Cloud-based data warehousing vendor Snowflake has launched its Powered by Snowflake partner program in Australia and New Zealand, adding significant developer features to its platform.
The Powered By Snowflake program aims to help companies and application developers build, operate and grow applications in Snowflake’s data cloud.
The program will arm partners with access to technical experts, workshops and help in designing data architecture for the application including best practices, references and guides.
Support engineers will also be on hand that specialise in app development use cases to help with alerts, troubleshooting and insights on support issues and operations.
The program will also serve up co-marketing initiatives through joint solution content and campaigns.
Snowflake now counts 40 partners in A/NZ, Asia Pacific vice president of sales, Peter O’Connor said. Some of these include global systems integrators such as Deloitte and Accenture, among national and regional players such as Servian, Versent, Altis and Mechanical Rock in Perth.
O’Connor, who joined the company in 2017 as its first regional employee, said Snowflake's growth had been accelerating in the market for the past three years, clocking more than 250 customers such as Canva, while growing to 79 employees across its office locations in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and most recently in Canberra.
A new Australian support centre was also opened in Melbourne with plans to grow to around 20 support engineers.
Recently, the vendor hired Nick Laidler as its channel manager for Australia and New Zealand to accelerate its focus on regional partners.
“By the end of the year, we hope to have about 105 employees, so we’re growing at a good clip and we’ve recently moved into our new Sydney office in Barangaroo,” O’Connor said.
So far, the Snowflake platform is available on Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Australia, with O’Connor hinting that Google Cloud was not too far off in being added to the mix.
Snowflake regional manager of sales engineering Clive Astbury outlined some of the new platform features that are currently in 'private preview', such as its developer experience called Snowpark, which has been expanded so developers can build using their own preferred language and programming concepts.
Partners who integrate with Snowpark can access the Snowpark Accelerated Program, which offers access to technical experts and exposure to customers.
“Up until now, Snowflake has been a pure SQL-based platform and Snowpark expands this into other languages such as Scala and Java, expanding the usage to other developers that may not come from a SQL background,” he said.
It also added Java user-defined functions, so customers can bring their own custom code and logic to Snowflake along with opening up the time-to-value on unstructured data, allowing customers to store, govern, process and share file data alongside their structured and semi-structured data.
The addition of Snowflake SQL application programming interface (API) enables custom and off-the-shelf applications to call Snowflake directly through a REST API, without the need for client-side drivers — reducing complexity and administration overhead.
Other enhancements have also been made in areas such as governance capabilities with classification and anonymised views.
New platform optimisations involve improved storage economics, support for interactive experiences and usage dashboard.
Alongside this is new capabilities within the Snowflake Data Marketplace such as ‘try before you buy’, allowing users to access sample data to see if it meets their requirements and test it with their own data set. There will also be new usage-based purchase options that will allow customers to transact directly on the marketplace.
Senior VP of engineering for data analytics consultancy Quantium Florian Pasquier has been a Snowflake customer for about two and half years and said being able to use Snowpark will be a pivotal step for the company in being able to take code in and out of the platform.
“Five years ago, we were exclusively an on-premises shop and we were building products on top of our Hadoop platform. But realistically, when we were looking at the technology landscape and how things were evolving, we identified that we couldn’t use that for long in how we were processing data and using analytics at scale,” Pasquier said.
“Being a data analytics shop, we wanted to get ahead of the curve and we started looking at what would give us that edge. We wanted a data partner that would be future proof for a specific product use and how we could serve our analytics in a more powerful manner, and so far, Snowflake has been that partner for us.”