Ascend.io, which provides a platform for building data pipelines, has expanded its partner program to extend the company's global reach and cultivate a role in digital transformation projects.
Ascend.io CEO and founder Sean Knapp said the company signed up several enterprise architecture advisory and data consultancy partners to its channel roster. New partners include The Singularity Mesh, a digital enablement company based in Australia; X is Y, a management consulting firm based in New Zealand; Moviri, a consulting and engineering firm based in Italy; and Flare Build Systems, a SaaS, training and consulting company based in San Francisco.
Partners have been part of Ascend.io's strategy from the company's beginnings. The Palo Alto, Calif., company emerged from stealth in 2019 and soon discovered interest among solutions providers. "One of the things we noticed as we launched our company … was that a huge proportion of early sign-ups were from a lot of these solutions partners," Knapp said. "They had real-world, pragmatic use cases and were deep in the trenches with clients."
The company's Ascend Unified Data Engineering Platform lets organizations build data pipelines that move data from a variety of sources to a data lake, data warehouse or other destination. The platform, for example, migrates data to cloud resources such as a Snowflake data warehouse or an Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Knapp characterizes his company's technology as a modernized extract, transform and load (ETL) offering. He said the Ascend.io platform differs from the previous generation of ETL in that it runs on hyperscalers' cloud ecosystems and provides an AI layer to help automate data movement and optimize data systems such as data lakes
Automation means data teams need fewer people to work on a given project, Knapp noted. This approach may not suit partners that rely on billable hours. The company, however, is focusing on partners eager to introduce technologies that offer greater efficiency on a truncated timeline, he said.
Partners' digital transformation customers are "trying to get live, from prototype to production, in a matter of months," Knapp said.
While partners can offer their customers a new take on ETL, Ascend.io benefits from more feet on the global street. "Service providers give us global reach much faster, regional support, and let us drop into a lot more markets faster than we ordinarily could," Knapp said.
Ascend.io currently generates 25% to 30% of its business through partners and aims to boost its indirect sales to more than 50% in 2021. He said partners offer local relationships and time-zone affinities along with expertise in Ascend.io's platform.
"As we find opportunities in their geographies, we much prefer to work through our partners," he said.
Knapp said his company is looking to build a strong relationship with a partner in each geographic region. Ascend.io also seeks to expand its industry coverage through partners. Service providers joining Ascend.io's partner program can expect features such as co-marketing dollars, revenue sharing and road-mapping/planning sessions.
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