Enterprise

Asana hits an enterprise tech milestone with the launch of a partner program

The new program will include more than 200 companies, and specify formal ways for integrating with Asana and purchasing the software from partners.

Co-founder Dustin Moskovitz

Asana Partners formalizes a program that the newly public company had in place for integrators and resellers.

Photo: Asana

Asana will take an important step forward as an enterprise software company Wednesday, launching a new partner organization that will oversee how other companies integrate with its project-management software and pave the way for channel partners to sell those tools to a wider audience.

Asana Partners formalizes a program that the newly public company had in place for integrators and resellers, said Billy Blau, head of corporate and business development at Asana, in an exclusive interview with Protocol. Blau joined Asana last October after several years running a similar program for Dropbox and was "pleasantly surprised to see how much work had already been done" on the product integration front.

Still, "there was a need to have a huge investment in the partner ecosystem. When I landed, I saw there [were] a lot of different product integrations, but we haven't really tied everything together into a coherent strategy for the enterprise going forward, and we haven't programatized anything yet," Blau said.

Asana Partners will launch with three tiers: strategic partners, premier partners and platform partners. The initial strategic partners include the Big Three U.S. cloud providers — AWS, Microsoft and Google — as well as major enterprise software companies like Salesforce, Adobe and Zoom, companies where "we work with them almost weekly" on making sure Asana works smoothly with their services, Blau said.

Premier partners include companies like Zendesk and Okta, which offer services outside the scope of Asana's platform as well as opportunities for cross-promotion. Platform partners will be companies that are newer to Asana, and across all three categories there are 200 companies involved in the program at launch.

As SaaS became the de facto way of consuming business software over the last decade, that trend unlocked a surge in entrepreneurial activity. And as companies started to allow different departments like marketing, legal and human resources to choose their own business tools, those startups worked overtime to make sure their software talked to other new SaaS applications inside a business, even software made by direct competitors.

"The reality of the situation is that people are doing the work in communication tools; they're in Zoom meetings, or they're in Slack talking about stuff. They're producing content either in Adobe or Canva, or Figma, or with Dropbox or Box. But that's all disparate, and when you want to be the single source of truth for a company of who is doing what by when, those experiences have to tie back into that platform," Blau said.

Asana's software now sits at the heart of day-to-day operations for many companies, which means it needed to streamline and standardize the way administrators manage these integrations. "As we're moving upstream into more enterprise accounts, those accounts and those customers are expecting a formal way to work with our partners and to be able to find the partners and find those integrations," Blau said.

The new program isn't just about integrations: Lots of those enterprise accounts also prefer to acquire new technology through channel partners and resellers who can help them negotiate prices and manage their tech portfolio. Partner programs are table stakes at big enterprise software companies; over 90% of Microsoft's commercial cloud revenue is generated through partners.

Asana, founded in 2008, went public through a direct listing last September and recorded $227 million in its 2020 fiscal year, up 59% compared to the previous year. Customers spending more than $50,000 rose 93%, which helps explain the need to formalize a partner program as the company moves from word-of-mouth growth across smaller companies or within department-sized organizations to larger companies.

Fintech

Judge Zia Faruqui is trying to teach you crypto, one ‘SNL’ reference at a time

His decisions on major cryptocurrency cases have quoted "The Big Lebowski," "SNL," and "Dr. Strangelove." That’s because he wants you — yes, you — to read them.

The ways Zia Faruqui (right) has weighed on cases that have come before him can give lawyers clues as to what legal frameworks will pass muster.

Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Cryptocurrency and related software analytics tools are ‘The wave of the future, Dude. One hundred percent electronic.’”

That’s not a quote from "The Big Lebowski" — at least, not directly. It’s a quote from a Washington, D.C., district court memorandum opinion on the role cryptocurrency analytics tools can play in government investigations. The author is Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.

Keep Reading Show less
Veronica Irwin

Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc.

The financial technology transformation is driving competition, creating consumer choice, and shaping the future of finance. Hear from seven fintech leaders who are reshaping the future of finance, and join the inaugural Financial Technology Association Fintech Summit to learn more.

Keep Reading Show less
FTA
The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.
Enterprise

AWS CEO: The cloud isn’t just about technology

As AWS preps for its annual re:Invent conference, Adam Selipsky talks product strategy, support for hybrid environments, and the value of the cloud in uncertain economic times.

Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services

AWS is gearing up for re:Invent, its annual cloud computing conference where announcements this year are expected to focus on its end-to-end data strategy and delivering new industry-specific services.

It will be the second re:Invent with CEO Adam Selipsky as leader of the industry’s largest cloud provider after his return last year to AWS from data visualization company Tableau Software.

Keep Reading Show less
Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Image: Protocol

We launched Protocol in February 2020 to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.

As of today, we will not publish any more stories. All of our newsletters, apart from our flagship, Source Code, will no longer be sent. Source Code will be published and sent for the next few weeks, but it will also close down in December.

Keep Reading Show less
Bennett Richardson

Bennett Richardson ( @bennettrich) is the president of Protocol. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, Bennett was executive director of global strategic partnerships at POLITICO, where he led strategic growth efforts including POLITICO's European expansion in Brussels and POLITICO's creative agency POLITICO Focus during his six years with the company. Prior to POLITICO, Bennett was co-founder and CMO of Hinge, the mobile dating company recently acquired by Match Group. Bennett began his career in digital and social brand marketing working with major brands across tech, energy, and health care at leading marketing and communications agencies including Edelman and GMMB. Bennett is originally from Portland, Maine, and received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University.

Enterprise

Why large enterprises struggle to find suitable platforms for MLops

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

Photo: artpartner-images via Getty Images

On any given day, Lily AI runs hundreds of machine learning models using computer vision and natural language processing that are customized for its retail and ecommerce clients to make website product recommendations, forecast demand, and plan merchandising. But this spring when the company was in the market for a machine learning operations platform to manage its expanding model roster, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable off-the-shelf system that could handle such a large number of models in deployment while also meeting other criteria.

Some MLops platforms are not well-suited for maintaining even more than 10 machine learning models when it comes to keeping track of data, navigating their user interfaces, or reporting capabilities, Matthew Nokleby, machine learning manager for Lily AI’s product intelligence team, told Protocol earlier this year. “The duct tape starts to show,” he said.

Keep Reading Show less
Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of RedTailMedia.org and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data.

Latest Stories
Bulletins