Although the concept of ‘getting to know your customer’ appears a generic insight into capitalising on Big Data, it is the core element for partners looking to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the industry trend, according to Dell Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) channel manager, Pete Murphy.
Murphy said the maturity of channel partners offering Big Data-related services and solutions is a mixed bag in A/NZ. Part of the reason is the trouble in defining the phenomenon which then hinders the path to becoming a customer’s trusted advisor, similarly to what the Cloud trend experienced around two years ago.
“Big Data is like Cloud in that it means so many different things to different people,” Murphy said.
“We [the industry] are still beginning to get our head around deriving the scale of the opportunity. While it is being talked about, everyone thought ‘Big Data well that’s just about business intelligence, data mining, and data warehousing’ but it’s not necessarily just about that.
For Murphy, it comes down to the sort of insights partners make with the information they have, and how data is turned into value. Partners must therefore determine which requirements the end user has, what the customer needs to do with the data, and which outcomes are driving their decisions and business value.
Murphy told ARN that at present, the number of partners achieving a revenue stream for Big Data is minimal, although nine of 10 have it on their agendas, and are likely to realise growth within the next 12 to 24 months.
Ticking all the boxes; value is critical
From a vendor perspective, Dell’s view is that data should be at the right place, at the right time, at the right cost.
Dell enterprise systems group (ESG) APJ vice-president, Phil Davis, said most vendors usually deliver on two of the three, which forces customers into one of two predicaments. They are spending a lot of time trying to manage the data and move it around so they then spend more of their budget in the data, or they are not managing it and end up with data all an array of silos.
Additionally, many customers use legacy silos and therefore have large amounts of data in different locations and are unable to determine where it should be stored and therefore struggle to find information.
Davis believes all three of these areas present major storage opportunities for partners as customers seek help in classifying data, moving it to the right tiers of storage, the migration process, and building a tiered storage architecture.
“Customers want that help as they don’t have the IT resources or budget,” Davis said. “We have been working with value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators (SIs) in terms of training them on Dell storage, certifying them, giving them joint go-to-market activity.
At the same time, Davis said traditional box mover reseller are not going to have a lot of capabilities to help customers because IT budgets are only growing marginally, and in some places are shrinking. Those who are not adding incremental growth will feel the squeeze on their operational strategy, so it is important to offer value beyond the box.
Nermin Bajric attended the Dell 2013 Enterprise Forum Australia as a guest of Dell.