Prefect Acquires SLATE Data
Oct. 4, 2021

Prefect Acquires SLATE Data

Jeremiah Lowin
Jeremiah LowinCEO

We are delighted to announce that Prefect has acquired SLATE Data, which will greatly enhance our ability to deliver the level of service and support that has become the hallmark of our company. We are excited to welcome the entire SLATE team to our organization, including CEO Anthony Head, who is now Prefect's Head of Customer Success.

SLATE is one of the premier data engineering consultancies. Our relationship began years ago when they became one of our first Lighthouse Partners, and blossomed as we began referring their services to Prefect Cloud customers seeking custom deployments. We began hearing from our customers how much they loved working with the SLATE team, and as we began collaborating more directly, we quickly learned why: SLATE is comprised of an extraordinary group of client-facing engineers who approach every project with enthusiasm and optimism. We now work so closely together that SLATE's leadership represents the only outside attendees at Prefect's quarterly GTM kickoffs.

There are three reasons that we are especially excited to join forces: people, customer-focused success, and scale.

The SLATE team might represent the greatest concentration of Prefect experts outside Prefect itself. As unrivaled engineers who love working with clients, they have become incredible ambassadors for our company and our product. In fact, when new SLATE employees join their company, the first thing they learn is how to deploy Prefect. This means that Prefect's new success team isn't just going to hit the ground running - they may actually have a few things to teach us about deploying our own product!

The opportunity to lift a fully-functioning organization directly into Prefect was too good to pass up, and wouldn't be possible if we hadn't spent the last two years getting to know each other. At Prefect, we're incredibly focused on building a healthy, high-performance culture, and acquisitions can sometimes derail such efforts. Fortunately, SLATE's own culture is very aligned with our own, with a key focus on learning, client service, and execution.

The SLATE team is no stranger to Prefect engagement - over the last year, many of our customers have already met them in our sales calls, QBRs, user research sessions, or as a direct referral. Going forward they will be an even more familiar presence, under a unified Prefect banner.

The former SLATE team will be focused almost exclusively on ensuring the success of Prefect's users. Our Cloud customers will engage with them directly for services and support; our open-source users will also benefit from their presence in our community and the expanded engineering bandwidth they provide.

With 18 months of data, we now know that Prefect customers expand usage at an extraordinary rate. What starts as a single team deploying one workflow will rapidly become an enterprise-wide deploy, spearheaded by internal champions. Ensuring the success of such deployments can strain a team as small as ours, which is why we began looking for a way to ensure that our company scaled as well as our product. An expert, engineering-first success team is exactly what our customers need, and our new colleagues will become the face of Prefect for many of our largest customers.

As solutions engineers, success team members will focus on four key areas of our GTM strategy:

  • They will operate as Prefect's professional services arm

  • They will focus on Prefect Cloud adoption and expansion opportunities to ensure customers gain the most from their Prefect investment

  • They will develop a first-class Cloud support offering on par with the quality our users have come to expect from our open-source community

  • They will become responsible for commercial and open-source partner integrations, benefitting all ecosystem participants as well as our customers with idiosyncratic requirements

Prefect is a built-to-last company. That means that we optimize for long-term outcomes and the delivery of real value to our customers. We are also culturally oriented around a problem, not a solution: our mission is to eliminate negative engineering, and we will strategically deploy whatever resources - human or technological - best achieve that goal. This acquisition is a testament to our continued growth and momentum.

When we announced our Series A and B earlier this year, we knew we had to use the capital to do "more than just scale" - we needed to deploy it strategically in a way that took advantage of our unique circumstances. We believe that the key to scaling in a healthy way is to seek processes that maximize leverage and compounding to create positive feedback loops, sometimes referred to as flywheels. Acquiring SLATE represents a rare opportunity for two businesses to turn linear parts of their operations into exponential flywheels: joining Prefect frees the SLATE team from the time constraints of consulting to focus on driving a customer and product vision forward; and Prefect gains a first-party opportunity to capture customer feedback and recycle it into process and product improvements. This is what we call a "60/60 partnership," in which both parties get the better end of the bargain. In this case, though, it's a "60/60/60 partnership" because our customers and users will unequivocally benefit the most.

We are delighted to welcome the SLATE team to Prefect, and look forward to sharing the benefits of their expertise with our users.

Happy engineering!

Posted on Oct 4, 2021
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