Five Questions on the Alation Partner Network with Kiran Narsu

By Nolan Necoechea

Published on July 13, 2020

Nolan Necoechea, Alation: Hi, Kiran. Thanks for speaking with me today. Could you talk about what is being announced today?

Kiran Narsu, VP of business development, Alation: Happy to do so. Today we are announcing the launch of the Alation Partner Network. The Alation Partner Network or APN builds on the work we have done with scores of partners to create an ecosystem of technology partners, system integrators, and resellers. The APN is designed to provide customers with best-of-breed solutions to improve the effectiveness of their enterprise data and analytics investments and help them accelerate their data culture efforts.

As part of the APN, our technology partners and resellers have access to Alation software and expertise. This helps to ensure that our solutions work well together and that there is close alignment to better support joint customers. The APN also enables SI’s and resellers to become Alation-certified by completing select Alation University courses, guided exercises, and certification exams. This ensures the best experience for customers and partners alike.

Nolan: You mentioned that Alation has already been working with more than 100 partners. Why launch this now?

Kiran: Good question. Since Alation was founded in 2012, we really created the notion of the modern data catalog. The focus was on helping enterprises find, understand, and trust data. To do that, we had to be really good at connecting with all of the data assets in the enterprise. Since day one, creating, broad, and deep connectivity has been in our DNA.

All of our customers connect Alation to data warehouses, data lakes, BI and visualization tools, data science tools, both their legacy systems on-prem as well as their cloud — and we’re also helping customers migrate workloads to the cloud. No matter what tools our customers have, what data they have or where that data lives, Alation uplifts the value of those investments. We have worked closely with partners since day one, and the launch of the Alation Partner Network is really formalizing much of that, so that our partner network can continue to grow and produce the same high-quality outcomes for our customers.

At the same time, the Alation Data Catalog has emerged as the platform for data intelligence use cases, and our partners are critical to the strength of our platform. Without a platform for data intelligence, enterprises struggle to deliver on data culture and digital transformation. The APN improves our ability to support a wide range of data intelligence use cases. We have already announced partnerships with BigID, a leader in data privacy, to support the creation of policy-aware data culture and Databricks to support predictive modeling in the data lake. With the launch of the APN, support for data intelligence use cases on the Alation platform will only grow.

Finally, customers leverage Systems Integrators to drive their data intelligence and governance initiatives and are increasingly demanding Alation. It was clearly the right time for Alation to launch a certification program to enable our partners to be more effective at accelerating data intelligence initiatives with Alation as the centerpiece.

Nolan: From a customer perspective, what are the benefits of the Alation Partner Network?

Kiran: As I mentioned earlier, every one of our 200+ customers connects Alation into their broader data ecosystem to drive greater value from their data and analytics investments. Those connections are made even stronger by our partnerships.

For instance, by leveraging Alation and Tableau together, Daimler Trucks North America, has seen up to a 99% savings in time spent searching for the right data to write and execute queries. A task that would normally have taken as much as 80 hours, now takes two. Pfizer leverages Alation in conjunction with Dataiku to create amazing results with data science, including finding more effective ways to identify rare diseases. And, Zurich North America leverages Alation with Databricks to optimize the efforts of a 70+ person data science team in an industry where success means staying ahead of the next big risk.

With the launch of the Alation Partner Network and our new certification program, we will be able to grow our partner ecosystem and help our SI partners drive even more incredible customer outcomes.

Nolan: What is the value that partners will receive from being part of the Alation Partner Network?

Kiran: There are three primary types of partners in the Alation Partner Network and each sees unique benefits from joining and building tighter alignment with Alation and our joint customers: technology partners, system integrators, and resellers.

For technology partners, the broad, deep, connectivity that Alation provides and the alignment that comes from leveraging Alation’s assistance creates a virtuous cycle that makes our partner’s technology more accessible and in turn more impactful.

For system integrators, we’ve designed a program that allows them to become Alation-Certified implementers of our software. Not only does this ensure that they can successfully implement Alation but it also signals to Alation customers that these are partners they can trust because they have passed stringent skills training and evaluation by Alation experts.

And finally, resellers understand that a data catalog is a vital piece of a next-generation, best of breed, technology stack. As part of the Alation Partner Network, they know that they can recommend a data catalog that will be valuable to end users while meeting data governance requirements — and won’t take years to implement.

Nolan: Excellent. Do you have any closing thoughts on the announcement?

Kiran: This is a very exciting announcement. To Alation, partners are critical, not just to the strength of Alation’s connectivity but also to the strength of Alation as a platform for data intelligence solutions. The Alation Partner Network ensures that our partner ecosystem grows and scales — increasing the value of our customers’ data and analytics investments and helping more customers to create a data culture.

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