Snowflake connected with Sridevi Potu, McKesson’s Director of Data Analytics Platform Services, at the Data Cloud World Tour in Austin, Texas. Learn about the company’s journey to Snowflake and how it’s implementing a cross-cloud data strategy. 

McKesson is one of the largest distributors of healthcare supplies and pharmaceuticals, delivering a third of all pharmaceuticals used in North America, along with offering healthcare IT products and services. All of this means that a huge amount of customers and partners rely on the company.  

“We have lots of data that is valuable to many parties within this tightly knit industry,“ said Sridevi Potu. „And Snowflake provides an avenue for collaboration through data interoperability.”

For example, McKesson has been able to share near real-time data through Snowflake’s direct sharing capabilities with transportation partners. Instead of the traditional means of SFTP that can take weeks to a month and involve multiple teams to set up, the Snowflake Data Cloud enabled the company to set up secure external data sharing within a couple of days. Customers and partners didn’t need to load data into another platform. 

Cross-cloud business continuity

McKesson migrated to the cloud as part of its strategy to be a data-driven company. While McKesson began solely in Microsoft Azure, it needed to ensure business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), and decided that replicating its Snowflake environment to GCP as another cloud provider was the best way to mitigate risk. McKesson continues to replicate into their GCP environment seamlessly by leveraging account replication features including account metadata (now in public preview) which covers users, governance policies, resource monitors, and more.

“Having a multi-cloud approach has many advantages beyond just BCDR,” said Potu. “Some business units at McKesson may have preferences for using a certain cloud provider and the best-of-breed tooling they may provide.”

Starting with the most mission-critical data, McKesson has been able to set up access across nearly all accounts for more resiliency and utility. This compliments the company’s  business unit-centric approach to configuring and deploying access within the organization. 

Continued Snowflake journey

Now with Snowflake as McKesson’s enterprise data platform, Potu’s team can focus on enabling advanced analytics throughout the organization: “We can now go beyond SQL with  Snowpark Python and other supported languages of choice. When paired with advanced tooling that’s available in the Snowflake ecosystem, this will enable us to deliver AI and ML capabilities to bring more value to the business.” 

Potu’s team is also planning on adopting a data mesh framework to support McKesson’s wide, global reach. “We want to bring ownership close to the data domain,” he said. “And our team is focused on automation and self-service data platform capabilities.”

Read more Snowflake customer stories.