HP’s Big Data Platform a HAVEn for Partner Apps

Colin Mahony, VP and GM, HP Vertica

Colin Mahony, VP and GM, HP Vertica

Hewlett-Packard introduced its unified platform for its Big Data repositories and tools, a platform it calls HAVEn. Introduced at its HP Discover customer show last week, HAVEn stands for Hadoop, Autonomy, Vertica, Enterprise Security, and n apps.

The first four letters are self-explanatory – all either HP businesses or (Autonomty, Vertica, Enterprise Security such as ArcSight) or Big Data tools that HP markets (Hadoop). But the final letter, though lower case in the acronym – the algebraic representation of the number of apps that will be built around the other four aspects of the platform – holds the most interest for the company’s partner base.

HP’s software and services operations will be responsible for introducing a number of these applications, and at Discover, the company showed off one such example, HP Operations Analytics, a self-styled management cockpit for Big Data. But many more will come from other third parties, including ISVs, channel partners, and distributors.

Colin Mahony, vice president and general manager for HP Vertica, offers the example of one such application, a stack of HP hardware and software centered around Vertica from Avnet Technology Solutions, along with other software and services for channel partners to deliver. The plan is to offer one SKU via distribution, and then customize and configure for various customer Big Data and analytics needs. Patrick Stewart, vice president and general manager for the HP practice with Avnet Services, said it’s one of the first offerings from the newly announced Practice+ business at the distributor.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for any Big Data challenges, but it’s a way for solution providers to dip their toes into the water and tackle a specific customer challenge quickly.

“We can have a real big-data solution up and running in two weeks with a single-SKU solution,” Stewart said.

The distributor sees initial opportunities in tackling healthcare issues such as reducing hospital readmission rates, and is also eyeing opportunity in the financial sector and retail, Stewart said.

HP is betting the distributor won’t be alone in bringing together such offerings, whether it’s productized packages that tackle industry-specific opportunities, or custom applications for specific customers.

“To solve the problems we’re trying to solve, we believe that we will need an ecosystem of business intelligence experts, ISVs, resellers, and integrators to help us solve our customers’ core challenges,” Mahony said.

HAVEn is not meant to be seen as a single product, or even as a monolithic platform, Mahony stresses. Some customers won’t need all or even most parts of the framework at first, and some may never need parts of it. But it does provide a common language and infrastructure around which partners can address numerous customer challenges.

HAVEn’s promise for the channel is in its ability to create a single framework for solving a variety of Big Data challenges, whether it’s crunching massive amounts of realtime structured or semi-structured data (Vertica’s specialty), or trying to gain insights from unstructured data (Hadoop and Autonomy.)

“We’re excited about HAVEn because it allows our hardware partners to go back into their existing customer bases, look at the assets that have been sold around storage, and leverage those assets into a whole new architecture,” said Avnet’s Stewart.

That leverage grows as we enter what Mahony describes as the “Moneyball” era of business, where winners and losers in the market are determined by who does the best job of analyzing the massive amount of data their business develops and collects. But, as was the case for Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics, the value isn’t in the data alone, or even in the knowledge gleaned from that data, but rather in getting that data into the hands of subject matter experts who can verify the analytics with their own knowledge and experience.

“The real power of analytics is when it gets in the hands of people who can trust both the data and their gut,” Mahony said.

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