores.

In the future, Microsoft will offer Azure Intelligent Systems Service, an offering currently in preview that's designed to harness the coming explosion of data from the Internet of Things. The service collects data from servers and web-connected sensors and analyzes it in the cloud.