IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Tech Data Unveils Free Cloud Analytics Proof of Concept Program

The new offering seeks to help partners drive increased sales of lucrative consulting engagements by demonstrating the viability and value of solutions linking on-premises data sources with hosted analytics platforms. By Rich Freeman

Tech Data Corp. has introduced a free, end-to-end program for conducting cloud analytics demonstration projects.

Called “30 Days to Cloud Analytics” and available now to the Clearwater, Fla.-based distributor’s U.S. and Canadian resellers, the new offering arms partners to deliver proof of concept solutions demonstrating the viability and value of linking on-premises data sources with hosted analytics platforms. Those early test implementations can then lead to bigger and more lucrative ongoing revenue opportunities, according to Colin Blair, Tech Data’s vice president for data analytics and Internet of Things in the Americas.

“Generally, when you’re doing this, at the end state it’s a much bigger kind of implementation,” he says. “Data management is a very strategic aspect of what a lot of clients are doing, so it takes a good degree of insight and foresight and business requirements gathering, and that becomes a more consultative kind of engagement.”

The new program also aims to help channel pros new to business intelligence develop repeatable, scalable cloud analytics migration and integration processes.

“The philosophy is we’re helping our partner community learn how to do that work on their own,” Blair says, adding that resellers who wish to, however, can also leverage Tech Data’s consulting, deployment, and management services on an outsourced basis.

Designed to include everything partners need to deliver quick, effective cloud analytics solutions, “30 Days to Cloud Analytics” incorporates proprietary Tech Data project execution methodologies, cloud analytics software from leading vendors, and public cloud storage capacity on leading platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Informatica LLC, of Redwood City, Calif., is one of several analytics vendors participating in the program.

“They’ve already done a lot of the integration work with a lot of the different ERP providers, application providers, and visualization providers,” Blair observes.

Tech Data has no plans at present to attach a fee to the program in the future.

“This is going to be an opportunity, I think, for the Tech Data channel for some time, so we have no intentions of limiting this program,” Blair says.

The distributor sees midsize businesses as especially good candidates for the new program, he adds.

“A lot of the big companies either have internal resources or can go out and hire global system integrators,” Blair says. “When you get into mid-market it becomes a different animal.”

Though many businesses employ hybrid business intelligence strategies combining on- and off-premises solutions, sales of applications in Tech Data’s cloud-based big data and analytics portfolio are growing four and a half times faster than deals involving locally installed equivalents.

Analyst firm IDC, meanwhile, expects economical, subscription-based cloud pricing models to fuel five times higher growth in spending on online analytics solutions versus onsite systems by 2018.

Big data is one of several “next generation” markets Tech Data is pivoting towards amid eroding sales of PCs, servers, and other traditional stand-alone products. The company has announced new offerings in other such categories, including cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and converged infrastructure, in recent months.

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