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Q&A With Barb Huelskamp, Senior Vice President of Global Partners and Alliances, Alteryx

While she was in the UK hosting the Alteryx EMEA Partner Advisory Council, Barb Huelskamp, Senior Vice President of Global Partners and Alliances, took time out to talk to Technology Reseller about the analytics automation company’s revamped partner programme.

Our conversation followed a busy first half of the year for Alteryx, which celebrates its 25 anniversary this year.  Highlights include the completion of its acquisition of cloud-native analytics platform provider Trifacta, which is accelerating the company’s journey to the cloud from its heritage in on-premises solutions.

Combining Alteryx’s low code/no code analytics solution with Trifacta’s cloud native capabilities, including integrations with cloud data warehouses like Snowflake and a purpose-built architecture for Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure, will help Alteryx provide customers with a choice of flexible deployment options — on- premises, hybrid and cloud — and meet changing analytics needs as enterprises adopt cloud data warehouses or lakes to manage massive data sets and look for analytics solutions that are cloud-enabled.

This acquisition was quickly followed by the launch of the Alteryx Analytics Cloud, the company’s first unified end-to-end analytics automation platform that enables all users in an enterprise to unlock the power of data and make more informed, data-based decisions, from data engineers to data analysts to line of business users.

Accessed via a browser and with set-up in minutes not days, the platform brings together:

  • Alteryx Designer Cloud, which enables any user to prepare, blend and output data in a highly visual, code-free way through a browser;
  • Alteryx Machine Learning, a cloud- native, automated modelling solution that enables users to build, validate, iterate and explore models with a visually guided user experience;
  • Alteryx Auto Insights, a cloud-native analytics solution that works like a human analyst to deliver AI-driven automated insights to business users; and
  • Trifacta Data Engineering Cloud, which enables IT and data engineering teams to drive analytics transformation at cloud- scale and gain timely insights from large cloud datasets, cloud data warehouses and SaaS-based applications.

At the same time, Alteryx will continue to invest in its Designer and Server products, providing customers with deployment flexibility for their analytic workloads whether on premises, hybrid or in the cloud.

Following the launch of the Alteryx Analytics Cloud, Alteryx launched an updated three-tier partner programme designed to incentivise joint customer success, technical expertise and new customer acquisition across all partner types – solution providers (including VARs and distribution partners), global system integrators (GSIs), technology partners, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Then, in April, Alteryx built on these developments with the appointment of Jason Janicke as Senior Vice President of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Based in London, he will lead the company’s strategy, business activities and operations in the region with a focus on strengthening its presence in the cloud.

He will report to another relatively new appointment, Paula Hansen, President and CRO, who was previously at Cisco and SAP, and work with Barb Huelskamp, who herself has only been at Alteryx for around nine months, following 25 years in a variety of channel partner programme development and channel sales roles.

Technology Reseller (TR): Please tell me a little about Alteryx and its vision for analytics automation.

Barb Huelskamp (BH): We are the analytics automation company. Our vision is to enable every person to transform data into a breakthrough. Our mission is providing analytics for all, so we unify analytics data, business processes and people. Our solution isn’t just for the data scientists but also for the knowledge worker who really does understand what they want to get at, the observations they want to get at, without having to get a data scientist to connect that data. It’s low code/code-free, easy to use and self-service, and part of what our partner programme provides is integration with other ISVs, so partners can provide a really nice end-to-end solution with complementary technologies integrated with Alteryx.

TR: As it celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, Alteryx seems to be undergoing a period of major transformation.

BH: 2021 was quite a transformational year for the company. We brought in new leadership – Mark Anderson, our new
CEO, formerly leading Palo Alto, and Paula Hansen, our new CRO and President, formerly with Cisco and SAP, both of whom come from a heritage of driving growth through a successful partner ecosystem.

Last year, engineering brought more solutions into the cloud. And we made some acquisitions at the beginning of this year, including Trifecta, that are really driving some more of that cloud transformation into our solution and for our partners.

From a go-to-market perspective, we moved to enterprise-wide selling, instead of concentrating on the individual analyst level, and developed a go-to-market
play that is focused on driving customer outcomes and selling at the persona or broader use-case level.

While the company has always had a partner programme, we jokingly refer to 2022 as ‘the year of the partner’. This has been our year of transformation, including investments in the partner programme, people and how we’re going to market more broadly with a partner-centric strategy and culture.

TR: Please can you tell me a little more about what you are doing on the channel side in this ‘year of the partner’.

BH: Partners have always been central to the company strategy. We started adding partners to our ecosystem back in 2013 and we’ve had consistent year-over-year growth, adding new partners since 2016.

We recognise the deep customer relationships they have, the value-added professional services and technology integrations that they bring, and the domain expertise by use case that are really helping partners accelerate
their customers’ business or cloud transformation journey. With service attach outpacing technology sales growth by three or four times, there’s also a great opportunity for our partners to continue driving their own service attached.

We recognised that we needed to integrate the partner ecosystem into
our overall go-to-market strategy more tightly and have really pivoted to being more partner-centric. Activating our partner ecosystem is now a strategic element of our overall go-to-market strategy and the programme is really the mechanism to make sure that we provide our partners with the right benefits for those investments with Alteryx, while also attracting new partners that we might need in certain geos or partners with expertise in certain vertical markets.

TR: And is the UK one of the regions where you need more partners?

BH: Absolutely, and we already have a significant partner organisation here. We’ve probably tripled the size of our partner organisation in EMEA.

TR: How many partners do you havein EMEA?

BH: Globally, we put partners into four partner types: solution providers, which are your traditional resellers, VARs, direct market retailers; global system integrators or GSIs; ISVs, other technology firms; and OEMs – we have quite a few ISVs and solution providers that have created their own IP or wrap services around our product; they natively integrate solutions and then brand it as their own.

We have hundreds of partners globally, and many of them are global in nature. For example, all our GSIs are global in nature and most of them have entities and representation with Alteryx in EMEA, APJ and the Americas.

Overall, I’d say 20% to 30% of our partner community has a presence in EMEA.

TR: What do you see as the key elements of the support you provide partners?

BH: In updating the programme we wanted to make sure that we addressed all partner types – the solution providers, GSIs, ISVs and OEMs. I didn’t feel that the previous programme addressed them all and recognised that each type has a different journey. So, we now have benefits and requirements that differ by that partner type and really address how they go to market.

The second thing is, when you look at programme requirements and benefits, oftentimes you see a programme, and I’m going to make this up, where eight things are required before the partner starts to receive benefits. We didn’t want to make partners wait six to nine months before they started seeing benefit from us, so we have introduced a progressive benefits requirements flow. For every investment a partner makes, we provide them with a benefit, even within a tier (Registered, Select, Premier), so that they receive benefit and resources and support from us sooner.

The third thing we did was roll out enablement to our partners, really viewing them as an extension of our own go-to- market teams. Everything we do internally to enable our employees, the programmes and resources, is now extended to those partners. And we have rolled out new role-based enablement paths, so if you are a seller, you have an enablement path; if you’re a pre-sales engineer, you have technical paths, as well as professional service matching.

Lastly, and again pivoting to that partner-centric strategy, we wanted to make sure that we instituted clearer rules of engagement. How can we include best practices that really help partners optimise the results with Alteryx and provide a consistent set of global guidelines for our internal go-to-market team as well so that they partner well and successfully with that partner ecosystem?

TR: Which partner type do you think has the most potential for Alteryx?

BH: I think they all do, because they’re all very, very different and they provide a different need in the market. And asa matter of fact, many of them partner together. For example, at our Partner Advisory Council here this week, we have solution providers, GSIs, ISVs and OEMs all in the same room. Many of our solution providers work with the GSIs; they provide complementary services to our customers and want to work together. When one of those solution providers partners with Alteryx and another ISV partner, the average deal size goes up three times, so it’s a very cohesive partner community.

TR: Can you give me some idea of the growth you’re experiencing?

BH: Let me pivot that to growth with partners, because that’s what’s important to our partner community. As we move to this partner-centric culture, we want
to make sure that more and more of our business is transacted with and through partners. In EMEA, our partner attach rate, when a partner engages with us selling to a customer, is already up 29% year-over- year for 2022. And we’re in month six.

TR: What proportion of your transactions now have partner involvement?

BH: It does vary by theatre. In EMEA it’s probably two thirds.

TR: How big is the potential market for data and analytics?

BH: We have a $48 billion data and analytics TAM (total addressable market). One could say that less than 5% of that market has been penetrated, so we’re certainly in hyper growth mode. And by virtualising our go-to-market approach to partners, we expect to accelerate our market penetration across several different customer segments.

Our direct go-to-market teams are focused on three customer segments – global customers, strategic enterprises and SMBs – and we partner with channel partners who have expertise in those customer segments in specific verticals.

We address all verticals but have the greatest success in finance, tax, accounting, supply chain management, where we really focus on end user personas. Within those use cases, there are department heads who are looking
to solve problems, using data from many, many sources and our platform helps them get to those breakthroughs much sooner.


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