We had the opportunity to attend the yearly Cloudera analyst meeting at the beautiful historic Mark Hopkins hotel in San Francisco. The vendor had a remarkable audience of almost 40 analysts attending, documenting the importance of Cloudera for the BigData market.
As usual, here are my top 3 takeaways of the event:
BigData has traction – As we also see in our interactions with enterprises, BigData is a key driver for new investment into next generation applications. CEOs intuitively approve BigData proofs of concepts, trials and projects, as the value proposition for insight applications it tangible: When you merge all the information from sources an enterprise paid many multiples more for than for a BigData project, there is a high likeliness that better insights will result from a merge of all of these data sources in BigData clusters. Cloudera sees a similar growth opportunity, enjoying a 150% growth rate. But with growth come the challenges, and Cloudera needs to grow in its go to market and partner ecosystem dimensions. Not easy to solve, but the management team had the right answers how to tackle these two growth areas in the years to come. To exemplify the scale of the problem, Cloudera on average ramps up two partners and hires two employees on a working day. But these are good problems to have for any software vendor, as it shows solid execution on the product side. When asking about Q&A, the vendor shared that the largest investment on the R&D side currently goes into the quality area certainly a good step and direction,. We see quality concerns and potentially resulting delivery issue as the biggest concerns from CIOs / CTOs around the country – once they have bought into the basic value proposition of BigData.

Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly talks Intel investment and partnership
More verticals – During the part of CEO Tom Reilly, he shared that after Cloudera created a CDH and a number of security improvements, it was now time to look at more vertical applications. And the focus industries for the near future are – no surprise – Financial Services and Telco, two of the industries known for larger IT budgets and spend. Cloudera will of course not send away any business of other customers, e.g. keep working with retailers, the government etc. – but there will be more attention and focus to these two industries. Reilly did not make specific announcements – but it is certainly good to see that Cloudera plans to create vertical value propositions for prospects and customers.

The gentleman who started it all... Doug Cutting 
Partners matter – We heard for many times that we are still in the early times of BigData. The main challenge for Cloudera is to ramp up partners, that leverage the Cloudera products. Cloudera’s sales strategy relies on partners to create value for enterprises, as Cloudera tries to close enterprise wide deals with the CIO / CTO. The next step then is to bring partners in, that leverage the existing Cloudera platform for their products. If partners cannot show / create value for a customer, the TCO of the overall Cloudera solution won’t be favorable, so Cloudera’s success stands and falls with the value proposition partner can bring to the table.

Brave 7 Cloudera Execs in Analyst Q&A


An insightful analyst summit by Cloudera, that I had to leave early unfortunately, so baring the one to ones that happened next day, it is clear that Cloudera has made a lot of progress and probably maneuvered itself into a leading position in the BigData space. The vendor has added significant functionality and has an ambitious product agenda for the next 18 months. The strategic question for the vendor is – will a leading position on the database side be enough to let Cloudera earn the fruits of its work, or does the vendor have to move in the PaaS and maybe analytical SaaS applications space. Right now that is a partnering opportunity, but we know that historically PaaS and SaaS vendors command multiples of the database vendors in share of wallet. The good news is, that the Cloudera executives are aware of the risk and know they need to keep an eye on the PaaS and analytical SaaS applications space. Or in other works: Enterprises use Cloudera to build next generation applications – the vendor needs to be close to the use cases and make sure it keeps a large enough piece of the overall enterprise spending. 

More posts on the BigData / OpenSource space:
  • News Analysis - Pivotal pivots to Open Source and Hortonworks - or: Open Source always wins - read here
  • Market Move - Oracle buys Datalogix - moves into DaaS - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP commits to CloudFoundry and OpenStack - Key Steps - but what is the direction? Read here
  • Event Report - MongoDB is a showcase for the power of Open Source in the enterprise - read here
  • Musings - A manifesto: What are 'true' analytics? Read here
  • Musings - The Era of the no-design Database - Read here
  • Musings - Time to ditch your datawarehouse .... - Read here
Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here.
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