November 8, 2018
By Kevin Casey
Master data management (MDM) is an age-old IT function and business need, and the need for robust MDM tools and practices isn’t going to decrease any time in the foreseeable future.
But the “D” in MDM sure has changed in recent years, hasn’t it?
Businesses of all types and sizes are dealing with data in far greater quantities and from more sources than ever before. Traditional enterprise data silos have been joined by everything from social to IoT, machine data to digital customer interactions and more.
Consider the beginning of Gartner’s definition of MDM: “Master data management (MDM) is a technology-enabled discipline in which business and IT work together to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, semantic consistency and accountability of the enterprise’s official shared master data assets.” One could say that’s always been the definition, but those data assets have become far more valuable and diverse.
Like other time-honored enterprise technologies, MDM had been getting something of a reboot for the digital world. Enter newer cloud-centric players like Reltio who are doing just that. The company, which started in 2011, aims to deliver data-driven enterprise apps via its MDM platform built for the era of cloud, big data, machine learning and AI.
“7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**
Reltio’s Vasu Vallurupalli
Vasu Vallurupalli, Reltio VP, alliances, touts the firm’s Reltio Cloud as “the only multi-domain, multi-model, multi-cloud modern master data-management platform.”
It appears to be more than tech bluster: Reltio grown significantly, ranking No. 1,636 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., with a three-year growth rate of 282 percent. Reltio appeared in the “strong leaders” quadrant in the Forrester Wave report on MDM in 2016, joining bigger names like IBM and Informatica not long after it hit the market.
A significant part of its growth strategy is tied to channel partners: Reltio has signed on more than 30 as part of its Reltio Connect program, which the firm expects to continue growing.
We asked Vallurupalli to explain why MSPs, VARs, resellers and other partners should take a closer look at Reltio.
Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?
Vasu Vallurupalli: Developed natively in the cloud, Reltio Cloud organizes enterprise data for various digital-transformation initiatives. With Reltio, businesses can manage data like the leading cloud companies do, leveraging continuous data organization and recommended actions to ultimately measure and improve their operations.
Reltio is the only vendor that organizes data from all sources and formats, creating a unified data set with unlimited personalized views for users across sales, marketing and compliance. With machine learning, Reltio also recommends actions, and finally measures and correlates the impact of those actions on the business. It also leverages machine learning to allow data to continuously get smarter for improved outcomes. This closed-loop cycle empowers companies to …
… put data at the heart of every decision, build analytics into operational business processes and continuously learn about customers, products and their relationships.
The overarching appeal, or “secret sauce,” is that Reltio Cloud helps both IT and non-technical business functions.
Business users get a new breed of data-driven enterprise applications that combine operational and analytical capabilities for a complete view of relationships among people, products, places and activities.
IT gets a modern MDM platform as a service (PaaS) to more efficiently and cost-effectively organize enterprise master data with interaction, social and relationship data, breaking down traditional data silos.
CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features? Do you work with masters and/or distributors?
VV: The Reltio Connect partner program consists of global consultancies, systems integrators, outsourcers, independent software vendors, resellers and solution providers. Partners share Reltio’s vision of a seamlessly integrated open ecosystem working together to deliver fast time-to-value for customers. The program provides tools, services and support for partners to develop and market offerings. Reltio Connect was established in 2014 to enable partners to develop solutions and data-driven applications using the Reltio Cloud master data-management PaaS. Resellers are supported by joint marketing planning, recruitment materials and sales enablement. Reltio partners consist of SIs, data partners, service partners and technology partners. Reltio offers training and certification programs for our partners. Our entire partner ecosystem meets at the Reltio Partner Connect annual conference, where we provide technology updates and align business strategies. Additionally, all our partners are present at our annual user Modern Data Management Summit where they showcase solutions to customers and prospects. The 2018 user conference had over 400 attendees.
CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.
VV: Reltio has 20-plus channel partners and 10-plus data partners. Partner-driven sales form a significant part of Reltio’s business. This includes ISVs, OEMs, MSPs, and resellers, all leveraging industry solutions they have built on top of Reltio’s modern MDM platform.
CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?
VV: Reltio competitors include traditional MDM vendors and some technologies in the big-data category. Traditional MDM solutions were created to solve singular business problems, and so create siloed, fragmented views of information. Due to the way they were designed, a single organization can have several dozen MDM implementations, which is cumbersome and costly to manage. The Reltio Cloud blends data from all lines of business and sources, creating a truly holistic picture of the information – for the first time – including client interaction and transaction data. It pulls data from all internal, external, third-party and social media sources at scale, creating a reliable data foundation or single source of truth that all employees work from, and collaborate to improve upon.
Reltio also stands above others in its ability to deliver rich profiles directly to the business users who need it to do their jobs every day; in fact, the company was founded with the mission to solve the disconnect between IT’s back-office efforts for data management and the business’ need to get access to reliable, relevant data in a timely manner that meets the changing market landscape. Reltio data-driven applications provide reliable data, relevant insights and recommended actions to users in sales, marketing and compliance, for example, but Reltio can be used to solve any business information problem. Simply put, Reltio Cloud enables users to …
… make more informed business decisions faster, and is taking the practice of data management into the next generation to data organization.
Under the hood, Reltio’s graph technology and multi-model data storage architecture allow companies to understand the important many-to-many relationships among people, companies, products, places and more. Reltio works with multiple clouds such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform so that customers can have access to the best technologies available to store and efficiently manage the right data in the right storage, based on their preference.
CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?
VV: As data volumes and variety keep increasing, and companies understand the tremendous value and opportunities in data, the technology will evolve to support newer business models, new customer expectations and meet the needs of the ever-changing regulatory environment. Modern data-management platforms will need to support these needs with the scalability, performance and intelligence driven by advanced analytics and machine learning. Reltio will continue to invest in our MDM and data quality technology – especially via AI and machine learning – and enhance our frameworks so we and our partners can continue to develop more compelling industry solutions that include industry-standard metrics benefiting the entire ecosystem.
CP: How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve over that time frame?
VV: Reltio works very closely with our customers and partners. Close, ongoing relationships with channel partners help us collaborate with them on trends and competitive threats while giving them the tools to quickly develop new solution offerings to meet demand with changing business needs. An example is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which our partners saw an immediate need that Reltio platform will help address, and they can bundle within their managed services and solutions.
CP: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?
VV: We believe our partner ecosystem is key to delivering value to our customers. We make significant investments in dedicated resources for partner success and assist partners with presales, sales, delivery and solution development.
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