DataStax, a key NoSQL database provider, is preparing to hire a channel chief, The VAR Guy has confirmed. Backed by $45 million in recent venture capital funding, DataStax plans to focus its Big Data solutions on six types of partners while also driving international growth, according to John Schweitzer, executive VP of worldwide operations. Here's the update.

Launched by Rackspace (RAX) veterans Matt Pfeil and Jonathan Ellis, DataStax is now a 130-person company. The company has been selling a NoSQL database for about seven quarters now. Early DataStax adopters include eBay, Netflix, Adobe, Constant Contact and Ooyala, as well as 20 companies within the Fortune 100.

Much in the way that relational database companies popped up throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, NoSQL adoption has accelerated in recent years as customers pursue new ways to manage Big Data applications. Forrester Research predicts the NoSQL market will grow from $200 million in 2013 to $1 billion in 2017.

Still, DataStax faces a range of potential NoSQL rivals, including:

DataStax Readies Partner Moves

Schweitzer, on the job for roughly 120 days, is an Oracle, SAP and Hyperion veteran. It sounds like he'll hire an official channel chief within the next few weeks. "The list of resumes and leads is great," said Schweitzer.

In the meantime, the foundation for a partner program is already in place for the open source company. Schweitzer says the intial channel effort includes about 80 partners across six market segments:

  1. Large systems integrators;
  2. OEMs;
  3. Boutique integrators;
  4. Cloud services providers (CSPs);
  5. Idependent software vendors (ISVs); and
  6. Independent hardware vendors (ISVs).

DataStax recently raised $45 million in series D funding. Much of that money will go towards sales and marketing efforts -- including the partner program build-out. "The opportiunity is huge," Schweitzer. "We're getting inbound calls from all corners of the world."

Next Moves

Near term, the biggest channel opportunity involves regional and global systems integrators as well as OEMs. "Unlike a lot of players, we're not interested in a massive services businesses," said Schweitzer. "We've got to have a thriving partner channel. If we don't have that channel, our valuation won't meet our expectations."

The channel effort will also piggyback DataStax's international expansion. The company opened a European office about four months ago and now has a dozen employees in the region. Roughly 20 percent of DataStax's business should come from Europe by the end of 2014. Naturally, the European channel will play a key role in achieving that goal.

Schweitzer has tackled business growth before. At Hyperion, he helped to grow the organization from around $50 million to roughly $850 million. As a startup, DataStax is a smaller operation where "every decision matters, every hire matters, and the organization is looking for clarity at all times on where the market is heading and where we're heading."

Near term, it sounds like DataStax is heading deeper into the channel.