Snowflake Targets Public Sector With Latest Data Cloud Offering

Expanding its focus on vertical industries, the new Government & Education Data Cloud incorporates the Snowflake platform, industry-specific data and applications and solutions from channel partners.


Snowflake Tuesday launched the Government & Education Data Cloud, a new set of data services targeting the public sector that combines the Snowflake data platform, industry-specific data sets, and solutions developed by Snowflake and its channel partners.

Snowflake has adopted a vertical industry go-to-market strategy over the last several years and the Government & Education Data Cloud is the latest of a series of seven data clouds the fast-growing company has rolled out since early 2022. Previously launched data clouds target the healthcare and life sciences, financial services, retail and CPG, high tech, manufacturing, and the media, advertising and entertainment industries.

The new data cloud provides education institutions and public sector agencies at the federal, state and local levels with an integrated, cross-cloud data platform that the company says helps public sector organizations better fulfill their missions of providing services for citizens and teaching students.

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The public sector generally lags other industries in modernizing legacy IT systems and faces more challenges in working with data that’s siloed due to stricter data governance and regulatory requirements, said Jeff Frazier, global head of public sector at Snowflake, in an interview with CRN. And while other industries are focused on generating sales and profits, in the public sector “you don’t have a profit motive, you have a purpose and you have a mission,” he said.

“We can make the category productive. There are [globally] 800 million people a day, who wake up, go off to serve, go off to protect, go off to educate or heal. And we are committed to that category,” Frazier said.

Snowflake’s vertical-industry approach and the new data cloud for education and government “allows us to focus on those missions” and “allows those missions, those educators, those governments, those communities, to thrive. And they deserve to thrive. The stakes are high,” Frazier said.

The Government & Education Data Cloud can assist government and educational institutions by enabling intra- and cross-agency data sharing and collaboration; establishing 360-degree views of stakeholders; and monitoring for fraud, waste and abuse, according to Snowflake.

The Government & Education Data Cloud is available now. Snowflake also said that Data Sharing Government, a new data collaboration offering for the public sector, is in private preview and will be generally available later this summer.

Channel partners play a key role with Snowflake’s vertical industry data clouds, both contributing industry expertise to the data cloud development and building applications and solutions on the data cloud through the vendor’s “Powered by Snowflake” program.

Merit International, a San Francisco-based Snowflake partner, on Tuesday unveiled pre-built emergency management, workforce development, education, licensing and military family solutions for the Snowflake Government & Education Data Cloud.

“We’re excited to be a launch partner for Snowflake’s Government & Education Data Cloud and have the opportunity to give customers access to industry-specific solutions that will help them leverage best practices, reduce time-to-value, and increase overall impact on the people they serve,” said Jacob Orrin, Merit co-founder and chief operating officer, in a statement. “Merit is focused on accelerating the digital transformation of government programs while putting data to work to change lives.”

The Merit solutions provide data sharing and real-time verification capabilities, ensure high data quality, and are secure and comply with SOC 2, HIPAA and other data governance regulations, the company said.

The new Snowflake platform will benefit partners like education application developer PowerSchool, Snowflake Marketplace partners such as Carto and Vantage Point Consulting, and consulting and professional services companies such as Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Plante Moran, according to Snowflake.

“There’s tech partners, there’s consulting partners, there are integration partners, there are data aggregators,” Frazier said. “So the partner type is really important and they all fit in. They’ll play a role in understanding how to manage and make customers’ data valuable. They’re closest to the customer.”

To help federal, state and local agencies meet security and compliance standards, the Snowflake platform has achieved FedRAMP Moderate and StateRAMP High designation, as well as supporting regulated workloads subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 1075, and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS) safeguarding requirements across certain of its U.S. government-designated regions. The Snowflake platform also supports Family Education and Privacy Act (FERPA) workloads across its U.S. regions and the company is working toward FedRAMP High in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) GovCloud (U.S. West) Region.