Cloudera signs North American partnership with Tech Data to expand downmarket with technologically sophisticated partners

Cloudera is looking for skilled partners to take their platform to the lower part of the enterprise, and sees their data and analytics-focused hybrid cloud offering as an attractive differentiator.

Gary Green, VP of Strategic Partnerships at Cloudera

Enterprise data cloud provider Cloudera has signed a new North American partnership with Tech Data. Cloudera intends to use the relationship to expand beyond their base in the large enterprise, by having Tech Data recruit a select channel of partners with sophisticated technical skills, who can sell Cloudera’s open source-focused software platform for data engineering, data warehousing, machine learning and analytics.

“We have had a relationship with Tech Data globally before this North American partnership, in EMEA and APAC,” said Gary Green, VP of Strategic Partnerships at Cloudera.  Previously their only North American distribution has been through Carahsoft, which is focused on government business.

Green is responsible for Cloudera’s entire worldwide partner ecosystem.

“That includes all indirect routes,” he said. “It starts with the big cloud providers – AWS, Azure and GCP – and under that, the GSIs and the regional SIs – Accenture, Deloitte, Wipro, and Tata. Under that is the independent ISVs and under that the IHVs like Dell, Cisco, and HPE. Finally, under that is the broad two-tier channel distribution with resellers. Supporting it all is the Cloudera Connect program.”

Much of the current reseller ecosystem came with the merger with HortonWorks in early 2019.

“Before the merger, both companies had channel programs and partners, but the HortonWorks side of partners created most of the modern partner ecosystem,” Green indicated. “HortonWorks was more partner-centric.”

The majority of the channel is resellers.

“There are some hosting partners, but it’s not a large percentage,” Green said. The number of MSP partners is 10-15%.

Cloudera’s direct focus is on the large enterprise, and they want to expand into the low end of the enterprise, which they call the commercial space.

“We want to leverage Tech Data for this specific segment, the low end of the enterprise,” Green said. “We really want them to build out the opportunity below our main enterprise customer base. We have 2500 customers worldwide, and these are the largest customers in the world. But there is a tremendous amount down below. We will work with Tech Data to establish a channel-only segment in the sub-2000 space. They will recruit a network of partners that we can use to drive into that segment.”

Green emphasized that they are looking to Tech Data to bring them partners who understand Cloudera’s technology.

“We are not looking for general resellers,” he said. “We have a very complex platform that manages data cycles, including ingests for Hadoop, ETL, and data warehousing. We need technically focused resellers, particularly with a focus on IoT and analytics.

“One of the things I’m not a big proponent of is having a large channel network where they do one or two deals, and you don’t see them again for three years,” Green added. “What we are looking for Tech Data to do is recruit a set of high quality value-added resellers. It would be great if these partners can take the whole sale from soup to nuts, but we are a very complex sale and we know we will likely be involved at some point.”

Cloudera provides flexible deployment options including on-premise, fully cloud-native as-a-service, or hybrid models, but with the direction the market is heading, they see that hybrid option as an increasingly attractive one.

“The real value proposition we bring to these new partners is a technology for the enterprise data cloud that addresses the hybrid market space,” Green said. “There is a lot of  buzz around the public cloud, but less than 10% of workloads are in it. We feel that our hybrid cloud approach distinguishes us. No other company from a data and analytics perspective offers a hybrid cloud platform.”

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