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[Video] CTO Insights: What Does It Mean to Be a Snowflake Premier Partner?

By May 24, 2021 No Comments
CTO Insights: What does it mean to be a Snowflake Premier Partner?

[Editor’s Note: As of September 2021, Aptitive has achieved Snowflake Elite Services Partner status!]

Aptitive recently became a Premier Services Partner in Snowflake Partner Network, so we asked our CTO, Fred Bliss, to look back on the start of our partnership and share his thoughts on how Aptitive and Snowflake have evolved. Using his expert knowledge of Snowflake and his intimate perspective on Aptitive’s growth, Fred also takes a look forward at where he sees our partnership going from here. Watch the video below.

Looking to learn more about Aptitive’s history with Snowflake? Take a look at our infographic.


How has Aptitive’s partnership with Snowflake grown since we started working together in 2016?

We officially started our partnership in 2018. But as early as 2016, we were in conversations with Snowflake. I remember seeing a demo and thinking, “This is something different.”

We target mid-sized to larger enterprises and work mostly with those. You see a lot of SQL Server, a lot of Oracle, and Snowflake was a big paradigm shift. So in the early days, it was a little bit of evangelizing, talking about what’s possible. It really just took that one customer and one success story with Snowflake to start to get other customers to see what’s possible with it and why it’s so different. Once we got that first one, it was kind of exponential growth in terms of seeing more and more customers starting to adopt Snowflake. And not even just Snowflake, but more cloud-native technologies and architecture.

We’ve been in this space for eight years and the entire architecture, or the entire platform of data and analytics, has shifted completely. It turned us into much more of a modern data analytics consulting firm, which put us on the cutting edge. The great thing about that was we were able to start to build partnerships around the periphery. So we’ve got data science, we’ve got new orchestration tools, we’ve got the whole thing of data ops. There are all these different opportunities where customers can adopt these technologies and put them in their technology stacks and start to drive real business outcomes, as opposed to where we were a decade ago with giant data warehouses sitting on prem and people not quite sure what they wanted to do with them.

How has Snowflake evolved during this timeframe?

The great thing about Snowflake is it’s so easy to use. It’s so simple. From a developer standpoint, when we hire new consultants who have never even touched Snowflake before, but they know SQL, within an hour or two they’re able to start being productive.

There were certain features that you just have come to expect on certain on-prem technologies that didn’t exist in Snowflake originally, so there were a lot of workarounds. But now that Snowflake has evolved and started to get more market share, you’re starting to see a lot of these periphery technologies – the ELT tools, the BI tools – having native connectivity with Snowflake, where there’s now an entire ecosystem of support. In the early days, you were limited to some of the startups – some of those startups who have now become big enterprise players.

What are some of the most exciting results you’ve seen our clients achieve using Snowflake?

The first example I loved to see was we did this transformation at a logistics company and basically built an entire analytics platform for them. A lot of their decision-making was more gut-driven and Excel-driven. After we went through this entire process – not just on the technology side but a little bit on the people process side – we’d come in every morning and see executive meetings where, instead of looking at a big PowerPoint deck or Excel, you’d see the executives all making decisions driving off of a Tableau dashboard that was hitting Snowflake. To see those results – data-driven decision-making and seeing it in action – that was huge.

What does Aptitive’s attainment of Snowflake Premier Services Partner status mean for the future of our partnership?

I think it means we’re going to continue to invest pretty heavily, not just in Snowflake, but the entire periphery of Snowflake. As they evolve, you can start to see where they’re headed and then where the rest of the market is headed.

A great example is Snowflake’s data marketplace. We’ve now got customers that are able to leverage some alternative datasets, whether it’s economic indicators or foot traffic based on where Starbucks locations are at or a sporting event happening at a given location. Our business users can start to look at these datasets and see what’s possible, combine them together, and now use this to drive new and better insights, just with the data they have.

I think, ultimately, Snowflake is helping our customers bring all of their data together and then also feeding in outside data, sharing that with their vendors, and making a more open ecosystem for making insights and speed-to-insight faster and easier to attain.

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