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Exclusive Interaction – Derek Judge, Head, Channels Alliances, Cloudera

Derek Judge is the Director of channels and alliances at Cloudera for the APAC region. In this interaction he delves into Cloudera’s partner program Cloudera Connect and the importance of trust with partners.

What are your thoughts about   sustainable datacentres?

Sustainability in datacentres is important to us and what our private cloud solution does is enables our customers to use their assets more efficiently. By doing that, they should be able to reduce the energy consumption. This is a general comment about the use of some cloud technologies which we’re bringing on premise to people’s own private cloud datacentres using some of the same techniques that they use in the public cloud domain. The private cloud offering from Cloudera’s Data Platform will also help with the sustainability effort.

As   the head of channels and alliances for APAC, what is your strategy to reach end consumers    through the channels community in countries like India?

The partner community  is very important to Cloudera because a majority of our customers execute the product with the help of our partners. We work with our partners through Cloudera connect, a partner programme, which helps our partners get enabled, it helps us support our partners. Through the program, we offer our partners with tools and resources to be fully equipped at supporting their customers. One of the things we announced recently is the Cloudera Connect Market Builders program, which is a set of resources that we give to our partners using which they can then explain and position the Cloudera Data Platform to their customers. At the moment, we’re going to add a set of webinars that our partners can get enabled with all our latest material around the Cloudera Data Platform

Do these webinars have a training component?

Yes, there’s a training component which is very high level from a webinar point of view. Within the Partner Portal, they can also have access to some on-demand online programmes. When partners sign up online for the Connect program, they can also get a discount on the training courses. We have a lot of training and some really good material in the Cloudera Connect program.

Are these training programmes free, or do they have to pay for them?

There’s a lot of free material. What is really important to us is that our Partners are successful when they deploy solutions with their customers. You can get to a certain level by taking either free or chargeable training but the most important thing is to ensure that our partners are successful. I’m also putting in place a special enablement and mentoring program where we can help our partners during their first project. We can help them with a set of sources, mentoring and shadowing services to actually make sure that our partner’s first project is absolutely successful.

Do you always reach end consumers directly or do you reach them through the partners?

It’s a mix of both, the determining factor is what the customer wants to do. Some customers want to deal with us directly and some want to deal with their favourite partners. Sometimes it’s a situation where our partners are involved in certain projects which integrate and we’re just a part of that. I work very close to Vinod and the India team and we talk together about what partners want and we’re in very close alignment. I think that customers generally like to work with partners, particularly in India because of their local needs, local resources. And like I said, sometimes partners work on projects that are not only about Cloudera, and here partners have a good view of structural overview about that kind of landscape.

A lot of partners express dissatisfaction and feel that many IT companies bypass partners and try to reach the enterprises directly. How do you deal with this issue?

I think a lot of them may come around if they feel some kind of friction with professional services. Our professional services team is there to help with the success of our customers. I think one thing that is very important to us is that we want our partners to be very successful. We have different kind of partners – some of them are in the hardware-based services like Dell, HP or IBM who offer their hardware along with it, which is fine. There are some partners who want to resell our software, help us with paperwork and processes and just take a margin which is also fine. But I think the biggest base where our partners make the most money is actually around services. In that space, we want to make sure our partners are comfortable and there is a lot of trust together. I believe that successful customers and successful partners for a successful line of business. That’s what I admire the most and that’s how we build a lovely line of trust.

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