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Former IBM Exec Carola Cazenave Is New Pegasystems Channel Chief

Cazenave tells CRN that Pegasystems has an opportunity to double the size of its business by leveraging partners developing on its low-code business automation platform to drive enterprise digital transformation initiatives and penetrate new markets

Longtime IBM ecosystem leader Carola Cazenave has taken the channel chief position at Pegasystems, where she’s ready to double the software vendor’s business by ramping engagement with partners.

After 26 years at Big Blue, Cazenave saw an opportunity for an “entrepreneurial” challenge of the kind she had long dreamed of with the Cambridge, Mass.-based business process automation vendor, which offers a popular low-code platform for building applications and automating sales, customer service and other workflows.

Two weeks into the role of vice president of global business partners, and despite restrictions due to the coronavirus crisis, Cazenave is leading a team that’s reformulating Pegasystems’ channel strategy to better engage partners using its technology as a platform for digital transformation and to help them penetrate new markets.

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“They have decided to invest in building a vibrant ecosystem that was going to get them to exponential growth,” Cazenave said.

“I thought I could add a lot of value,” she added.

When Cazenave was first offered an interview at Pegasystems, she had to do a Google search to find out what the company did. But after research and meetings, what she appreciated most was despite its longstanding business and roster of Fortune 500 clients, Pegasystems maintained an entrepreneurial culture and still had the potential to grow like a startup.

The opportunity reminded Cazenave of her days managing IBM’s security business, which she scaled from a Cambridge office neighboring the Pegasystems headquarters.

Pegasystems has a well-established ecosystem of systems integrators, including IBM’s consulting arm, she told CRN. In the nearly four decades since founded by Alan Trefler, who still runs the company as CEO, Pegasystems has built a reputation of excellence in delivery through those partners.

“We can grow that,” Cazenave said, adding the channel strategy her team is currently crafting will be ready in a couple months.

With Pegasystems platforms, partners can create and sell applications that implement end-to-end processes, and business users not adept at coding can make changes quickly as needed, she said.

It’s a “center-out strategy,” Cazenave said. Developers start with the business process, then deploy their solution across the many channels Pegasystems supports, from mobile devices to call centers to cloud.

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