FRANKFURT, GERMANY – As HP’s Discover 2012 conference gets going in earnest Tuesday, attention turned from yesterday’s storage announcements to big data and analytics, as it announced a suite of new solutions and services around Apache Hadoop, as well as its Autonomy and Vertica stacks.
While the new services are largely an all-HP Enterprise Services affair (yes, I asked), there seem to be ample solution provider opportunities around new additions and revisions to AppSystem – HP’s stack of its software offerings, management tools, and its ProLiant servers into an optimized stack, and usually sold through channel partners.
The strength of AppSystem is that it affords customer “a modular approach” to the often monolithic challenges of Big Data, said Paul Miller, vice president of converged application systems for HP’s Enterprise Group.
“It’s a different approach to appliances. Traditionally, you buy a monolithic thing that sits in the corner of the data centre, but customers want benefits of appliances – quick to set up, easy to manage – but they don’t want the rigidity,” Miller explained. “Our strategy is to provide with AppSystem the ability to offer modular building blocks, and allow customers to scale very easily.”
The company announced a revised version of its AppSystem for Hadoop – first introduced at this year’s North American Discover event in Las Vegas in June – to add a new dashboard that covers more aspects of configuring and managing the open source data pool technology. After all, as Miller quipped, “you can’t spell Hadoop without HP.”
To help get value out of that Hadoop (or any other unstructured data) pool, the company has revised its AppSystem for Vertica, optimizing for the latest version of the Vertica Analytics Platform, and the latest ProLiant Gen8 servers.
And out of the Autonomy camp, HP added a new offering to the AppSystem lineup, bringing an eDiscovery appliance to market for the first time. The attraction, Miller said, is the combination of sophisticated eDiscovery capabilities, with the simplicity and modular nature of an appliance.
While the value a company gets out of eDiscovery solutions varies widely depending on the litigiousness of a given country and/or vertical, it’s an attractive space for solution providers to play in, said Rafiq Mohammadi, general manager of HP Autonomy Promote, because of the margins involved with services around deployment, customization and optimization of eDiscovery. And it’s not an opportunity that depends entirely on company size – a fact that Mohammadi says he knows all too well from having been involved in a patent litigation when he was part of a five-person consulting organization earlier in his career.
“Litigation can happen to any size company, so the market is tiered and the resellers in the space are also tiered in terms of the services they offer and cost structure,” he said.
On another Autonomy front – one closer to home for Mohammadi’s own focus in the Promote group – HP introduced Tuesday morning the Autonomy Performance Marketing Suite, a full marketing automation solution targeted at the CMOs who are getting increasing access to and control of organizations’ marketing budgets. Mohammadi said the target customer is the “Global 1000” market, and the primary motion is with the biggest of the big global system integrators as well as marketing-specific niche integrators, but hinted that there are clear opportunities for other solution providers, particularly those looking to develop their own cloud-based marketing automation services by spinning up the Performance Marketing Suite on a cloud, with Amazon Web Services or another third-party cloud provider, or even with HP’s own Public or Hybrid Cloud offerings.
“One out of three requests I take are about our hosting strategy,” Mohammadi said, adding that because of the sensitive, and often closely controlled data involved, marketing automation lends itself well to non-multitenant hybrid or private environments.
Ultimately, he said, he sees marketing automation delivered in such a way following the path pioneered by Salesforce.com in transforming CRM from a luxury for big business into something any business can purchase on a utility basis.
“Our partners are very cognizant of the fact that there’s a big shift going on in terms of how services are delivered,” he said.
All of the company’s marketing automation implementations are sold through or with channel partners, Mohammadi added, because of the need for customization of dashboards, vertical-specific knowledge and other partner-delivered skills to get the most out of a solution.
“Everything we do in marketing automation, every deal, is touched by a partner,” he said. “We wouldn’t be able to function without the deep, symbiotic relationship we have with them.”