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Alation Looks To Extend Data Source Reach With New Partner Program

Rick Whiting

The data catalog software provider is recruiting systems integrators, solution providers and ISVs who can develop connections between the Alation data catalog platform and a wide range of data sources.

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Raj Gossain, Alation chief product officer

Data intelligence software developer Alation has launched an initiative to provide partners with assistance and incentives to develop links between Alation’s data catalog platform and third-party data sources.

The new Partner Program for Open Connector Framework, part of the company’s Alation Partner Network channel program, is based on the Open Connector Framework software developer kit the company launched in 2021 that customers, technology partners and channel partners use to develop connectors between Alation’s software and outside data sources.

“These partners have expertise. These are systems integrators that have development shops that have deep expertise in specific platforms,” said Raj Gossain, Alation chief product officer, in an interview with CRN.

[Related: Data Intelligence Tech Provider Alation Raises $123M In Latest Funding Round]

“So instead of us having to get leverage and go deep into those areas, we figured it made a lot more sense for us to build out an ecosystem with best-of-breed partners that enable us to leverage their expertise and deliver the connectivity capabilities that our customers are looking for,” Gossain (pictured) said. “And it gives [partners] the opportunity to participate in the modern data stack and [gain] access to the nearly 500 customers that Alation has.”

Alation’s flagship data catalog software is used to help organizations find, understand and govern the data they have within their IT environments. The company, part of the CRN Big Data 100 2022 list and based in Redwood City, Calif., provides a range of data intelligence offerings and applications around the data catalog system for data governance, quality, migration and risk, as well as privacy and compliance tasks.

Alation provides some 80 out-of-the-box links to prominent data sources including Amazon Web Services, Databricks, Snowflake and Tableau. But the Open Connector Framework makes it possible for partners to build connectors to many more sources—including relational databases, data analytics software, ETL/ELT and data pipeline tools, file systems and cloud applications—to populate metadata within the Alation data catalog, Gossain said.

Alation said that Information Asset, a data risk, governance and engineering company based in Old Tappan, N.J., and Logan Data, a cloud and data consulting company based in Westford, Mass., are the first two certified partners to join the Partner Program for Open Connector Framework.

“The inventory of an organization’s data assets is greatly diverse,” said Krishna Kodeboyena, Logan Data president, in a statement. “The amount of data produced from many different data sources cultivates an organization’s need to connect and integrate to the deepest and broadest data ecosystems. Our partnership with Alation, and their broad and growing partner network, enables joint customers to access critical context about governed data from many data sources through a single pane of glass.”

“Bringing more data sources to Alation is vital in today’s highly connected technology ecosystem,” said Sanjeev Varma, Information Asset CEO, also in a statement. “Joining the partner program was an easy and highly strategic decision that adds significant value to our joint customers.”

Alation is looking for partners that are adept at software development and have extensive familiarity with the data sources they are developing links for, Gossain said.

“They need to be deeply familiar with the underlying data platforms that they’re building connectors to, whether it’s a BI tool or an ETL solution or a new database platform or perhaps even a legacy database platform. … [They need to have] familiarity with building modern application software, but also familiarity with the underlying data platforms that they’re going to connect to,” the Alation executive said.

Partners who are certified within the Partner Program for Open Connector Framework receive education and training, integration materials and sample code, and access to a sandbox development and test environment. Gossain said Alation is in discussion with other systems integrators and ISVs about joining the new program.

For the Partner Program for Open Connector Framework, Alation expects to recruit solution providers that are already part of the Alation Partner Network channel program, such as Logan Data and Information Asset, as well as solution providers new to the Alation ecosystem, Gossain said. And he expects the number of partners in the new program to number in the low double digits.

“We’re not targeting hundreds of partners by any means. I think this is more of a select program where we’re looking for partners that have deep expertise in key data platforms, be they legacy data platforms or … modern data stack platforms, as well as the software engineering expertise that we highlighted,” Gossain said.

The Open Connector Framework partner program also ties into Alation’s Open Data Quality Initiative, an effort launched in May 2022 to ally the company with developers of data quality management and data observability software and link the Alation Data Catalog to their products.

Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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