Splunk Looks to the Channel for Big Data Growth
While Splunk search technology is widely used within IT organizations to analyze machine data generated by IT infrastructure, the company's core technology hasn't been applied that much outside the IT department. Now, with the help of channel partners, Splunk aims to expand its presence across the enterprise via a series of analytics offerings that deliver on big data's promise.
From an implementation of Splunk that runs directly against Hadoop to a suite of operational intelligence offerings, the company has significantly expanded its product line in the last year and is now looking for channel partners with domain knowledge expertise related to big data to help execute its strategy.
"We're looking for partners that can come up with innovative use cases for Splunk," said Jeff Hodges, Splunk director of channel for the Americas. "That's why we require partners to have both certified sales people and sales engineers."
In fact, in the past 18 months, Splunk went from three Splunk Certified Architect certifications to more than 120 in the Americas, from three partner certifications in the Americas to 500, and from 200 partner certifications worldwide to more than 1,000. Collectively, those certifications represent use cases for applying Splunk technology anywhere massive amounts of data are regularly generated.
While there is no shortage of big data analytics offerings, one thing in Splunk's favor is the fact that a lot of IT organizations are already familiar with its core technology. The strategy now is to find channel partners that can help expand Splunk's footprint across the enterprise—preferably in collaboration with internal IT departments that would rather see their organizations leverage technology they already know how to install and use.
The second prong of Splunk's channel strategy is to leverage developers to embed Splunk within their applications. To that end, Splunk is offering a software development kit (SDK) developers can use to embed Splunk analytics within a larger application.
"We think there will be a huge opportunity for partners to build applications on top of Splunk," said Bill Gaylord, senior vice president of business development. "The Internet of things is going to be all about leveraging large amounts of machine data.
Big data is obviously a massive new opportunity for the channel. The challenge is finding a way to address it that doesn't wind up deploying a lot of infrastructure plumbing that fails to quickly deliver business value in the form of actionable intelligence.