This post was originally shared in Snowflake's "Inside the Data Cloud" blog series. Read the original post here.
SaaS providers enable business teams to work more efficiently and gain insights more quickly, driving value for their businesses. SaaS solutions can bring significant value to their organizations and adoption is widespread—companies typically use an average of 130 SaaS applications, according to a recent survey.
While the benefits are great, SaaS apps can also create data silos and data copies across the organization. Many companies address this issue by getting their data shared back to them from their SaaS providers. To meet this demand, SaaS companies draw on legacy data sharing methods such as FTP, API, or ETL. However, FTP channels need to be set up for each customer and are maintenance-intensive and error-prone. Copying files to and from cloud buckets can make data unsecure; working with APIs is engineering-intensive; and the ETL process is costly and time-consuming.
SaaS provider Heap is sidestepping these hurdles by using Snowflake Marketplace. Heap is a digital insights platform that aims to give organizations a more complete understanding of their customers’ digital journeys. This allows organizations to quickly improve conversion, retention, and customer delight by understanding how users engage with digital properties like websites, ecommerce stores, and SaaS applications.
Because Heap is listed on Snowflake Marketplace, its customers can get their insights data (which has been collected, organized, and stored by Heap) shared back to them directly in Snowflake—avoiding the need for any FTP, API, or ETL. Heap customers benefit from the value of Heap’s fully managed SaaS solution, while being able to access their raw Heap data seamlessly in Snowflake. With Heap Connect, Heap’s data export solution that leverages Snowflake collaboration capabilities, customers can create a single source of truth in Snowflake, thereby avoiding silos and multiple copies of data. This setup also allows Heap customers to combine their clickstream data (collected by Heap) with other operational data sets.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits Heap is realizing from listing its data offering on Snowflake Marketplace.
Better customer experience
When Heap customers want to get their data shared back to them, they can request the data from Heap’s listing on Snowflake Marketplace or activate the data request from within the Heap platform. Heap can immediately provision the data once the customer has provided their Snowflake account details. Because there’s no need to set up pipelines, customers see value from their data within hours instead of the weeks or months associated with other sharing methods.
Heap takes on the compute for loading the data as well as the storage costs. Joint customers don’t have to worry about integration complexities, pipeline inefficiencies, or data sharing-related cloud costs; they just pay for the service and receive their data quickly, without any hassle.
It’s not just logistics that are improved by sharing data back to clients via Snowflake Marketplace—security is also much simpler and stronger. Heap doesn’t need to exchange keys with its customers or maintain access permissions. Heap doesn’t even require access to its customers’ Snowflake accounts. Instead, Heap just opens up a secure window into the specific customer’s data in its Snowflake account. The Heap support team can query all the data in its own account because while data is shared, the data doesn’t move out of the customer’s account.
Decreased support burden
Heap can share data with clients without building pipelines, so the Heap support team spends no time maintaining clusters, debugging pipelines, or dealing with unique customer setups. According to Heap, this saves the support team an estimated 5 to 10 hours of engineering work per week.
With other cloud-based data sharing solutions, solution teams often have to spend time getting proper credentials or access to the right cloud buckets. Clusters have to be created, maintained, and resized, and operations schedules must be coordinated. Because there’s no need to do this when data is shared via Snowflake, solutions teams save over 5 hours per week on average.
Also, because Snowflake separates storage and compute, there’s no resource contention when data is shared from Heap to its customers’ Snowflake account. The workloads that Heap customers are running are not impacted by the data sharing load, and thus never impose any query limits for those customers. This contributes to a great customer experience.
Data access for all customers
Some of Heap’s customers don’t yet have a data warehouse solution in place but still would like an easy way to query all of their data held in Heap. In those scenarios, Heap simply provides its customers with a managed read-only account in Snowflake that exposes the data to the client.
The customer receives the account details from Heap and can immediately start querying their data, while Heap manages the rest. Resource monitors allow Heap to track costs and monitor customer usage as well as getting an indication of whether its customers are getting value out of the shared data. Snowflake allows Heap to serve all of its customers—no matter where they are in their data management evolution.
Revenue growth with Snowflake Marketplace
The service for sharing data back with its clients has become a multi-million dollar product offering for Heap. While Heap offers sharing data back to various data solutions used across its customer base, Snowflake is the biggest contributor to that additional revenue growth.
“Our customers love that we can seamlessly share their data back with them via Snowflake,” says Zac Fuld, Senior Director, Global Partnerships at Heap. “Snowflake is the most used data sharing solution amongst our customer base, and has resulted in about a 30% lift in contract sizes.”
Listing on Snowflake Marketplace extends the visibility of Heap’s offering to the entire Snowflake community, and the underlying secure data sharing technology allows Heap to deliver better customer experiences with stronger security while reducing internal support burden and helping to grow revenue.
Become a Snowflake Marketplace Partner to start sharing data back to your clients and grow your business in the Data Cloud.