Snowflake Expands Partner Program To Include SaaS Developers, Data Providers

One year after the launch of the Snowflake Partner Network, the fast-growing data cloud company is quickly adding partner support resources, expanded training opportunities and a partner finder portal.


One year after launching its Snowflake Partner Network channel program, fast-growing data cloud company Snowflake is expanding the scope of its channel efforts to recruit SaaS application developers and data providers to the company’s partner ecosystem.

Snowflake also continues to increase channel program resources and infrastructure – an enhanced partner finder portal just went live this month – as the company’s channel operations keep pace with – and continue to fuel – Snowflake’s rapid growth.

“We’ve seen momentum both in terms of the number of partners joining [SPN] and the number of partner certifications. We have over 160 data providers, we have hundreds of services and technology partners as part of our program,” said Colleen Kapase (pictured), senior vice president of worldwide partner and alliances, in an interview with CRN.

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Snowflake, which went public in a blockbuster IPO in September 2020, has broadened its target market beyond its initial focus on cloud data warehousing to cover a range of data-related services and tasks including data science and engineering, data exchange and sharing, data marketplaces, data migration and transformation, data analytics, and data-intensive applications.

While the addressable cloud data warehouse market is around $14 billion, Kapase said, the broader data cloud market is around $80 billion. And the channel chief thinks Snowflake has the partner base to capture a big piece of that.

“Snowflake has a different data ecosystem and partner ecosystem than most traditional hardware and software companies,” Kapase said.

The Snowflake Partner Network, launched in June 2020, today supports service partners who provide a range of system design and implementation, application and data migration, performance optimization, data preparation, and analytics services. Leading partners include Accenture, Cognizant, Deloitte, Slalom, Analytics8 and Visual BI Solutions.

Global systems integrator Deloitte, for example, has assembled a $100 million Snowflake practice with professional services such as data transformation, according to Kapase.

Slalom has been working globally with Snowflake for several years, providing a range of data transformation and data migration services around the Snowflake platform, particularly for moving legacy data warehouse and data lake systems from on-premises to the cloud, said Hilary Feier, managing director of data and analytics at the Seattle-based solution provider.

“It’s been a really phenomenal ride in terms of growth,” Feier said in an interview. She said that unlike some startups Snowflake was very “partner-centric early-on” and provided Slalom with resources to develop pilot projects and proof-of-concept systems and sponsored Slalom marketing events. “We did a lot of demand-generation together, we did a lot of creative things together.”

SPN also has a track for technology partners who build connections between their products and the Snowflake platform including data management tool providers Alation, Informatica and Matillion; and business analytics software developers such as Tableau and Qlik. (In March Snowflake tightened its alliance with data analytics company ThoughtSpot with a $20 million investment.)

Snowflake is now expanding its program to accommodate two new types of partners: Data Partners for companies that offer data sets and services through the Snowflake marketplace; and Powered by Snowflake for Software-as-a-Service application vendors that build multi-tenant, customer-facing applications that work with Snowflake.

“There is a lot of pent-up demand and interest in this. I think this is going to be a very dynamic portion of our business [given] the differentiated capabilities that Snowflake brings to the table,” Kapase said. “Data sharing is probably one of the most dynamic pieces of the data cloud.”

At this week’s Snowflake Summit virtual conference for customers, the company said it already has some 160 Data Partners, offering three or more listings on the data marketplace for more than 500 listings altogether.

Given the data-intensive nature of artificial intelligence and machine learning development, the new Data Partners track will play a role there as well. “The sky’s the limit with what we’re going to be able to do with respect to AI and ML for the partner experience,” said Philip Larson, Snowflake senior director of worldwide partner programs, in the interview.

Feier at Slalom said she is starting to see pockets of demand for Snowflake’s data sharing and data monetization services. The two companies are also exploring possible joint opportunities around professional services.

And as for the new Powered by Snowflake initiative: “We’re really beginning to become the data cloud for a lot of SaaS ISV organizations, Kapase said, referring to application developers, solution providers and their customers.

To support SPN’s growth the company has more than doubled the number of people in Snowflake’s channel organization to more than 100, Kapase said. The company also recently hired Brian Hartwell, previously vice president of worldwide channel sales at OpsRamp, to be Snowflake’s vice president of worldwide partner sales.

Snowflake also has been stepping up its training and certification resources for both partners and customers. The company provides sales professional training for partners in such areas as data engineering and data applications and technical sales professional training in “customer journey.” Partners can also provide hands-on training labs for their customers.

Partners can earn “Hands-On Essentials” certification badges in data warehouse, data sharing and data applications with badges for data science, data engineering and data lake coming soon. Also on the horizon is the Snowpro Advanced Certification Series of role-based industry professional certifications with a core certification badge and badges for architect, data analyst, data engineer, data scientist and database administrator.

“We have a real drumbeat of need for more technical training for our partners and customers alike,” said Uday Keshvadas, head of SI alliances at Snowflake, in the interview.

Feier said Snowflake is helping Slalom develop train-the-trainer programs to train more people internally to work with Snowflake technology. “One of the biggest gaps right now is having enough Snowflake talent for the growth trajectory we’re on,” she said.

The enhanced online partner finder tool went live June 16. “The purpose is to help customers find partners that have the specific skills and capabilities they are looking for to deliver services and applications in the data cloud,” Larson said.