Snowflake Professional Services and Training can help new customers implement their platform—but that’s just the start. Snowflake’s Senior Director of EMEA Professional Services runs through the many services her team offers, and explains the vast benefits they offer new and existing Snowflake customers.
No two organizations are the same, and neither are the data sets they rely on to power their business. So, when an enterprise uses a platform like Snowflake’s Data Cloud, how can the company ensure it is using it in the most effective way to meet its unique needs?
We spoke with Roxanne McKinnon, Senior Director of EMEA Professional Services and Training at Snowflake, to learn how Snowflake’s Professional Services and Training (PS&T) team helps our customers make the most of their data cloud to optimize architecture, transform analytics and application performance, and deliver unparalleled insights.
Why engage with Snowflake Professional Services and Training?
“Our core mission is to ensure every customer has success, and sees maximum return, with Snowflake’s Data Cloud,” said McKinnon. The PS&T team delivers four main benefits to help unlock value for customers:
- Enablement: While there’s plenty of support for organizations using Snowflake, it can still take time to build expertise. The PS&T team can deliver standard and custom training courses, train the trainer programs, and work side by side with customers to ensure they get up and running with the platform quickly. The PS&T team can also co-build a center of excellence with customers to drive best practices throughout their organizations.
- Architecture strategy: From future-proofing platforms to governance strategy, the PS&T team helps customers shape their Data Cloud approach to accelerate time to value while reducing risk.
- Streamlined architecture and implementation: By implementing optimized workloads, the PS&T team helps Snowflake customers benefit from efficient architecture that costs less while delivering greater performance. And PS&T’s migration services help customers get data into Snowflake quickly so they can start realizing value.
- Observability: The PS&T team helps customers monitor their Snowflake platform consumption and costs to ensure they get the highest value at the lowest cost, while taking control of how they spend their budgets.
“These are just four of the ways we guide our customers to help them make the most of their investment in Snowflake,” explained McKinnon. “And because we’re part of the Snowflake team, we know the latest and greatest platform features that can transform how customers use their platform.”
Which customers get the greatest value from PS&T?
While any customer can benefit from strategy and technical support from Snowflake’s PS&T team, McKinnon identified certain situations where her team was able to add significant value: “In cases where an organization doesn’t have a lot of technical skills in house, we can fill those gaps to accelerate time to value.”
Another common situation where PS&T can help is when a customer has a pressing deadline or event they must meet. “We’ve seen situations where a company needs to get off a costly system, or migrate before a contract runs out on a certain date,” said McKinnon. “Our customer migration tools can accelerate and automate the process significantly, and our migration-readiness assessment can de-risk the process to ensure we hit agreed timelines.”
The PS&T team can also support organizations with ambitious plans for the future of their data ecosystems. “As we understand the latest features available in the Snowflake platform, we can help customers that are really looking to innovate,” said McKinnon. “When you’re embracing things like data mesh and data clean rooms, or any other emerging technologies, it makes a big difference having an expert partner at your side as you develop new data models.”
And even if customers already work with a partner, there are plenty of situations where PS&T support can improve results: “We see when customers embark on large-scale transformation projects that we can add value alongside other partners they’re working with through our co-delivery model.”
When’s the best time to engage with Snowflake PS&T?
Snowflake’s PS&T team has experience assisting new and existing customers, and can help organizations at all stages of their journey. “Of course, the earlier we get involved, the more opportunities we can uncover for businesses,” explained McKinnon. “But there are so many ways we can aid customers, whether they’re brand new to Snowflake or very familiar with our ecosystem.”
McKinnon identified four stages of Snowflake Data Cloud maturity, and explained how her team can assist at each step:
- Initiation: Early planning and implementation decisions can have a profound impact on the success of a platform. Snowflake PS&T can help inform decisions and support throughout implementation to ensure customers achieve their initial goals.
- Centralize and democratize: After initial deployment, there are two obstacles that organizations face: getting lots of data into their new systems, and scaling the platform. PS&T helps with both, using automation tools to lift and shift data, and PS&T’s proprietary Data Cloud Deployment Framework to create repeatable, standardized processes for scaling platforms.
- Become data-driven: Once businesses have scaled their platform and centralized data, the next objective is to accelerate analysis and reporting. PS&T can help organizations get reports out of their platform faster, while advising on how to use AI and machine learning to turn reactive analytics into proactive insights.
- New business opportunities: There are plenty of ways to use data beyond simply storing and analyzing it. Snowflake PS&T can help advanced platform users take advantage of Snowflake’s data sharing capabilities to exchange data internally, and even create new business models and revenue streams through Snowflake’s data marketplace.
How have other businesses benefited from Snowflake PS&T?
“We’ve seen customers do amazing things with Snowflake’s Data Cloud after engaging with the Professional Services and Training team,” said McKinnon. “I’ve had some customers come back and report cutting their costs by up to 50%, which freed up resources they could reinvest in innovation use cases that add more value to their organization. And others have accelerated data extraction to the point where they turned an extraction process that took weeks or months into one that takes just minutes.”
Sainsbury’s, the U.K.’s second-largest retailer, has benefited greatly at all stages of its Snowflake maturity by engaging with the PS&T team. It worked alongside the PS&T team to codesign a robust, streamlined data architecture, and continues to optimize over time through a center of excellence that the PS&T team helped develop.
Since working alongside the Snowflake PS&T team, Sainsbury’s has increased the average bytes written per minute on its data platform by 25x and reduced the average time to execute jobs by 72%.
Far from just improving performance, the Snowflake PS&T team also helps Sainsbury’s build its data skills and become more self-sufficient. “We can now make decisions about other key parts of the pipeline with much more confidence in what we’re doing,” said Jody Buczynski, Data Engineer at Sainsbury’s. “We applied our own learnings and helped [one of our teams] resize to a large data warehouse, and queries now complete in less than a minute. The cost difference is just phenomenal.”
Learn more about how Snowflake PS&T can help your organization
Whether you’re a mature Snowflake user or are taking your first steps with the platform, the PS&T team can help you optimize costs and performance through either a set package of work, or a bespoke program tailored to your needs.To learn more about what Snowflake PS&T can do for your business, and to see a full list of services, take a look at the Professional Services and Training page on our website, or explore our full list of training and education resources.