Welcome Pentaho’s new secret weapon, Eddie White

February 27, 2012

We are very excited to have a new secret weapon onboard with Eddie White joining Pentaho as Executive Vice President of Business Development. Eddie is responsible for developing strategic relationships with big data vendors and commercializing Pentaho Business Analytics for major cloud/SaaS hardware and software vendors.

Eddie has more than 20 years of experience helping businesses meet and exceed their sales revenue and growth targets through, business development, strategic alliances partnerships, and acquisitions. Career highlights include:

  • Directed global sales and business development as CRO, SVP of Global Sales and Business Development for leading Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) startup Sentilla Inc.;
  • Led strategic business development and partnership activities for two flagship storage and infrastructure management business units with combined annual revenue of over $1bn at Computer Associates (CA) Inc., where he was VP of business and corporate development;
  • Delivered OEM storage solutions for the client on schedule and budget as business development director at Adaptec Inc.;
  • Managed storage business unit with P&L responsibility for a $60m p.a. at Eurologic Ltd.
  • Graduated with a diploma in business studies and first class honors from University College in Cork, Ireland and received a bachelors of business studies with honors from Dublin City University.

As you can see from his career highlights, Eddie is a proven technology industry business development professional who has built partnerships and OEM relationships with companies of all sizes. He’s exactly what Pentaho needs to keep us on the forefront of the big data revolution.

Welcome Eddie!


The Driving Force Behind the Success of Pentaho’s EMEA Channel

July 28, 2011

In 2010 the Pentaho EMEA channel revenue grew by 285%, the number of EMEA partners doubled and we held 114 events with EMEA Partners. Wow! You may be asking yourself, ‘How is it possible to experience such growth and find time to hold 100+ events?’ Two answers: first, this growth is a result of our hard working EMEA partners creating success with their impressive customers such as: BNOVA (Infocamere, Coopservice); PortaBI (Telefonica, Banco Santandar), Conduct (Aspiro Music, TV2), Millersoft (Air Menzies, Regenesis, Badoo), Linalis (Swissport). The second reason for success is the backbone of the EMEA Channels team, Pentaho EMEA Channels account manager, Sharmila Wijeyakumar (known to her friends as Sam).

Pentaho is very proud to announce that Sharmila was named one of the Top Women of the Channel by Everything Channel’s CRN Magazine. Reading her section below from the award, you can easily understand why she received this award.

The Top Women of the Channel is an annual list recognizing female executives for their accomplishments over the past year, based on their achievements as executives and the amount of influence they wield over the technology channel.  This year’s Women of the Channel were chosen by the editors of CRN Magazine from a field of vendor channel organizations, distributors and solution providers.

Congrats Sam!

Currently Sharmila is working to enable partners and grow the channel presence in the UK, Benelux and DACH regions. She is also actively recruiting partners in these regions and France. If you are interested to grow your business based on Pentaho and be part the driving force of success behind the EMEA channel program, contact Sharmila.

Want to wish Sharmila congratulations? Leave a comment here.

Sharmila’s profile from Everything Channel CRN Magazine Top Women in Channel. See all the winners here.


Pentaho trip to Gatorland

May 18, 2011

Earlier this month, the sales and marketing teams gathered at the Pentaho Corporate Headquarters in Orlando, Florida for training, meetings and of course some fun.

Our surprise outing was to Gatorland. The night was a first time experience for all of us coming from around the world. From holding tarantulas, gator wrestling and gator feeding, we had a blast. Click here to check out photos from the event. It will give you a better explanation behind the title of this blog, BI from the Swamp!


This was also a great opportunity to bring the company together at the “West Campus,” the Miller Ale House for a company-wide happy hour. Click here for more photos from the event.



Q&A with Pentaho Senior Sales Engineer, Wayne Johnson

May 12, 2011

Q&A is a series on the Business Intelligence from the Swamp Blog that interviews key members of the Pentaho team to learn more about their focus at Pentaho and outlook on the Business Intelligence industry.

Our Q&A today is with Wayne Johnson, Senior Sales Engineer at Pentaho. When he’s not on webcast or in meetings with potential customers, Wayne is SuperDad to five kids, an adjunct college professor and competes in triathlons. To learn more about Wayne’s role at Pentaho and view on Business Intelligence we asked him four questions:

1.  What brought you to Pentaho?
Back in 2009 I was made aware of Pentaho by competing against them in an opportunity where I represented a proprietary BI Vendor.  When Pentaho approached me to discuss the possibility of joining their team, I was very apprehensive due to their business model.  I just didn’t understand it.  Instead of writing it off, I decided to do my research and started reading a book called Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams.  This book not only changed my view on Pentaho but no pun intended, it opened my eyes to the benefits of Open Source (it was also a plus that Pentaho was mentioned in the book).  So I decided to take a risk and jump on board.

2.  What do you do for Pentaho?
Currently I am a Senior Sales Engineer who specializes in managing the Evaluation Experiences our evaluators have with our software.  Opposed to proprietary BI Vendors, companies are encouraged to try our software out to see if it is a fit for their organization.  Anyone with even a little experience in BI knows, however, that downloading, installing and building solutions with Enterprise Software would require some hand holding.  That is where I come in.  I make sure that those people that are evaluating our software have access to the resources and people they need to be able to accurately and efficiently evaluate Pentaho successfully.

3. How do you define a successful evaluation?
You would probably think my answer to this question is simply, one that ends in a subscription to Pentaho:-)  A more accurate answer is: A successful evaluation is one that has provided the evaluator with enough information to make an informed decision on whether they can meet their business needs with the use of Pentaho.  While the majority of our prospects come to the conclusions that Pentaho is the right solution to meet their business needs, some organizations do come to the conclusions that it is not.  I view both evaluations as successful because we have kept the customer in mind and solving their business needs as a priority, not just trying to make a sale, that is something I take great pride in.

4.  What characteristics do successful evaluations have in common?
There are definitely some common characteristics that I have seen in companies being able to successfully evaluate not just Pentaho, but any enterprise software package.  These are:

  •  Clearly Identified Business Needs – As I stated earlier, that a successful evaluation determines the ability to solve a specific business need, knowing that need is vital to gauging whether or not the software package will meet that need.
  • Having a Plan – If you were to take a trip driving from San Francisco to New York, you can either just get in your car, head east until you hit the coast then drive north along the coast until you hit New York.  This method would prove to be very time consuming and costly, especially considering gas prices these days.  Similarly, evaluating a software solution to meet your clearly identified business needs without a plan will be very time consuming and costly, especially with the limited amount of time and resources most companies are struggling with today.  Additionally, you run the huge risk of making the “wrong turn” on your evaluation route.  Having a plan ensures that you keep your eye on the objectives and have concrete milestones to check off during your evaluation.  It will also help you make your decision once you have arrived at your destination.
  • Executing the Plan – this may require a custom demonstration from the software provider, a test drive of the software using sample data, an evaluation of the software in your environment using your own data or engaging with Professional Services in order to prove out your plan.  Each company’s needs are different and may require a different execution of their plan.  The important part is to seek out is a software provider that provides ALL of those plan execution methods and does not limit you to their plan.  The problem is that most don’t allow you to download, install and test the software yourself.  For this reason I really enjoy working here at Pentaho, not only do we give you access to download and test the software for free for 30 days, but we also provide you with free evaluation support for those 30 days.

By following these three best practices around evaluating Pentaho or any other enterprise level software, you are guaranteeing that no matter what the decision is, you will have a successful evaluation.

Do you have additional questions for Wayne? Is there someone or a certain role at Pentaho you would like us to interview? Leave your questions in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.


Q&A with Pentaho Director of Sales Engineering, Mike Tarallo

April 14, 2011

Q&A is a series on the Business Intelligence from the Swamp Blog that interviews key members of the Pentaho team to learn more about their focus at Pentaho and outlook on the Business Intelligence industry.

You may be familiar with our interviewee today from reading his blogs on BI from the Swamp or watching a demo on the Pentaho Evaluation Sandbox. If you are a customer, there is a very good chance you have met him virtually or in person. Michael Tarallo is the Director of Sales Engineering and our feature today on Q&A. To learn more about Mike and his role at Pentaho we asked him 5 questions.

1. What brought you to Pentaho?

It was spring of 2007 and after about 9+ years at Information Builders (IBI), a proprietary Business Intelligence company, I felt I achieved all that I could and decided to “find new cheese”.  Around the time I was promoted to Senior Sales Engineer at IBI, a recruiter approached me speaking in tongues of this “thing” called “Open Source Business Intelligence.” I remember thinking, “Sheesh, I am having a hard enough time selling this expensive proprietary stuff, how the heck am I going to sell Open Source since it’s already free?” However, after a thorough investigation, I decided to leave my comfortable position at IBI for a company that was new and exciting called Pentaho.

When I finally learned that Open Source is not about “free” software but more about community, collaboration and better software, I was immediately enlightened and couldn’t wait to get started. I distinctly remember the Sales Manager at IBI, attempting to put fear in my head, “Ya know Mike, the grass isn’t always greener.” Well, sir 4 Years later, not only is the grass greener, but it is thicker and fuller than ever.  Remember, comfort is the enemy of achievement – (Dr. Farrah Gray)

2. What do you do?

I am the Director of Sales Engineering, responsible for leading the Sales Engineers and pre-sales activities within the organization.  I started 4 years ago as the first Pentaho Sales Consultant (SC), responsible for Pre-Sales activities. There are technical and consulting related activities that occur during the sales cycle, before the actual sale hence Pre-Sales.  Pentaho was still fairly new at the time and either sales team members or Product Management performed many product demonstrations. As the company grew it became increasingly important to a build a group that would focus support on the sales team as its pre-sales activities increased. My initial goal was to introduce pre-sales processes, create collateral and demonstrations that focused on “solutions” for business problems, rather than demonstrate a bunch of “tools”.

As the Pentaho Sales and Pre-Sales teams grew worldwide, there was a huge demand on Sales Engineer (SE) resources. With the continued growth of the company and finally a larger team of SEs – I was promoted to Director of Sales Engineering in order to lead and proliferate those processes throughout our group.

3. Why are Sales Engineers a vital part of the success of a sales cycle?

Sales Engineers are the stage performers of the IT world: immensely capable, adaptable, confident, excellent communicators who are equally cool in front of large crowds and intimate groups. Sales Engineers work closely with Pentaho Account Managers to demonstrate the breadth and depth of Pentaho products as a complete solution.

Sales Engineering provides what I call the “Solution Vision” to the prospect who is evaluating our software. We present the “Art of the Possible” by demonstrating and discussing how Pentaho software fits in the context of their landscape. At all costs we try to stay away from generic demonstrations, but sometimes you have to play the game. And when we do play, we play hard. Let’s face it; there are a lot of software packages that can “do” the same thing. Sales Engineering provides that 2% factor by establishing a relationship with the prospect and making them feel comfortable that the Pentaho solution can meet their specific needs. Without Sales Engineering, a crucial piece of the sales process would be missing.

4. What makes a good Sales Engineer (SE)?

There are a number of facets that make a good SE, good. But, there are key factors that make a good SE, great. Some of these characteristics are learned over time, and some are just part of one’s personality and are difficult to master. Aside from technical expertise, one important quality of a great SE is, communication. Learning not only how to communicate with the prospect but also with the account rep and other members of the SE team.

Every person, whether prospect or rep, is different. The key is being able to listen to what is being said and also what is not being said. This is important so the appropriate persuasive questions can be asked and proper expectations can be set.

Once communication skills are honed a SE should be able to translate the product’s technical software capabilities into the suitable business value to the prospect. There is nothing worse than demonstrating software to a company who has no idea why you just showed it to them.

I feel that an SE also needs to establish themselves as a leader in his/her domain. If your technical strength lies in some sort of application development you may want to focus your talents in the OEM group – where it is more about embedding and integrating the software into the prospect’s applications.  If you are able to articulate the business value better or provide subject matter expertise you can specialize in creating vertical demonstrations and collateral relevant to the sectors you are working with.

Finally….energy, lots of energy, enough said. :-)

5. What does the “Pre” in Pre-Sales stand for?

Doing a demonstration without knowing anything is called a “show up and throw up.” Hoping you know what a prospect wants is not good enough. It is critical to know their exact needs and how to best demonstrate our capabilities. I prefer to think of the “Pre” to stand for: P-prepare, R-respond, E-execute. Those actions will make for shorter sales cycles, proper customer expectations and increased sales.

Want to see what Mike is up to now?

Do you have additional questions for Mike? Is there someone or a certain role at Pentaho you would like us to interview? Leave your questions in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.


Getting in shape at the Pentaho Sales Bootcamp

August 11, 2010

Looking around the room at our annual Pentaho Sales Bootcamp last week, it was impressive to see the number of new faces that have joined the team since last year’s event.  We must be doing something right, as over the past few months, Pentaho has been a magnet for top players from all corners of the BI space.  Last week was an excellent opportunity for our international Sales, Marketing, and Product teams to collaborate and work together to understand our customers’ current needs, how Pentaho’s solution can address them, and have a great time.

This year’s Bootcamp consisted of three packed days of case studies, interactive discussions, presentations, happy hours, and even a boat ride around the beautiful (albeit windy) San Francisco Bay. Click here for an inside look at the Pentaho Sales Boot Camp.

Bootcamp may be over, but our team is not done growing yet!  After officially outgrowing our current space, Pentaho San Francisco will be expanding into a brand new office this week, and we are actively hiring top-notch talent to join our Sales and Marketing teams in the Bay Area.

Aside from that, I am currently in Sweden preparing to open our new European headquarters in Stockholm, for which we are actively hiring as well.  If you are interested in joining the Pentaho team at any of our locations worldwide, I encourage you to take a look at our current Career Opportunities.

With the momentum of three record quarters in a row, the most innovative product on the market, and the tremendous talent and enthusiasm of this team, I have no doubt that the second half of 2010 will be a rock solid milestone in Pentaho company history.

Cheers,
Lars
SVP Worldwide Sales
Pentaho Corporation

Click here for more photos


Pentaho summer intern rock stars

July 30, 2010

Internships are often associated with organizing papers and getting coffee. This is far from the truth for the Pentaho internship program. This summer we were fortunate to have three rock star interns. They were not fetching coffee however, enjoying our stocked break room with everything from snacks to beer. This summer they got a taste of what it is like to work in our San Francisco sales and marketing office. They were able to  work alongside experienced leaders in sales and marketing learning about CRM and marketing automation software, sales lead qualification, outbound lead generation, social media and business operations.

Pentaho is unique in that it adapts to the backgrounds and strengths of the interns and allows them to select what they will focus on in the summer program. We just wanted to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work this summer and highlight some of the great things they’ve learned this summer:

Summer 2010 Intern Rock Stars:

Rick Daley: Rick is going into his junior year at the University of Florida.  He has been playing soccer for 18 years, and is currently playing with the UF men’s club team.  Rick is taking part in the internship to understand the business intelligence market and to determine if he will follow in the footsteps of his father.  Rick is using the summer to make a final decision on what major he will pursue.  Pentaho has allowed Rick to realize sales is much more creative and interesting that he previously thought.

Mark Daley: In the Fall, Mark will start his Senior year at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, FL.  Mark is the youngest employee to work for Pentaho and has utilized his talents to help the look and feel of Pentaho’s social media presence.   Mark thinks it is a great opportunity to get real world experience while he is still young and beautiful.  “Working under Rich Taylor, Pentaho Sales Operations Manager, has shown me a lot of things; first and foremost, he taught me that frozen Twix and Dr. Pepper go together; and more importantly that work can be both fun and rewarding.”

Paul Lyandres: Paul is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is active in a variety of community, civic, and professional organizations.  Paul is a talented young leader with a passion for learning.  Paul’s fascination with technology and his desire to work in a start-up environment brought him to Pentaho. At Pentaho, Paul applies his drive for excellence and high performance to support the sales and marketing team across a variety of roles. Prior to joining Pentaho, Paul worked for LIIF, a non-profit finance fund, and spent over 4-years at Martin Wolf Associates, a leading IT investment bank. His interests include fitness, cooking, swimming, and reading.

With the rapid growth of Pentaho, our interns have made immediate and valuable contributions.  Their fresh ideas and hard work were a huge help to us this summer and we’ll miss them around the San Francisco office.

If you are interested in interning or working at Pentaho check out our open opportunities worldwide.


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


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