How I Tackle Marketplace with Hillorie Farace di Villaforesta, Dataiku

What is your role?

Head of Cloud Alliances at Dataiku. I manage our relationships with Microsoft, GCP, and AWS as well as smaller cloud providers globally. My goals are to ensure customers are able to deliver their AI transformation initiatives with Dataiku leveraging their current and preferred cloud infrastructures and to scale our global business with strategic cloud partners.


What does your company do?

Dataiku was founded in 2013 on the principle that in order to succeed in the world’s rapidly evolving ecosystem, companies — no matter what their industry or size — must use data to continuously innovate. Today, over 450 companies worldwide use us to systemize their use of data and AI. Dataiku is a great fit for use cases across all industries from fraud detection to customer churn prevention, predictive maintenance to supply chain optimization, and everything in between.

Our founding principles have also enabled us to become an industry leader in democratizing data and empowering organization-wide collaboration making AI part of an organization’s everyday behavior.

Why did your company decide to launch on Marketplace?

Our initial demand was driven by prospects and customers asking if we were available for purchase through Cloud Marketplaces. Although we were growing at lightning speed, we were still staffed more like a start-up. A lot of our larger enterprise customers are actively deployed on cloud platforms and have contracts with AWS, GCP, and Microsoft. Being able to transact on the Marketplaces helped us accelerate customers’ time to value and close the deal.


How has your Marketplace strategy evolved?

We initially worked with the Marketplaces to facilitate ease of transacting, specifically easing the procurement process and most of our deals are private offers. Given the demand we are seeing to transact via Marketplaces, we will be expanding into a full go-to-market motion which includes leveraging cloud reseller programs like Microsoft’s CSP and AWS’s CPPO programs. Our goal is to deliver through the Marketplace, with a cloud provider, working with a trusted partner. Why? Most customers are embarking on large AI transformation journeys which include complex technology stacks and dynamic infrastructures. Who better to help customers achieve success with their AI transformation initiatives than trusted partners. It takes a village!


We have listings on 3 Marketplaces (AWS, Azure, and GCP), I recommend starting with one. Start with where your customers are now, then expand. We migrated to a multi-cloud marketplace approach quickly because our customers’ AI/ML initiatives often involve multi-cloud infrastructures. We needed to work for customers “out of the gate”.


What advice do you have for someone thinking about selling through Marketplace for the first time?

Don’t overthink it. When we started, we overthought the details. We wanted to make sure we had the pricing, packaging, offers, and marketing perfect. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. In overthinking it, there was a lot of double work and rework that was done. Definitely start simple and then get more complex as your customers’ asks evolve.


What does being listed on Marketplace mean to your business?

Flexibility and choice for customers. Even if our customer didn’t end up transacting on Marketplace, the fact that we were associated with Marketplace and offered the ability to transact through the Marketplace generated a lot of interest and validated us as a company. Not only that, it provided a way for customers and prospects to go back and tell their procurement team that Marketplace is a route to buy if there are any hurdles in buying direct. 

It’s also given us external brand and awareness leverage, just to be able to say that we are on the Marketplace and we can transact there. It provides a door opener for our field sales to be able to say we can transact immediately. Plus it gives us a way to work with the cloud sellers since they get compensated on Marketplace transactions.

Read Dataiku’s case study with Tackle. 

How does Marketplace enable a digital transformation strategy?

More and more customers are accelerating adoption to the cloud. In doing that, additional infrastructure and technology complexities can come into play. Bottom line is that whatever “stack” is used, it has to clearly address customers’ pain points and deliver fast time to value. Cloud and Marketplaces are making AI adoption and implementation very pervasive and “quick”. Customers can go out and get their infrastructure cloud, and then determine their additional needs as they go. Cloud vendors have generally offered their own native AI/ML offerings. As new ISVs have entered the market with game changing features or technologies, Cloud Partners have been very intelligent in their ability to incorporate those 3rd party ISV partners quickly and easily and offer them in a customer-first, revenue-producing model. 

We’ve noticed that more and more companies don’t need to rely on internal engineering to develop homegrown solutions. They can leverage industry-leading technologies and add them to their preferred “stack” as part of their preferred infrastructure(s). Marketplaces are allowing a paradigm shift for customers to be able to do deeper analytics and data transformation quickly and pervasively with their infrastructure of choice. 


What is something that might surprise people about you? 

In addition to “Tech”, I have a rather severe horse habit, specifically Arabian horses and endurance riding. I ended up founding my own company and website in 2001 because we were doing well, winning races, and I was tired of carrying around a notepad with available endurance horses and people looking for endurance horses. Endurance has taken me everywhere, from the deserts of the Middle East to the pampas in South America. It makes my heart smile and has given me a great work-life-passion balance.