Fast-growing Snowflake is launching its first official partner program in a move to expand its partner ecosystem to include reseller and managed service provider opportunities for solution providers, better automate services provided to partners and offer a greater range of benefits and incentives.
The launch of the Snowflake Partner Network (SPN) comes as Snowflake is expanding its market vision, going beyond its original cloud data warehouse focus to define itself as a broad-based cloud data platform provider with services that touch on data engineering and data science tasks, data lakes management and data sharing.
“I think Snowflake is transforming from being a disruptive startup in the data warehouse space to a leading cloud data platform provider,” said Philip Larson, senior director of worldwide partner programs at Snowflake, in an interview with CRN USA.
The SPN news also comes amid reports Snowflake is gearing up to go public. Last week the Financial Times and Bloomberg reported that the company had submitted a confidential filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO that could be worth between $15 billion and $20 billion. In February the company raised $479 million in venture funding, putting its total funding at $1.4 billion and raising its market value to $12.4 million.
“The next step in our journey is really driving for scale,” said Colleen Kapase, Snowflake vice president of worldwide partner and alliances, in an interview with CRN USA. The services track within the new partner program, in particular, is intended to grow the number of MSPs and service providers who sell Snowflakes’ cloud data services. “As a cloud company, consumption is critical for us,” she said.
Snowflake hired Kapase one year ago to oversee its channel initiatives. She previously worked at VMware for 13 years and was vice president of VMware partner go to market, incentives and programs at the time she left.
Snowflake already boasts a significant number of technology and ISV partnerships including business analytics vendors like Tableau Software, Looker and Thoughtspot; data integration and transformation tool vendors such as Informatica, Matillion and Talend; and cloud platform companies Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
SPN includes a track for those technology partners. “I would say our tech ecosystem is really booming right now,” Kapase said.
Snowflake and Salesforce, for example, announced an expanded alliance on June 2 that included data integration tools, a data marketplace and other capabilities that make it easier to move Salesforce data to the Snowflake platform for analysis and collaboration.
Tuesday business intelligence software company Domo announced an expanded partnership with Snowflake that includes new federated query capabilities that make it easier to deliver Snowflake-based data to users through Domo’s mobile applications.
The new technical track, called the Snowflake-ready Technology Program, will provide a more formal way for Snowflake to work with technology partners. It will offer tools and capabilities to integrate partner products with the Snowflake platform, certify that connectors meet Snowflake’s best practice requirements, and provide the ability for technology partners to co-sell or refer-sell Snowflake services with their own products.
The real channel expansion comes with the SPN services track that’s targeted toward solution providers, MSPs and systems integrators who can now resell Snowflake’s services and build cloud data practices and solutions around them. Until now partners could only refer-sell Snowflake services and not resell them.
Through the resale program partners can resell Snowflake services and handle pre-sales and sales efforts and post-sales implementation tasks with Snowflake maintaining a support relationship with the customer, Larson said.
Under the MSP program managed service providers can resell Snowflake services; deploy, operate and maintain the services; and manage the ongoing relationship with Snowflake working through the MSP.
“I think it’s the business model of the future,” said Uday Keshavdas, head of SI alliances at Snowflake, also in the interview with CRN. He noted that in many cases partners will be selling cloud services and data in combination – often to businesses that have outsourced much of their IT operations to strategic service providers.
“This has been eagerly anticipated news for the partner community,” Kapase said.
Until now about 50 percent of Snowflake’s sales have been “partner-assisted,” Larson said, with partners handling pre-sales demonstrations and/or managing post-sales support and services. “We definitely see that growing,” he said.
SPN also provides more structure and program service automation that partners, especially global and regional systems integrators, have been asking for, Kapase said. The program will provide more consistent contracts for partners and will better operationalize partner processes.
SPN is using Salesforce’s partner relationship management system for service automation and to run the program’s central portal through which the vendor provides sales and technical training, enablement content, deal registration, and sales and marketing tools.