Snowflake on the ‘immense’ opportunity in A/NZ

Snowflake on the ‘immense’ opportunity in A/NZ

Ash Willis on how he aims to build a “two-way relationship” with A/NZ partners.

Ash Willis (Snowflake)

Ash Willis (Snowflake)

Credit: Supplied

Snowflake is witnessing an “immense” swell of channel opportunities across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) as the data management vendor looks to certify more partners “affordably and at scale”. 

Two years after the launch of its first global partner program, the US-based company is investing “heavily” in onboarding, enablement and especially its A/NZ channel team. 

Now, under the local leadership of Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) vice president Ash Willis, formerly of Google Cloud, Snowflake is looking for partners to bring its data cloud platform to as many customers as possible. 

“We see the opportunity for more partners to partake in our network as immense. As our customers continue to grow and see the value of the data cloud, [there is] an immense opportunity for partners,” Willis said. 

“Our partner team in APJ has grown immensely. It has been one of our single biggest investments this year. With that, we can support partners with more face-to-face activity, enablement and the like. We’re seeing partners respond positively to that investment and that love.” 

Willis first joined Snowflake in January this year alongside former Tech Data executive Michael Costigan, with the latter taking on the role of head of partner marketing for A/NZ. Also on the channel’s executive team is Nick Laidler, formerly of Rubrik.

The vendor counts the likes of Deloitte, Interworks, Blazeclan, Slalom and Servian among its local partner base. As of 2019, the company had 38 A/NZ partners, although it now likes to keep tight-lipped on its current local numbers. 

Servian, according to Willis, has proved integral to acquainting customers with the Snowflake platform for the first time. 

For Willis currently, the key priority is “building two-way relationships with partners” and making certifications more accessible. “Partners wanted to certify quicker with more people,” he explained “We have moved things online and made it very affordable to do at scale. 

“We want to get our emerging partners to a level of maturity where our partner account managers can step in and establish face-to-face relationships.” 

Be industrious 

In the last year, Snowflake has followed the technology industry trend – led by Microsoft – of creating vertical-specific specialisations. 

Focusing on healthcare and life sciences, financial services, retail and media industries, Snowflake now has more than 100 partners certified globally in these fields. 

“The real benefits around the data cloud come around industry expertise,” said Willis. “That’s why we have been investing heavily in enabling industry-based solutions. It’s an industry trend to focus on industries.” 

Services partners are among those who Willis counts as particularly critical to Snowflake’s success in A/NZ, This according to Willis is largely being led by the customers rather than the partner community itself. 

In addition, Snowflake is now casting its eyes on DevOps specialists through its ‘Power by Snowflake’ program. 

“We’re starting to build a ‘Powered by Snowflake’ team across APJ and that’s purely driven by partners from across that ecosystem,” Willis said. “Once you get feet on the ground, that really accelerates. We’re looking for partner managers and architects who can guide us on how to build on Snowflake. In addition, we need people who can help take those solutions to market.”

 “It’s a unique and exciting ecosystem,” he added. “While we know and love the services ecosystem, and see it as a driver of our business, it’s also interesting to dig into our marketplace partnerships; our data partners and technology partners.

“We’ve moved beyond what many companies would consider as technology partnerships. That’s something we’re building on internally.” 

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