In its quest to digitize drug discovery and manufacturing, Pfizer uses Snowflake to ultimately improve patient outcomes, reimagine clinical trials through robotics and automation, and perform predictive analytics for diagnosis and supply chain tracking. As a global company with teams located across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, Pfizer views data as playing a critical role in every aspect of its operations, from research and development to manufacturing and distribution. The company’s success hinges upon having reliable access to the same data at all times and the ability to seamlessly share data sets within its different business units.
We talked to Steven Ring, Pfizer’s Director of Platform Database Solutions, to learn how Snowgrid—Snowflake’s cross-region, cross-cloud technology layer—powers Pfizer’s cross-region collaboration and business continuity.
For a global organization like Pfizer, the right teams must have access to hundreds of terabytes of data across research, manufacturing, and commercial operations, and all in the most secure and efficient manner possible.
Snowgrid enables collaboration capabilities across different global regions, making data sharing incredibly easy to set up and manage, both internally and with outside organizations. Pfizer now securely shares data sets across different business units using Snowflake in AWS U.S., Europe, Singapore, and Japan. By leveraging Snowgrid, Pfizer was able to break down its data silos and provide its teams with a single repository with the most up-to-date data sets. This has dramatically improved Pfizer’s ability to collaborate across regions and time zones to make data-driven decisions, leading to better outcomes such as ensuring its global salesforce has the latest product insights.
Given their success, Ring’s team expects more business units across Pfizer to onboard their data sets to reap the benefits of Snowflake’s data sharing capabilities. By architecting on Snowflake, Pfizer can also now seamlessly source, evaluate, and purchase third-party data, data services, and applications to innovate its business all on a single platform. Thanks to the cross-cloud and cross-region capabilities of Snowgrid, Pfizer can work with any of its global business partners, irrespective of the partners’ region or cloud.
Cross-region business continuity
Pfizer recognized the need to safeguard its most important data sets from potential cloud-specific outages. Each business unit at Pfizer owns various data sets, each with varying levels of importance and user-based access clearance.
Snowgrid’s replication features are highly configurable, allowing each team to choose the replication frequency that best suits each specific use case. This flexibility ensures that Pfizer can optimize the replication process to meet the Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) requirements of each business unit. Snowgrid ensures business continuity for over 1 petabyte of data, and hundreds of applications across Pfizer, which can be seamlessly redirected near-instantly in the event of an outage.
“The ability to replicate data across different regions has made it incredibly easy to ensure that our critical data is always available and accessible, even during disruptions,” said Ring. “The fully automated replication process and serverless replication capability have made managing our replication workloads a breeze.”
Snowflake Unlocks New Possibilities
The consistency Snowgrid provides reduces the operational burden on Pfizer’s data teams so they can hone in on their data-intensive projects instead of spending time on replication maintenance. Specifically, Pfizer can focus on new strategic projects, rather than worrying about the underlying cloud data platforms.