MapR launches new partner program for top system integrators

MapR has many integrator partners in its channel program who do fulfilment, but now is creating a new program for the best, with whom it will work more closely.

Geneva Lake, MapR’s vice president of worldwide alliances

San Jose-based MapR Technologies has launched its Elite Premier program for system integrators. A sub-program within MapR’s existing Converge Partners Program, it is designed for the top tier of MapR’s many systems integrator partners.

“There are hundreds of SI partners in our program at different levels,” said Geneva Lake, MapR’s vice president of worldwide alliances. “Our big focus with this though is the global SIs. We want to get them to build a practice around MapR.”

MapR makes a Converged Data Platform that fully integrates analytics with operational processes in real time, enabling enterprises to better reap the benefits of Big Data.

“Our platform enables intelligent applications within the business by injecting intelligent insights into real-time business process, like intelligent automobile systems,’ Lake said.

“We started out as primarily a Hadoop distribution,” said Sameer Nori, Director of Product Marketing at MapR. “We have since added in multiple layers to do multiple workloads on a single cluster, and now Hadoop is just one of many workloads you can run on our platform. The use cases span from offloading data and data warehousing, but increasingly is handling these intelligent apps.”

MapR has always been focused on large enterprises.

“That has been our focus since inception, and we have targeted 3600 companies globally,” Lake said. “In the past, companies really needed resources for this kind of product, and those resources were found in the enterprise.”

While MapR has a large channel of partners, it isn’t a resell-based model.

“We started our partner program about 15 months ago, and we still sell on a direct model,” Lake said. “Resale isn’t a large part of business. Many of our partners are transactional resellers. We aren’t a services company – it’s only 10-15 per cent of our revenues. And then there’s the whole ISV community and all the integration points into MapR.”

Integrators are the major component of the existing partner program.

“My team focuses on the systems integrators, and building that SI community that can run MapR,” Lake said. “With the overall growth of the partners, 62 per cent have been SIs. We have a strong enablement program for them. It has to be because this is complex stuff.”

“Our larger customers like Amex have a sizable MapR presence, and while our professional services team does some with them, the SIs work with us in accounts like that,” Nori said. “With the more regional ones, it’s more a case of them bringing in net-new business.”

The initial focus was on smaller integrators.

“It used to be the boutiques,” Lake said. “From there, we developed partnerships with regional SIs. They are all still an important part of our business. They bring us opportunities. Then we have what I call the super-regionals, who go beyond one market, like all of North America, or all of EMEA.”

The big focus of the new program is the global systems integrators.

“The big Indian SIs originally led this space in Big Data, but that’s not where we see a lot of the opportunity,” Lake said. “It’s more the US-based firms, because of their advisory relationships. We can sell the deal and have the SIs manage the entire project. I see the GSIs playing that advisory role, and bringing us business as well. With these partners, we also have to bring them business too.”

The integrators selected to join the Elite Premier program receive additional benefits beyond that available in MapR’s standard program. These include executive sponsorship for joint business alignment, and a designated alliance manager. They will also receive direct engagement with MapR’s professional services team, exclusive access to customized partner training for the MapR Platform, and preferred status to invest in joint marketing and sales programs.

“The Elite program steps all of this up a notch,” Lake said.

“The program will be focused on the idea of quality control, which means vetting the SIs who we bring in,” Lake stressed. “Because we will be building field sales and inside sales teams exponentially, we need to have control over who they bring into these deals as well.

“I don’t want hundreds of SIs in this program – maybe 20 globally – including global, regional and superregionals.”