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Alteryx Puts Go-To-Market Focus On Partners With Channel Program Revamp

The data analytics software developer is shifting its go-to-market strategy to a more partner-centric motion in a move to accelerate Alteryx platform sales for enterprise-scale deployments.

Data analytics platform developer Alteryx is launching a significant expansion of its channel program, looking to provide partners with more enablement resources and incentives as the company shifts to a more partner-led go-to-market model.

The move comes as Alteryx is selling more of its software for enterprise-scale implementations, a change that puts greater emphasis on partners’ service capabilities and their domain and vertical industry expertise.

The partner program upgrade also follows a year of changes at Alteryx, including changes in the company’s executive management over the past 18 months and several strategic acquisitions.

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“Partners have always been central to the company strategy,” said Barb Huelskamp, senior vice president of global partners and alliances, in an interview with CRN. “But we recognized that we needed to more tightly integrate the partner ecosystem into our overall go-to-market strategy to truly leverage the power of the channel.”

Partners “have deep customer relationships [and] domain expertise that really help our customers drive cloud and business transformation and breakthroughs,” said Huelskamp (pictured), who took over as Alteryx’s channel chief in September 2021. She previously worked at Amazon Web Services as senior manager, ISV, go-to-market acceleration.

Alteryx, one of the leading vendors in the data analytics space, offers the Alteryx APA (Analytic Process Automation) Platform, the Alteryx Analytics Cloud, and other software used to automate data analytics processes.

While Alteryx has traditionally focused on selling its software for use by data analysts and those in similar roles, Alteryx is seeing growing sales of its platform for enterprisewide implementations to power corporate decision-making and automate analytical business processes.

That, in turn, is shifting Alteryx’s channel sales from VARs and distributors to systems integrators and strategic service providers, as well as increasing the importance of technology partners including ISVs and cloud platform providers such as Snowflake.

“Historically, we really had a focus on the traditional channel resellers. Now we have a more formal program as we’ve invested in, and grown more with, global systems integrators and the technology partners as well,” said Steve Wooledge, Alteryx vice president of global partner marketing, in the interview with CRN.

The company is looking to transact a greater share of its overall sales through the channel and has put into place incentives to encourage its own sales force to work with partners, according to Huelskamp. The company also has released a set of global guidelines or rules of engagement to help partners optimize their benefits within the new program.

“With our compensation policies and our partner program, we are aiming to enable all of our opportunities, if possible, to transact through partners,” Huelskamp said. “While partners have always been an important part of the ecosystem, we’re really pivoting to that partner-centric strategy.”

Data Meaning, a Miami-based data analytics and consulting firm that’s an Alteryx partner and reseller, has already seen signs of the vendor looking to partners to drive more customer wins, said Josh Jackson, senior director of sales and enablement at the solution provider.

“They are looking to us partners to help them drive market awareness in this space and to drive more opportunities,” he said. Data Meaning has worked both ways, recommending Alteryx to its own customers and being called in by the vendor when a customer can benefit from Data Meaning’s services and expertise.

Alteryx, founded in 2011 and based in Irvine, Calif., has itself been undergoing changes, starting in October 2020 when co-founder and CEO Dean Stoecker stepped aside from running the company’s day-to-day operations to become chairman. Board member Mark Anderson became CEO and remains in that post.

Some of the company’s top executive jobs have turned over in the last 18 months. Former Adobe executive Suresh Vittal was named chief product officer in February 2021. Former Cisco Systems and SAP executive Paula Hansen was hired as chief revenue officer in May 2021 and was promoted to president and CRO in February 2022. Also in February, the company hired former Salesforce and Allianz executive Keith Pearce as chief marketing officer and announced that Scott Davidson was stepping down as chief operating officer effective March 16.

Alteryx has made a series of acquisitions in recent months that expand the company’s technology portfolio and provide customers with more scalable data analytics systems. In February it completed its acquisition of Trifacta, a San Francisco-based developer of data integration and transformation software. That was preceded by other acquisitions including data modeling software developer Lore IO and AI software provider Hyper Anna, both acquired in October 2021.

Alteryx has operated its partner program since 2013 and over the last five years the number of partners in the program – which Huelskamp said is now in the hundreds – has increased by about 30 percent. In 2021 alone about 100 partners joined the program, the channel chief said.

(Alteryx executives declined to disclose how much of the company’s business is done through partners, although Huelscamp said the number of partner-led deals doubled in 2021. Publicly held Alteryx reported revenue of $536.1 million in 2021.)

Aside from the growing number of partners Alteryx works with, the mix has been shifting toward systems integrators, service providers and consultants. Professional services provider PwC became an Alteryx partner in the U.S. in 2020 and in July 2021 the companies expanded that to “Global Elite Partner” status. In June 2021 KPMG became an Alteryx Principal Alliance Partner with a focus on implementing Alteryx technology for finance and tax reporting operations. And in February 2021 Alteryx struck an alliance with global IT service provider HCL Technologies.

The partner program update will address the needs of all partner types, facilitate the recruitment of services-focused partners, and accelerate Alteryx’s transition to a partner-led sales motion, Huelskamp said.

“It was time to modernize our strategy and our program to really extend our overall go-to-market with and through partners,” the channel chief said. “We have executive support, we have the framework and the investments across the business to really drive to a partner-led go-to-market motion.”

Jackson, from partner Data Meaning, said he already gives Alteryx’s partner program high grades compared to those at other vendors his company works with. “I would argue that Alteryx has one of the best partner programs – if not the best – just for how they work with us,” he said. “They step up.”

Jackson said he will be looking for improved communications with the company around product development roadmaps – especially as they relate to Alteryx’s plans for Trifacta and the vendor’s other recent acquisitions.

Under the partner program revamp, Alteryx is increasing its partner organization resources, including staffing in engineering, enablement and sales support, by 30 percent, Huelskamp said. The program includes additional market development funding targeted toward partners who drive innovation, develop their own intellectual property and creative solutions on the Alteryx platform, and are “delivering great customer outcomes,” she said.

The three-tiered program (Registered, Select and Premier) provides new standard discounts and offers additional rewards for partners who initiate, register and drive customer deals. Benefits and requirements are now segmented regionally rather than at country levels.

The program offers new role-based training curriculum and certifications as an extension of the Alteryx sales and services go-to-market team enablement. Alteryx will also help partners develop best-practice professional services, which the vendor can call on the partner to provide in customer engagements.

“We’re a technology company, at the end of the day. We’re not looking to compete on services with our partners,” Wooledge said.

The updated program will officially launch April 1 with its new offerings available on that date.

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