He said the channel also served as a critical point of entry for cashed up Silicon Valley businesses looking to expand to new markets. "It will be very important as we continue to expand our footprint in Australia. It has the experience with a wide variety of complementary technologies and strong localised relationships."
Dimension Data Learning Services chief executive (DDLS), Mal Shaw, said his company was seeing a spike in demand for Microsoft SQL server training. "Australian corporate and government clients are investing significantly in training to support their implementations of SQL Server," he said. "Big Data is not a myth."
DDLS NSW instructor manager, Richard Boxall, said companies were contemplating new roles such as data steward and data scientist in the search for gold in the data mines.
"The data steward is someone who understands what the data are and where to look," he said. "The data scientist has the analytical and statistical skill set to analyse the data and thereby create value from it for the business."
Gartner analyst, Ian Bertram, said Big Data was a bit of a misnomer, but that growth was strong in the Australian market.
He said it is causing conflict in organisations between the "suits", who take a structured approach, and the "hoodies", who like to experiment. "Integration is going to come back with a vengeance and that's where the channel is very good because they get down and dirty and do those integration projects."
Fujitsu solution director, Chris Gaskin, said, typically, the opportunities were on a smaller scale in Australia than Fujitsu had seen in other countries.
"In the future, the implementation of Big Data will rely on deployment of infrastructure and that is where we see the channel will play a role," he said. "The channel model allows for a more rapid discovery and implementation of Big Data as players bring a wide set of toolkits and functions."
He said there was a great opportunity for partners with a definite value add, such as Splunk, which solves a measurable set of use cases, by easing the way to get massive current data from machine logs.
Where do YOU start?
Cloudera chief architect, Doug Cutting, said most organisations start with either cost savings on an existing application or a brand new application, or a blend of both.
"To get cost savings, they move some of their expensive data warehouse workloads onto a Hadoop-based solution.
"They identify a type of analysis that wasn't previously possible but that would have significant impact on their business."
He said a Proof of Concept system to validate the idea is created, then deployed into production. Cutting said Big Data was no more a myth than the Internet was in the 1990s, and this time he did not see the "irrational exuberance".
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