Applications & OS News

CRN Exclusive: Erwin Hires Former Verizon Channels Exec Wendy Petty, Preps For Partner Offensive With GDPR On Horizon

Alec Shirkey

As the specter of GDPR fuels enterprises to take a fresh look at their data governance policies, Adam Famularo, CEO of data modeling software developer Erwin, sees a massive opportunity for the company and its channel ecosystem.

In fact, the Melville, N.Y.-based vendor is gearing up for further expansion of its partner base with the hiring of Wendy Petty as senior vice president of global sales and services.

An industry veteran with a wealth of indirect sales experience, Petty began her new role at Erwin last Monday following a three-year stint at Verizon, where she served as executive director of global channels in the carrier's Enterprise Solutions group. She joins a team that also includes Senior Vice President and Vice President of Global Channels Dave Casillo, formerly a channel chief at Adobe, Dolby and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

[Related: Channel Veteran Famularo Takes CEO Post At Data Modeling Software Maker ]

Famularo, himself an ex-Verizon channel chief, worked alongside Petty both at the telecom giant and at software vendor CA Technologies, which acquired the Erwin data modeling platform in 1999. Erwin now operates as a separate company under the ownership of private equity firm Parallax Capital Partners.

"I've got a deep, deep level of respect for her," Famularo said of Petty. "I know her expertise will bring us over the line we're trying to reach."

GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, is a sweeping set of data protection standards that becomes enforceable May 25. They apply to companies that do any sort of business in the European Union, even if they are North American-based, and non-compliance could result in fines of up to 4 percent of revenue.

Famularo said the regulations are driving a new wave of software developers to steer their efforts toward data governance, which he expects to become a $2.5 billion market in just a few years. He likened it to the way ERP solutions shaped enterprise data flow standards in the early 2000s.

"You're going to see service providers build practices around data," Famularo told CRN. "They can go to enterprises and ask, 'What are you doing to solve GDPR? What are you doing to build, develop and promote applications?' They need to have good data practices so you can make better business decisions."

One solution provider that long ago placed its bets on data governance is Fulton, Md.-based Myriad Solutions, a 20-year Erwin partner that has focused its entire business around the vendor's portfolio of software products. The company operates offices in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, working primarily with Fortune 1000 companies and other large enterprises.

Javed Matin, CEO of Myriad Solutions, said Erwin has evolved from a single-product company into a solutions vendor with a strong services division over the years. Its data governance platform now features enterprise architecture, data modeling, business processes, cloud and consulting capabilities and services.

More importantly, Myriad Solutions' Matin said Erwin's go-to-market approach is almost entirely partner-based – one that prioritizes partners selling on the strength of their services and solutions expertise.

"You get some vendors just offering you a box solution," Matin told CRN. "The channel model at Erwin is phenomenal. When we sell software, we're selling solutions. Not just saying, 'OK, you need to buy one box of Erwin, we'll see you later.' You're supported. They help you in growing your business. That is unique. They make sure you have margins so you're happy to sell the product, as opposed to growing fast in the same market and you have three of four different partners with the same pricing, and there's no incentive for the partner to invest."

Matin has seen a clear uptick in data modeling demand among European clients. As the GDPR deadline approaches, he believes there's room for more growth as U.S.-based companies begin to look at software platforms like Erwin as a data governance solution.

Famularo thinks more partners will be eager to seize that opportunity, too.

The company has aggressively sought to grow its capabilities through acquisition, completing three deals over the last two years. Erwin closed its most recent purchase, Rome-based A&P Consulting, earlier this month. Famularo is hoping to build on that by doubling Erwin's partner base by the end of 2018.

Currently, the software developer supports between 50 and 100 solution providers, many of which go to market as IT consultants and systems integrators.

For IT providers that work with large enterprise customers, particularly those with an ERP background or ties to the regulation-heavy sectors like financial services and health care, Famularo said Erwin can "very easily cross-train" them in data governance skills. The vendor supports a professional services and pre-sales team that provides partner coaching, mentoring and guided software implementations.

"We are all deep channel enthusiasts," Famularo said. "We know and understand this space cold. It is our preferred route to market. It's how we know we can grow and really help partners build and develop new businesses."

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