CUSTOMER STORIES

AT&T Provides Faster Insights While Lowering Estimated Annual Costs by 84%

This premier enterprise gives more teams near-instant access to powerful insights for better decision-making and customer experiences — all while cutting costs and improving performance by switching to Snowflake. 

KEY RESULTS:

84%

Savings on estimated annual costs, thanks to results caching

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Second to answer 90% of user queries via self-service dashboards

Two managers smiling and collaborating at a desk

Connecting people to their world

In today’s connected world, you can’t accomplish much without cell service or WiFi. That’s where AT&T comes in. Founded in 1885, this telecom giant has evolved throughout the decades to continually deliver on its vision to connect people to their world through the best technology and service.  

And its efforts paid off. AT&T now provides smart solutions and mobile and broadband services to more than 100 million U.S. consumers and almost every Fortune 1000 company. To meet high demand and deliver a stellar experience across this sprawling customer base, AT&T needs a powerful, easy-to-use data management system that efficiently processes hundreds of petabytes of data every day. But its complex on-premises systems, including Hadoop, were slowing down business — and increasing costs. With the Snowflake Telecom Data Cloud, AT&T now derives more value from its data, boosting performance while lowering costs.

The Snowflake Data Cloud has given us the power to harness and integrate data to create insights. With data at our fingertips, we are growing revenue, becoming more cost effective and, most importantly, improving the customer experience.”

Andy Markus
Chief Data Officer, AT&T
Story Highlights
  • Faster time to launch:  By moving to a modern, cloud-based data platform, AT&T increased performance and reduced costs while launching new features and products faster to internal teams.

  • Better customer experience:  By migrating AT&T’s myRESULTS reporting application from its previous platform to Snowflake, AT&T provides business users with a single source of truth across the enterprise, leading to better customer service and network troubleshooting.

  • Less operational complexity:  By simplifying its data management system and democratizing data, AT&T decreased the number of steps needed to share data from the origin to the user, decreasing time from data collection and analysis to insights and smarter decision-making.

A golden source of truth for greater efficiency and better decisions

Hundreds of petabytes of data course through AT&T’s networks every day. But this massive volume of information is only valuable if users can quickly access and act on it. “Prior to Snowflake, we had a very complex data environment on-premises,” says Chief Data Officer Andy Markus. “That led to a more ineffective operating environment for our business partners, both from a speed and cost perspective.”  

Using Hadoop for storage and processing, AT&T’s monolithic on-premises data warehouse hampered the team from collecting, storing, sharing and processing its vast stores of data. By moving to the Snowflake Telecom Data Cloud, Markus and his team achieved their goal of democratizing data across the business.

AT&T Quote Card Image

“The Snowflake Data Cloud provides a cloud-first, cloud-native super elastic data management functionality that has enabled us to truly federate our data and to keep that single source of truth so that we're all on the same page.”

Andy Markus
Chief Data Officer, AT&T

Achieving higher performance at lower cost

“Data democratization for AT&T is really important because we have so much data,” says Markus. Delivering on this goal means the data team must keep up with business teams’ surging demand for simple yet powerful business intelligence tools.  

With Snowflake’s separation of storage and compute, AT&T deploys new features or products for different business units without affecting each other, enabling faster and more agile responses to user needs. While launching new solutions for internal teams previously took weeks or months, now it takes just days.  

In addition to releasing new products, the data team also evaluates how to optimize existing tools. Cue myRESULTS, a highly tuned, interactive reporting application that AT&T built on its previous solution 13 years ago. What started as a single dashboard tracking around 10 retail metrics has since transformed into dozens of screens that thousands of internal users rely on daily to track metrics across the business.  

But as usage surged, so did associated costs, complexity and concurrency challenges — causing AT&T to turn to Snowflake. AT&T was initially skeptical that Snowflake could match the performance of its original application. However, during the migration process, the data team used stored procedures for API calls from their Java-based frontend. This allowed them to "pin" stored procedures to specific virtual warehouses, matching individual procedure workloads to corresponding warehouses — and providing an advantage over the previous platform’s macro API calls.

By migrating its reporting application to Snowflake, AT&T now has a cost-effective alternative with faster performance, which has benefited the company's bottom line. "Because of results caching and our Snowflake migration, we’re now running at one-sixth of the cost that we thought we’d be operating at,” says Chris Goldston, Lead Solution Architect at AT&T. “With the additional optimizations we’ve made in the last several months, we have shaved another 35% off of that lower number."

Faster reporting for better decision-making across teams

The newly transformed myRESULTS, built on Snowflake, is a self-service analytics application that unifies data from headquarters, call centers, retail locations, vendor partners and executive management. Users, which have grown to about 115,000, now access more than 80 custom screens to see real-time sales reporting, historical data trends, order lifecycle data and customer surveys. The app features a precalculated library of more than 2,700 metrics and customizable data sets, as well as more than 230 separate APIs.  

Every day, about 35,000 unique users make more than 1 million API calls — with 90% of data requests coming back in less than one second. These quick responses help teams everywhere make faster, more informed decisions that can ultimately drive revenue and deliver a better experience to customers.

Data-fueled innovation

With Snowflake’s central repository, scalable infrastructure and ease of use as a data backbone, AT&T is in the process of innovating more data products. These could include applications that match data from different departments to provide personalized marketing campaigns and new services or products that improve the customer experience. Through Snowflake Marketplace, AT&T is adding products that will provide telecom service providers with the capabilities to use and sell data sets and applications.  

By migrating from its legacy on-premises system to the cloud, AT&T has gained better performance, agility, speed and cost efficiency in handling its large data volumes and complex workflows. Now, this leading telecom provider uses data to advance innovation, create new revenue streams, optimize operations and, most importantly, better connect people to their world.

VIDEO

Under the Hood With AT&T

Dive deeper into the technical details behind AT&T’s migration from its previous solution to Snowflake with Chris Goldston, Lead Solution Architect at AT&T.
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