I’ve talked about ADBMS vendor Illuminate in two posts already this year, and for a small firm with little North American footprint, they continue to drive a surprising number of questions I receive. I had a quick chat with Andrew Fletcher, the VP responsible for building out the partner network, and he’s upbeat about the firm’s progress.
Illuminate now has partner management in 3 regions of North America and they have been instrumental in adding a dozen certified partners this year. Since Illuminate’s sales model depends on this channel, that’s a key step forward. In the past two quarters, 27 proof of concept engagements have been launched, and Illuminate claims to have closed several, none of which are attributable yet. I’m hoping for some customers I can talk to soon, but we’ll see.
Fletcher confessed to some surprise that more enterprises are coming aboard; business units inside large firms are after solutions, and Illuminate is getting even more action there than in the mid-market. The challenge there is organizational: one manufacturer took him aside and asked, “Please don’t tell IT you’re talking to me.” The different technological direction Illuminate takes often puts the SQL experts and DBAs off, Fletcher says: “They want to translate things back to the way they are used to thinking abut them.” The business users don’t care; they just want results.
This is always a challenge for highly differentiated architectures. It won’t go away soon, of course. Even when it’s been installed in a number of well-documented successes, questions will remain about the value of an island of different technology. But for companies who have needs that aren’t being met, a solution with a quick time-to-value often trumps those issues. Finding those opportunities, and people with budgets to spend, will be the challenge Illuminate’s partners will need to solve. The quality of that network, and its connection to its local markets, will be the key success factor for Illuminate in the next few quarters.