Snowflake's Nick Laidler: 'Partner opportunities are exponential'

Snowflake's Nick Laidler: 'Partner opportunities are exponential'

Almost one year after joining Snowflake, the company's A/NZ channel lead discusses his sales and partner goals for 2022.

Nick Laidler (Snowflake)

Nick Laidler (Snowflake)

Credit: Snowflake

Since its initial public offering at the end of 2020, Snowflake has become one of the technology industry's whizz-kids, pulling in big players and big cash. 

Backed by the likes of Salesforce and Warren Buffet, and a market value of US$82 billion, the cloud data warehousing company has lately set its sights on the high-growth potential of the Australian and New Zealand market. 

Spearheading this charge with the trans-Tasman channel is A/NZ partner manager Nick Laidler, former Rubrik A/NZ channel manager, who took over from Alana Sahakian in May last year. 

Speaking to ARN, Laidler said: "We’re looking to expand and elevate our partner program in A/NZ. We’ve tiered up numerous consultancies and service providers in the past six months. 

"The opportunities for them are exponential, in terms of the services they can wrap around our product offering. My team and I will focus on demonstrating benefits and showing partners how we can work with them to deliver great outcomes for their customers. 

When Laidler first joined Snowflake, the company's partner program was in its relative infancy, having only been launched the previous year. 

Leveraging that, upon joining Snowflake, Laidler then set out to segment Snowflake's partner community across various verticals and territories and planning our investments in them.  

Despite joining in the middle of Melbourne's Delta lockdown last year, and having to meet both partners and his team largely virtually, Laidler is happy with the progress he has so far made filling in Sahakian's shoes.  

"I’ve been in discovery and learning mode for a lot of it: meeting the team (virtually) and getting an understanding of Snowflake’s processes and programs around partners – how we engage with them and collaborate," he explained. 

"Previous companies I’ve worked for have been in the cloud infrastructure space – hardware, software, middleware, storage – and their focus was very much on achieving data centre efficiencies. The Snowflake conversation is quite different. We’re talking about customer data and helping customers realise the value of it, to transform their businesses, improve their operational functions or create new revenue streams. It’s interesting and exciting." 

Part of Laidler's strategy, based on his 10 years' experience in the IT sales channel, is "building a strong, supportive sales culture" that spans both internally and with partners. 

"Their success is our success, and we can’t achieve it without shared purpose and a willingness to collaborate," he added. 

Laidler will be assisted more widely across the Asia Pacific region by former Google Cloud channel chief Ash Willis, who recently joined as Snowflake Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) vice president of partners and alliances.

Although Snowflake has, in Laidler's words, a very large partner ecosystem globally, around 80 per cent of its deals are transacted by just 20 per cent of its channel. 

This also applies in A/NZ too, with Laidler claiming that "a good proportion of them are very focused" and already doing a lot of work for the company. 

"Here in A/NZ, we see some great growth opportunities with the remainder, in key vertical markets including financial services, public sector, retail, consumer packaged goods, health and life sciences, and the resources sector.  

"We’ll be organising our sales team to be more vertically focused so we can support those partners to generate more business, via events and direct sales. We’re also looking to make use of a lot of US materials that have been developed around vertical solutions and go-to-markets. There’s a wealth of content we can localise and leverage." 

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