Former Informatica exec joins Pentaho

May 4, 2010

If you have the world’s most popular open source data integration (DI) offering and want to make it even better, you need the top DI market strategist behind the product. That is why we turned to DI and analytics veteran, Joe Nicholson. With over 25 years of technology and marketing management experience, with companies like Informatica, DecisionPoint and Trintech I asked Joe the same question I did to Tom Leonard when he joined, “What brought you to Pentaho?” Welcome Joe!

Guest Blogger: Joe Nicholson

I have been in DI and analytics in one form or another for most of my career. Whether it was marketing the data integration platform at Informatica or doing business development around packaged finance analytics at DecisionPoint, I am really an analytics guy at heart. Part of my passion no doubt comes from solving the enduring complexity and depth of the BI challenge. A decade ago, our challenges were focused on dealing with the complexity of data sources and providing cost effective information and analytics to the emerging generation of managers and mobile workers. At that time, data volumes and sources were exploding (or so we thought) and our primary customer prospects were those hand-coding their ETL projects or dumping their finance and other data into Excel and wanted a better way. What is particularly intriguing to me is that those challenges haven’t really changed over time. Data volumes and sources continue to grow, now at a rate that was impossible to imagine 10 years ago. And, while the use of BI has certainly increased for the business user, it is nowhere near where I would have expected it to be given all of the hype around Pervasive BI, BI for the Masses, the Democratization of BI or the other terms that were being used at that time. As a technology, it is still too expensive, too complex and too slow.

What has changed is the mindset of the business user. Frankly, the ROI for BI was oversold in the early and middle years and the recent economy has focused end users on TCO like never before as the need for faster, more agile and diverse projects now drive end user requirements.

I had followed Pentaho for several years, both from the technology and business model angles. First, from a technology perspective, they are solving many of the issues faced by end users by producing a complete, integrated BI suite that includes purpose built ETL, data modeling, reporting and analysis, all within a single platform that handles administration, security and the rest of the functions needed for deployment and maintenance of the BI applications.

Second, old way of licensing BI technology (and other software) has run its course. The era of open source and commercial open source has arrived. In today’s cost conscious, business driven climate, why would anyone run a long, extensive procurement process, construct costly prototypes and pay $10,000 to $100,000+ of license plus maintenance fees before you can actually see if the technology works for your purpose.

Enter Pentaho and the open source development and distribution model. Pentaho and its thousands of community members together with its own professional engineering staff have developed the Pentaho Enterprise BI Suite that is on par with all of the major players in the market across ETL, modeling, reporting analysis and data modeling. The game has changed with Pentaho’s recent announcements of the Pentaho Data Integration Version 4.0 and the Agile BI integrated development environment that forever changes how IT developers and business users collaborate to produce relevant BI applications.

It’s an exciting time to be in the DI and BI markets and even more exciting to be at Pentaho.

Joe Nicholson,
Vice President Product Marketing
Pentaho Corporation

Read the press release Pentaho Names Joe Nicholson Vice President of Product Marketing


Pentaho hires heavy hitter to head Europe

May 4, 2010

This week kicks off our EMEA Agile BI Roadshow. If you are in Turkey, Milan or Madrid make sure to drop by and meet Vinay Joosery, our new VP of Sales for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia) region. The growth in EMEA is blazing, creating a wealth of sales opportunities and we are stepping up our game accordingly. Vinay brings the skill set that will propel our European operations forward at this critical time and build a sales operation that can take on and take down the incumbents across the region. After seven years at MySQL (Oracle/Sun) I asked Vinay, “What brought you to Pentaho?” Välkomna Vinay!

Guest blogger Vinay Joosery

The new guy often sees things differently to the ‘lifers’. I thought, after seven years in sales at the pioneering MySQL, it might take a while to settle in. At Pentaho though, life moves fast and there is a strong sense of community, so heading into my second month here, it already feels like I have been here for a while.

One reason for that, is the similarity in approach between the two companies. Pentaho is pioneering the commercialization of the leading end-to-end open source BI platform, at the very time that many organizations are looking for just such a solution. For me, there was no better professional challenge.

In my interactions with Pentaho customers, I see a wide range of adoption. We have the small fast-moving organizations who need to stay ahead of the curve and aggressively grow their top-line, like Aspiro, the ‘Nordic iTunes’. Or, the larger more conservative shops, who, perhaps driven by more austere economic times, need to reduce bottom-line costs. One good example is Swissport, a billion euro enterprise who employs over 30,000 people. It is great to see first-hand the real business value that customers are taking today from our offerings.

One important factor for these companies was the opportunity to ‘try before they buy’, easily gather independent information about the product and get assistance when they needed it.  Businesses are looking to ‘de-risk’ their investments, and this is where the deal is irresistible. In my previous roles dealing with high-end proprietary software, this is not possible. With Open Source it is common practice – one can follow the development of the products, access the public bug database, contribute and help influence the product roadmap.

What I love most about Pentaho is the great product, already in use by thousands of organizations, the engineers who are passionate about the product and so a large and active community, which keeps us all honest. In EMEA, we are very focused on ramping up on the marketing and sales.

It will take all of my experience of living on three continents and test my three European language skills, but I am relishing this new challenge. Thanks for welcoming me onboard with such warmth and feel free to reach out. I will do my utmost to deliver for all of you.

Cheers,
Vinay Joosery
VP Sales, EMEA
Pentaho Corporation

Read the press release, Pentaho Hires Heavy Hitter to Head Europe


Tom Leonard joins Pentaho

April 21, 2010

More good news from today is the announcement that Tom Leonard has joined our team as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Business Development. Tom is responsible for formalizing strategic relationships with target accounts across all of Pentaho’s channels inclusive of Global 1000 customers, OEM/ISV’s, system integrators, and technology alliance partners. With over 25 years of technology sales and executive experience Tom has a lot of insight into the industry. I’ve asked for him to be the first of many guest bloggers on the Business Intelligence from the Swamp blog. My question to Tom is, “What brought you to Pentaho?” Welcome Tom!

Guest blogger: Tom Leonard

So I wanted to take the opportunity to share my thoughts concerning why I joined the Pentaho team. During my career, I have been fortunate to be part of two venture backed company successes – Bluestone Software and JBoss. For both, I was an early member of the team and witnessed the remarkable journey of each company scale from a small bookings / revenue position to recognition as high-growth, technology / market-share leaders.

Through these experiences (and via some not so successful ventures), I have learned that the key ingredients of a successful early stage company mostly comprises of the following:

  • The technology
  • The people (that shapes the chemistry / culture of the company)
  • The market opportunity

At Pentaho, all of these ingredients are in place (with room to grow and improve of course):

The Technology

Over the years, Richard, James (Dixon) and team have invested mightily in building out a complete BI Suite that is on par with the mega and pure play business intelligence vendors. Pentaho employs the key developers, it owns the product development and roadmap that is supported by a large, vibrant, engaged open source community, and offers the market a fully integrated / interoperable business intelligence suite of products that are enterprise ready, deployed on an industry standard Java-based platform (either on-premise or via a Cloud / SaaS-enabled model), and is widely deployed in production by thousands of companies.

The proof is in the numbers:

  • Thousands of organizations rely on Pentaho open source BI every day
  • Over 5M downloads of Pentaho products since the inception of the company,
  • #1 in open source data integration / ETL according to the BeyeNETWORK research  report
  • Hundreds of customers that have an active Enterprise Edition subscription with Pentaho.

The People

In my humble opinion, this is the intangible that makes companies great. Often – you do not know until you arrive at the company and see the good and the not so good. At Pentaho and under Richard’s leadership – there is an amazing team that are all in-synch to drive the company to its fullest potential, opportunity and success. There is a tremendous level of passion and energy across the company that is fueling our significant growth with end customers and partners worldwide. Further proof that Pentaho is hitting its stride as a company; candidates’ industry-wide want to work at Pentaho as evident by the “many” that have joined the team over the past quarter.

The Market Opportunity

The open source business intelligence space is growing at a phenomenal rate – so says Gartner (“Open-Source Business Intelligence Tools Production Deployments Will Grow Five-Fold through 2012”)

Not much more that I can add here……

In summary, the company greatly understands the business that we are in, the opportunity before us and we possess the know-how to monetize and scale our business model. We have a proven team that has consistently demonstrated success, both on the BI and open source fronts. Pentaho has great investors, world class Board of Directors (Rob Bearden – JBoss and SpringSource and Zack Urlocker – MySQL), and an executive team that is directing the company to new levels of success each month (Lars Nordwall heading up worldwide sales, building a great team and executing flawlessly, Joe McGonnell working his magic on the marketing front, and Richard, James and team delivering great products).

This is the perfect time to be at Pentaho – if you have not noticed, I am very glad to be a member of the team.

Tom Leonard
Executive Vice President, Worldwide Business Development
Pentaho Corporation


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