Speakers: Mark Estes, Key Account Director for American Express, Google
Mark Estes: So I started covering American Express early 2019, so about 2.5 years ago, you know, there are traditional legacy financial service company all on-prem in their own data centers, no cloud experience, no cloud deployments, but for various reasons, you know, they are decided to start making the move towards the cloud. And one of the first things we started last summer was an evaluation of the 100 plus petabyte data warehouse and they had a lot of issues with that on-prem and they were needed to move that and modernized that to a next generation platform. So we started an evaluation against us, AWS, Snowflake, Azure all the typical players in a data warehouse kind of evaluation.
Mark Estes: Long story short, we ended up winning that evaluation and American Express is now in the process of moving, you know, their data platform to GCP as of about May. And a lot of it did come around like the technical resources we have. But I think just as importantly towards winning that really was like the reference customers we were able to bring into and talk to American Express and our reference program was really, really key to that.
Mark Estes: You know, I think one of the key things that we thought about references through the American Express evaluation was it was very important to American Express that it was relevant and similar peers to them. Right? So they weren't as interested in any of these digital natives startups. They weren't interested in people who kind of grew up in the cloud. What they were really looking for was either financial service companies that had the same tech stack and the same journey they went through. Or they were looking for other very, very large customers that had the scale that was similar to what American Express was looking for. You know, I think one of the key ones that we were able to bring in for this was Walmart. And while not a financial service company, if I look at the data platform, if I look at the technology stack, we looked at like the journey Walmart went through and why they ended up choosing us as opposed to say Microsoft, which was one of their big partners. You know, I think that reference and having Walmart talk with the CEO and CIO of American Express was really, really key towards us Winning.