As part of our “They’re doing the data” feature, Guillaume Brandenburg, Regional VP Southern EMEA at Databricks agreed to review the past year and the major marketing issues of this new year.
LeBigdata.fr : One word to define the year that just passed?
Guillaume Brandenburg: Maturity. In 2021, we noticed that customers are now ready to move to implementation. They are asking for solutions and no one questions the relevance of a data strategy anymore. The use case today is to manage to have an impact on the business. For example, customers want to use their data to improve operations and manage inventory.
Maturity also for Databricks. In one year, we have gone from 25 employees to about 50 with the arrival of sales forces and profiles that allow us to support our customers. 2021 has been a great year of growth, we are very happy, but we are even happier about the prospects to come. Our positioning is at the confluence of the “move to cloud” and the data-driven company, so we have the wind in our sails, and the growth is amazing.
Bigdata.fr : What is your marketing strategy in this period of growth?
Our marketing DNA is based on product excellence. Today, we are recognized by our customers, our partners, but also by analysts like Gartner. Excellence is at the heart of our technique and our corporate culture.
Second, we want to be our customers’ partner. This term may sound overused, but it is a reality at Databricks. We are committed, we really want to understand the use cases, we estimate the business gains of our actions as well as the risk coverage. We give them access to material that they wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. It’s a joint investment that is long term.
And from an operational standpoint, what marketing operations have you been able to conduct?
Like everyone else, we went through the Covid tsunami. For a long time, we couldn’t do face-to-face. Before that, we had two big events a year that could gather up to 7,000 people. We organized them remotely and we noticed that they allowed us to capture more customers. In the future, we will probably keep a hybrid operation. We also organized webinars, sent invitations to customers, and opted for verticalization of events according to sectors: finance, pharmaceutical laboratories…
What are the main challenges for you at the beginning of the year?
We have ambitious goals. It is now a question of scaling up. We want to double or even triple our activities. Of course, this will not be without its challenges, especially the fact that we need to keep our DNA and continue to think of the customer first. We are extremely attentive to this. It is our fundamental value. We are equipping ourselves with tools, we are recruiting people and management with the objective of maintaining a relationship with customers that is up to our standards. That means spending time to find the right people.
Do you have difficulty recruiting and do you recruit internationally?
Recruiting is not difficult. What is tricky is finding the right people. We are very selective and the bar is quite high. We’re looking for the right combination of expertise, mindset and other criteria. We only recruit the best talents in the market and then give them the opportunity to express themselves and put their know-how at the service of our clients.
Finding the right people. We recruit by being very selective. We recruit the best talent on the market. Give them the opportunity to express themselves. Put this know-how to work for the customer. And indeed, we recruit a lot of people from abroad. For example, I am going to double my teams in Spain and open a presence in Italy.
What product developments are you preparing for the coming months?
We have several evolutions that are very much expected by our customers and of which we are particularly proud on our Lakehouse product. The major challenge is to democratize data, as the CIO of Michelin told me. We want to give each employee the data that will allow him to make the right decisions. Like a compass. That’s our paradigm and that’s where we’re investing in terms of communication.
One word to define your goals for 2022?
Scale. This will be the leitmotif of this year while maintaining our DNA and our quality of impact.
Interview by Amandine Durand