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Inriver Taps Former Datto Marketing Chief Cunningham As New CMO

Rick Whiting

Inriver, a developer of product information management software, has hired Cunningham and a new chief sales officer as the Sweden-based company revs up for expansion in North America – including plans to grow its channel presence.

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Inriver, a Sweden-based developer of product information management software, has hired former Datto chief marketing officer Brooke Cunningham as its new CMO as the company looks to expand its presence in the U.S. and in the North America channel.

Inriver has also hired Brad Habansky, previously senior vice president of sales at ElasticPath, as its new chief sales officer.

“This is a really interesting space. It was new to me, but it really piqued my interest because I‘ve spent my entire career in data-related B2B software and [product information management] was kind of a new angle,” Cunningham (pictured) said in an interview with CRN. “And as a marketer, as I started to learn more about this solution and this particular space, I was just blown away by how powerful this could be, particularly for our current e-commerce world.”

[Related: Kaseya-Datto Shocker: RoKaseya-Datto Shocker: Rob Rae Has Left The Buildingb Rae Has Left The Building ]

Inriver, headquartered in Malmo, Sweden, describes its SaaS-based software as a “digital-first PIM solution” used by global B2B marketing and sales teams that provides data onboarding, content creation, product data distribution and e-commerce opportunity evaluation capabilities.

Product information management (PIM) applications are used to collect, manage and enhance all the data – including technical specifications, commercial product descriptions and pricing – needed to market and sell products through multiple sales and distribution channels.

Inriver, with U.S. headquarters in Chicago, has some 700 customers and the company has recorded 125 percent growth in existing accounts in the last year. During that time it also added a dozen new customers with more than $1 billion in annual revenue in the industrial manufacturing, branded manufacturing and retail sectors.

“We‘re very strong in EMEA and expanding in North America,” Cunningham said, speaking from the Malmo headquarters late last week. “And that was part of the opportunity that I saw for myself as chief marketing officer. To really help build that expansion, be a part of this growth through the partner ecosystem as well as selling direct to customers.”

Cunningham began working at Inriver on a part-time basis in December and full-time at the start of this month. She is responsible for the company’s integrated marketing strategy and execution, including marketing communications, digital marketing, demand generation, competitive intelligence, and field and partner marketing, among other tasks.

 

She was previously chief marketing officer at Datto, the managed services provider technology company. She began working there in January 2022 and remained through September after Datto was acquired for $6.2 billion by rival Kaseya in June.

Cunningham was part of the Datto executive team, “and you can imagine that there weren’t necessarily roles for every executive” with Kaseya, she said. She stayed on to help with the transition, including helping to manage the DattoCon event in September and integrate the companies’ sales operations. “And it timed out well for me to come here and join Inriver.”

Before joining Datto Cunningham was a key channel executive at data observability and security company Splunk for nearly six years, managing many of the nuts and bolts of the company’s channel operations first as area vice president of global partner programs, marketing and operations, and then as area vice president of global partner marketing and experience.

Before her time at Splunk Cunningham held partner marketing jobs at Qlik, CA Technologies, SAP and Business Objects.

Her introduction to Inriver, in fact, came from her time at SAP where she worked with Niels Stenfeldt, who was hired as Inriver’s CEO effective September 1. “Neils was a GM for a business unit at SAP when I was the senior director of global partner marketing back then. So, I got the call from Niels as he was looking to bring on a new chief marketing officer,” Cunningham said.

Inriver touted the hiring of Cunningham as CMO and Habansky as chief sales officer as a move to strengthen the company’s executive suite as it continues to expand globally and gears up for growth in the U.S.

Habansky will oversee the company’s direct sales operations. As senior vice president of sales at ElasticPath, he led that company’s sales, solutions engineering and partner functions. His 25 years of experience includes management posts at Oracle, Salesforce and Commercetools.

“We’re very excited to have Brooke and Brad join the inriver team,” Stenfeldt said in a statement announcing the appointments. “Attracting proven senior talent like theirs validates the health of the PIM space overall and specifically that Inriver has the market’s most differentiated solution, particularly for mid- to large-sized enterprises. We look forward to further accelerating our go to market to support our highly engaged customers, as well as reach new organizations.”

“We really see an opportunity to expand [in North America], which is why – in our marketing strategy and plans – I’m going to be hiring new talent for the marketing organization in North America,” Cunningham said. “We’ve already been adding new members to the partner and sales teams.”

Inriver has some 350 technology, systems integrator and syndication partners, the latter including retailers and online marketplaces that Inriver B2B customers use to reach their end consumers. Systems integrator partners include Accenture, Cognizant and Capgemini while North American solution provider partners include EPAM Systems, Perficient and Shift7.

Inriver’s partner organization is overseen by Gauri Chawla, senior vice president of global partners and alliances. Cunningham, who will oversee partner marketing activities in her new job, said Inriver is recruiting additional partners in North America as part of its expansion.

“We’ve got a really strong partner network and that was a big part of what attracted me here,” she said.

While Cunningham declined to disclose the split between Inriver’s direct and channel sales, she said partners “make up a significant part of our bookings.”

The company is also focused on expanding its integrations and certifications with leading technology partners. Inriver, for example, is Industry Cloud Certified by SAP, allowing customers to use the Inriver PIM application within their SAP Commerce Cloud environment. Technology alliance partners like SAP and Salesforce also play a major role in bringing Inriver into their customer communities, Cunningham said.

Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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