A message from our CEO: Our 4 years with Snowflake16.06.2021
Somewhere at the end of 2016, as I was reading and analysing various cloud data platforms, a link to a website from a company called Snowflake popped up. I remember reading statements that described how multiple groups of users could work on the same table and feel like they were alone in the system. This was hard to believe back then as that statement would theoretically mean unlimited concurrency or even getting “everyone” on one platform.
Over the next few months, we had an opportunity to do a very large POC for multiple on-premises systems for one of our largest customers. I remembered that message and asked the client if we could use the anonymized POC data to also test different cloud providers and see for ourselves how one real enterprise data platform with 1000s of jobs would work. The customer had IBM Netezza, so we were used to great performance, minimal administration and heavy usage of the ELT framework.
I recall discussing Snowflake’s potential capabilities with my senior team members and their response was “Grega, you’re too much of a CEO and have probably lost some engineering sense to even read such bold claims”. We started testing it and the documentation was good, everything worked as written in terms of loading data, creating objects, etc. When we ran the whole ELT and our complex queries, we were just blown away – we got the same performance as Netezza on medium-size and got almost double the performance on the large size. We tested the alleged concurrency and became fans. I flew to the first UK event to meet the team (Ryan and Tim at the time) and everything else is history, as we became partners.
A lot of people thought I was crazy to be pushing Snowflake so hard at that time and discussing so enthusiastically the capabilities and what this will bring in terms of simplification and possibilities to clients in the data warehouse space. I shifted the company strategy and as Snowflake started to grow, so did we.
In 2021, everything makes more sense and everyone pats you on the back, but in the end I must say it isn’t only technology that I admire so much, it is also the people that make Snowflake so unique. At the first Partner Summit, we showcased with our dear client Petrol the solution we built on top and after the presentation, a guy came up from the back and started addressing me very humbly, “I’m sorry to bother you, but the SQL you showed can be written even more elegantly on Snowflake by …” – I looked at the person and it was Benoit Dageville, the co-owner of Snowflake. We had a great discussion that evening and that culture of empowering the community and partners was crucial to trusting the professional relationship for future endeavors.
What I wanted to show here is that the recognition was not born yesterday. Over the past 4+ years, my team has put a lot of effort into successful Snowflake project implementations, pushing our knowledge to the next level, and investing sleepless nights developing some of our solutions that help clients migrate and modernize their analytics stack on Snowflake Data Cloud. Our solution DataMerlin for data warehouse automation shortens ELT development by 80% and our antFarm data movement platform transfers on-premises data to Snowflake very efficiently – we had to develop most of these features because we had to transfer large amounts of data from on-premises DB mainframes, Oracles, Microsoft SQLs, etc. on a daily basis. But we are not stopping here – we will be releasing our API-first code conversion and lineage tool Parsaur to enable even faster migrations to the cloud, as existing big data warehouse solutions with 1000s of PL SQL are still a showstopper for many companies to migrate to a modern analytics stack.
On the other hand, many of our customers enjoy Snowflake capabilities and we are developing data first modern applications directly on top of Snowflake to solve data-intensive simulations, such as our PROFITability 5.16 solution for the banking and insurance world to be able to efficiently calculate the contribution on the level of a specific customer or even at arrangement granularity.
In the end, I’m super proud of my team that we managed to get this EMEA Innovation Partner of the year 2021 award from Snowflake, as this is no longer a company as it was 5 years ago. It means a lot to all of us as it a huge recognition of our expertise and that all the extra millage spent on the projects and building new solutions to automate the processes of migration and modernization to Snowflake Data Cloud are being recognized on the global level. While Snowflake is an exceptional solution, it is their team and culture that impressed me the most as the CEO working with several global technology companies. Such professionalism and human touch are a success for a win-win business relationship. So, thank you Snowflake for recognizing our efforts and I will borrow your message (hopefully I can) – this is only the beginning.