Vendor focus

Data appliance for SMEs


SAS and EMC Greenplum come together in the region to launch a power packed data management solution for SMEs

In order to bring data warehousing and data analytic solutions into the small and medium enterprise space, SAS amd EMC Greenplum have come together at a regional level and are offering an appliance solution for this market space. Called D1 appliance, it combines the hardware data warehousing platform from EMC Greenplum with data management and business analytics applications from SAS as a pre-configured, network ready, ready to use device. The solution has an entry level price point that has been chosen on the basis of affordability for the market segment, the possible return on investment and the business benefits on a medium term basis. The D1 appliance also has an upward migration path, allowing end users to add on additional SAS applications as the end user progresses towards more demanding business returns from the solution.

For a small and medium enterprise wishing to implement a data warehousing and data management solution there are two primary hurdles. The first is the cost of the application software and the second is the capacity to execute systems integration, knowledge transfer and data migration. The D1 appliance has been set at a price point that makes it affordable for a small and medium business to consider investing in such a solution. Moreover the hardware and software combination comes fully integrated, fully installed and ready to run eliminating technology and cost hurdles of implementation and go-live activation.

Amir Sohrabi, Regional Alliance Manager, Middle East and Africa at SAS Middle East

Says Philip Roy, Director Data Computing Division, EMC, ”This product is focussed on small and medium enterprises, because it breaks these two barriers of entry. Very large enterprises have specialised IT teams who can choose different products, integrate them together and build their own business intelligence solution. For small and medium enterprises this is not possible.”

By avoiding the costly and time consuming route of systems study and custom implementation across a business is the functionality of the D1 appliance restricted in any way for the small and medium enterprise end users?

“The functionality of the D1 appliance is the same as in a telecom service provider or at a large financial institution. The limitation is not in terms of functionality, it is in terms of storage space for data and scalability of the appliance,” says Roy. “Moreover any business that spends a lot of time on Excel spreadsheets and builds them manually can automate and make them faster and more accurate by implementing the D1 appliance.”

On a global scale, due to the strong synergies between the two companies, there are examples of such alliances. However, the D1 appliance is a regional initiative and road shows for UAE have just been concluded. The next step is to make the solution available across the Middle East. “The appetite of the two companies to work together is so high that there are local initiatives that are being tackled as well. D1 is really the physical deliverable for this sort of appetite of doing things and being of more value to the market,” he continues.

“The launch of the new D1 offering reflects the strategic relationship we have with EMC Greenplum, says Amir Sohrabi, Regional Alliance Manager, Middle East and Africa at SAS Middle East.

Regional partnership with SAS, Philip Roy, Director Data Computing Division, EMC

The D1 appliance has been built from the ground up taking into consideration strong business benefits for the small and medium business segment. However SAS and EMC Greenplum operate their sales completely through channel partners and both vendors have also setup up their channel structure to facilitate delay-free sell-through and sell-out of the D1 appliance from the distributor to the reseller and onwards into the end customer. In fact as per the current channel structure, the vendors, distributor, reseller and end customer are connected by an almost seamless pipe ensuring the solution reaches the customer with minimum delay and technology adaptation holdups.

UAE based Altis is the in-country distributor for the D1 appliance for both SAS and EMC Greenplum resellers. However Altis is also the implementation and support partner for the solution, thereby reducing the need for the reseller community to either ramp up their technology and product skills or to plan for vendor certification training programmes in the short term.

“Some resellers can do more presales and they can keep that. Since the burden of integration and design is taken care of by Altis, it becomes simple for a reseller, no matter what their speciality is to take this box to the market if they have an end user who is interested in it.”

By having Altis as the guaranteed implementation and support partner, resellers can focus on penetrating new customer accounts with confidence as well as expanding their current portfolio of services with customers by upselling business consulting services around the D1 appliance and other SAS solutions.

“For the reseller entering an account with entry level D1, there is a path forward that they can actually follow to generate value for end users to move them up the food chain and generate business value around that. The reseller only needs to be focussed on the end customer and understand their needs,” explains Roy.

The approach of bringing in Altis as a distributor partner and removing the technology ramp up obstacle is to allow resellers to rapidly and confidently penetrate small and medium customer accounts and generate sales volume around the D1 appliance.

“Altis is focussed on D1. The idea is to make this value available to the channel, so that the channels can take this forward. Altis takes care of the go to market and SAS and EMC Greenplum take care of the technology underneath by providing the product that Altis can integrate.”

By generating volume growth, resellers get an incentive for investing in further business development; Altis gets access to reseller partners and the growing product base; while SAS and EMC Greenplum are able to provide the best technology bundle for potential market segments. A carefully planned win-win for all!

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D1 Appliance

This appliance combines the best of SAS and EMC Greenplum to provide an entry level solution for the SMB market segment

Specifications

– Hardware and software combination appliance from EMC GreenPlum and SAS with data warehousing, data management and analytics capability

– Data warehousing features from EMC Greenplum

– Extraction, transformation, loading and in-Database processing from SAS Data Management

– Data integration, extraction, transformation and in-Database processing from SAS Data Management

– Statistical data mining, forecasting and scenario planning from SAS Advanced Analytics

– Business intelligence capability to easily add web development, Microsoft Office, web-services and enriched intelligence from company’s own disparate data from SAS Business Intelligence

– GreenPlum data warehouse solution leverages SAS Analytics via InDatabase Analytics

– Product portfolio stack: #1 Data warehousing and data management #2 Data warehousing, data management and business intelligence #3

Data warehousing, data management and analytics forecasting

– US$55,000 for Base Appliance, Data Warehousing, SAS Data Management Suite. Business Intelligence, Analytics and Advanced Analytics Modules to be added on

– Installation and annual support provided by UAE based Altis

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SAS channel partners

Just two years ago SAS operated in the region as a direct vendor. Today it has more than twenty five regional partners. As a channel partner with SAS, there is a shift of engagement from the IT side of a customer’s business to the management side. A channel partner will find discussion on selection and right sizing of SAS solutions takes them into customer decision areas they have not been able to go before. “If a partner is looking at taking their business to another level, to make sure they are having the right discussions with business then we are the right fit for them,” says Amir Sohrabi, Regional Alliance Manager, Middle East and Africa at SAS Middle East. “What we are looking for are partners who can understand what they can gain from us.” Other than the open space left to reseller partners SAS also maintains hard deck accounts, who demand direct SAS involvement because of their IT and business scale and complexity.

Regional partners

– Altis, Dubai, UAE

– Bitek Verimlilik Cozumleri ve Danismanlik, Istanbul, Turkey

– Data Gear, Cairo, Egypt

– Data Market, Maslak, ?stanbul, Turkey

– DirectCom, Kosuyolu, Instanbul, Turkey

– Diyar United Company, Hawalli, Kuwait

– Kafein Yazilim Ve Bilgisayar Hizmetleri San Ve TIC, Istanbul, Turkey

– Likya Bilgi Teknolojileri Ve Iletisim Hizmetleri, Istanbul, Turkey

– Maven Partners, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

– Optimiza, National Computer Co, Amman, Jordan

– Online Modern Solutions, Cairo, Egypt

– Peppers and Rogers Group Pazarlama Hizmetleri, Istanbul, Turkey

– Peppers and Rogers Group Turkey, Istanbul, Turkey

– Philogica Bilisim Yazilim Sistemleri Ve Hizmetleri Ticaret, Istanbul, Turkey

– Satvik, Dubai, UAE

– Ultima Bilgi Teknolojileri AS, Istanbul, Turkey

– YemenSoft Co, Sana’a, Yemen

– Zoofi Tech Co, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Consulting services partners (partial global list)

– Accenture

– Amdocs

– Capgemini

– Computer Sciences Corporation

– Comsys

– Deloitte Consulting

– Elite Technology Solutions

– IBM Global Services

– Mainline Information Systems

– Modern Analytics

– Pinnacle Solutions

– Qualex

– Wipro Technologies

– Zencos

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