How Sigma’s Embedded Analytics Enabled Clumio Discover To Launch In Less Than 3 Months

Daniel Codella

Data Evangelist, Sigma

The rise of the cloud has been the most disruptive force in the tech sector within the last decade, and the impact of AWS can’t be overstated. It’s quickly become the most profitable part of Amazon’s business. A whopping 64% of enterprises use AWS, making it the leading cloud computing provider in the world.

With tens of thousands of the world’s most trusted brands relying on AWS to power their products and services every day, data protection, backup, and recovery have become mission-critical capabilities.

But getting 360-degree visibility into that data to identify assets at risk, maintain compliance, and audit readiness remains incredibly challenging. Additionally, unoptimized AWS Backups can add unnecessary expenses that easily skyrocket out of control. These are a few of the cloud data backup challenges that Clumio has remedied with the latest addition to their cloud data protection platform.

With a development and go-to-market timeline of less than 3 months, the team at Clumio set out to find the perfect embedded analytics partner that could help them meet their tight deadline. The team at Sigma rose to the challenge and the result is Clumio Discover, a cloud backup optimization engine with enhanced reporting and powerful dashboards that provides comprehensive visibility into AWS.

We sat down with Clumio’s VP of Product, Chadd Kenney, to learn more about the genesis of Clumio Discover and how the partnership with Sigma helped bring it to life.

— Could you describe Clumio Discover for us?

Clumio discover is a cloud backup optimization engine that provides enhanced reporting and deeper visibility into AWS. It gives end-users the ability to get actionable insights that help them mitigate risks and reduce costs.

— Where did the idea for Clumio Discover come from and how was it developed?

We spent two and a half months talking to hundreds of customers to learn more about their needs. A trend quickly emerged around data protection visibility, which was missing in AWS. They wanted a risk profile so they could answer questions, like: Am I over protecting assets? Under-protecting assets? What are my costs? Are there opportunities to reduce costs?

Some of our customers were building dashboards to identify these issues and others were just living with risks. We knew we had to build something adjacent to Clumio Protect to address these concerns, but we didn’t know if we could build it all ourselves. We could ingest the data, and Snowflake was our backend where we could store it all, but we didn’t want to build out an entire BI and visualization engine.

So we started on a journey to find an embedded analytics partner that could help us get to market as soon as possible.

— What embedded analytics solutions did you evaluate, and what ultimately led you to choose Sigma?

The 3 main products we looked at were Sisense, Quicksight, and Sigma. We ran a proof-of-concept (POC) with each vendor at the same time. Honestly, the deciding factor was the people at Sigma. We were going to build this thing in two and half months. Every company we looked at had great people, but early in the POC, Sigma’s team jumped in big time and directly engaged with the data itself.

We asked for a lot of support, including a daily standup so we could ensure we met our deadline. No matter what we asked, we never got a “You haven’t paid enough,” or a “We don’t have a team for that,” or a “We don’t usually do this for our customers.” It was always “Yes.”

And that was exactly what we were looking for — people to be in the boat with us and row together. Jon Avrach [Sigma evangelist and senior director of solution architecture] was a superstar. I even asked Rob [Sigma’s co-founder and CTO] for 3 feature enhancements before launch. I’m thrilled to report that Sigma came through!

From a technical standpoint, we needed to do row-level filtering and security in a multi-tenant environment. Additionally, the visualization capabilities were a major factor. We didn’t have to build the visualizations ourselves, which freed our UX team to focus on building the interface directly. Being an embedded solution, we could sit as a group and layout dashboard concepts to iterate quickly and figure out which one would unlock the most value for the customer.

Lastly, in AWS tags are everything. It became a pretty heavy effort to figure out how we would normalize the data to allow users to filter based on the many tags they applied to assets. The Sigma team came in, helped us normalize the data, and delivered in an area we didn’t have core competence in. I’ve never experienced that level of service with any other vendor before.

We asked for a lot of support, including a daily standup so we could ensure we met our deadline. No matter what we asked, we never got a “You haven’t paid enough,” or a “We don’t have a team for that,” or a “We don’t usually do this for our customers.” It was always “Yes.”

Chadd Kenney

VP of Product, Clumio

— Clumio Discover is the first product of its kind. What kind of feedback are you getting from your customers?

The response has been incredible. Clumio Discover is giving AWS users a global view of all their accounts with the ability to spot anomalies they couldn’t find on their own with native tools. One customer had a 30-day retention period for snapshots and was shocked to learn that they had snapshots going back as far as 180 days! This was an unnecessary expense for them and they were able to reduce their cost model significantly.

We had another customer with over 1,000 accounts onboard into Clumio Discover in less than a day. This gave them full visibility into their entire enterprise, petabytes of capacity, and all kinds of new insights that they had never seen before nor did they think were possible — things like over-protection, under-protection, true costs, and reporting on a global scale. They could quickly see their risk profile for ransomware and take action to close the gaps in their AWS backup plans.

Lots of our customers are interested in trend analysis. Many are able to access metrics from a point in time, but it’s difficult to figure out if a spike is an anomaly or part of a growing trend. It’s a big win for them to see how their environment is growing and adapting over time.

At the end of the day, customers were either spending too much time trying to cobble up a solution to get a fraction of the information that Discover provides or were simply unable to get this information at all. Now with Discover, they get simple, comprehensive visibility into their AWS backup data for free

— Outside of Clumio Discover, how is your company using Sigma?

While our focus right now is still on Clumio Discover, we’ve begun using Sigma in a few different areas across the business. On the internal side, Sigma has begun replacing some analytics tools that were used by our customer success teams. We’re getting visibility into how customers are using the platform and areas in which we can better help them.

We love the integrations, particularly the seamless connection to Snowflake. That is going to open up opportunities as we go. As Clumio Discover gets more mature we’re excited to look for new use cases for Sigma.

Chadd Kenney

VP of Product, Clumio

Chadd is an experienced product leader and technical executive with over 15+ years of experience in IT. A technologist and visionary at heart, Chadd is able to identify trends and develop product strategies to enable an amazing user experience. His superpower is helping the world understand the true value and elegance of products with simple analogies and deep technical overviews.