As social, mobile and cloud technologies open the floodgates of data, value added resellers have a unique opportunity to create big data projects that help companies capture, sort, manage and analyze data to provide actionable insights that improve a company’s competitive advantage. To embark on a project of this size and scope, however, VARs can better position themselves for success if they partner with a large distributor that can offer big data services to meet the challenges of their multifaceted projects.
The quest to embark on a big data engagement is an idea that a growing number of companies are pursuing. According to a recent IDG survey, 49 percent of the 751 respondents polled said they are implementing or are likely to implement big data projects in the future.
Big data projects also come with complex challenges that threaten to disrupt a VARs big data engagement. A survey by Capgemini Consulting, which interviewed 226 respondents, found that only 27% of the executives described their big data initiatives as “successful”, and only 8% said these initiatives were “very successful.”
Undoubtedly, there are multiple reasons why success eludes many big data initiatives. Some of the challenges respondents identified in the Capgemini report were that data is siloed in various business units, and companies hadn’t developed a clear business case for big data funding and implementation. Additionally, ineffective coordination of big data and analytics teams across the organization has hampered the progress of big data projects.
It’s against this background that VARs must move from the planning to implementation stage of their projects. To succeed, resellers should consider teaming with a large distributor that offers big data services as you create a strategy that pulls together the right combination of technology, IT expertise, financing and management skills.
As systems integrators, you’ll want to consider choosing a large distributor that can bring to the table several key big data services that will make your project stand out: These are:
1. Large distributors can offer the latest technology.
Big data projects require a plethora of technology that touches every aspect of a company’s technology enterprise. These include servers and storage technology, cloud computing, network equipment, as well as Hadoop software, security applications and analytics tools. In addition to the technology, large distributors can give you the advice and the technical skills you’ll need to address a customer’s big data needs.
2. Distributors can help drive the big data discussion.
Many customers say they want to manage their data, but haven’t established clear goals and objectives on how they want the data to be managed or what they want to do with the data. To help identify clear business needs and value, VARs can rely on a large distributor that already has experience with issues such as silos of data, ineffective coordination of analytics initiatives and ineffective data management issues.
3. Distributors can help you finance your project.
Big data projects aren’t cheap and can cost companies hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars depending on the company and the size and scope of the project. For VARs, they’ll want to turn to a large distributor that can provide financial terms for big data resources. The ability to help you with the necessary financing is critical to the success of a big data project.
4. Big data projects require IT expertise.
A large IT distributor often has their own big data consulting services. This means VARs can rely on the skills of hardware and software engineers and other skilled personnel. These experts can help you configure servers, customize your IT solutions, and assist with data integration, data normalization, and validation, as well as data analysis.
5. Establish big data governance directives that address compliance.
Several vertical markets have specific laws and regulations that affect the way data is stored and protected. For example, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) establishes clear technical and procedural steps to secure electronic protected health information (ePHI). Large distributors have teams working with customers in healthcare, banking, retail and other verticals and can bring added expertise to VARs as they develop technology solutions in accordance with current regulatory guidelines.
6. Big data is an ongoing project.
Looking beyond the project’s completion, VARs, with the assistance of a large distributor, can help with maintenance, security, analytics and data management.
As you develop a deeper relationship with a big distributor, you’ll also find a number of other services that can nourish your company’s growth and reputation as a systems integrator. For example, large distributors can offer you initial marketing and sales leads, and can guide you on how to work with IT stakeholders and executives in finance and marketing.
Every VAR appreciates the fact that big data engagements are complex and challenging. As you seek to implement a project that harnesses big data to deepen the engagement between a company and its customers, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve partnered with a large distributor that has all the necessary resources, expertise and financing in place to help you succeed.