Hats off to Sydney Sloan, who nabbed the top marketing slot at Alfresco Software. The company announced her appointment this morning though, according to her LinkedIn profile, she started her new gig last month.
She is, at least, the third female to land a role in the company’s marketing suite this year. According to their LinkedIn profiles, two of the other executives have parted ways with the company since July.
Sloan joins the open source enterprise content management vendor at an important time in its growth; it’s not only trying to gain market share but to also displace Enterprise Content Management (ECM) incumbents like EMC Documentum, Open Text, and IBM from well entrenched positions at some of the world’s largest companies.
Focus on Growth
This is a time of both challenge and an opportunity at Alfresco. The challenge is to grow Alfresco’s market share while at the same time retaining existing clients who, typically, can opt out of their subscriptions on a yearly basis.
The opportunity before Sloan is huge if she can deliver. To do this, she’ll have to help solve a number of problems: namely, overcome certain objections to recent changes made to the company’s pricing model, establish a reliable network of partners for implementation (In its latest Magic Quadrant for ECM, Gartner says that “the quality of firms delivering Alfresco implementation services varies considerably, as the open-source nature of the basic offering enables anyone to deliver implementation services”) and prove that, as a venture backed start-up, it’s as stable as its huge, well established competitors. The aforementioned insights were gleaned from Gartner’s most recent report.
Sloan, who was previously the head of customer experience at Jive Software, may be well suited for the role. At Jive, she introduced a customer value engineering team to develop financial justification models and metrics to enable customers to quantify the value of their investments. She was also responsible for driving customer retention and growth programs.
There may be another challenge on Sloan’s plate as well. The marketing suite at Alfresco has been a revolving door as of late and, for whatever reason, some accomplished female executives haven’t stayed there for very long.
Marlene Williamson, a Harvard MBA with numerous accolades and strong track record of success, joined Alfresco as its CMO in January and was gone by July.
Michele Herman, who was Alfresco’s vice president, corporate marketing and communications, started in July and left last month to join Adaptive Insights.
Alfresco has had a large number of personnel changes, overall, since Silicon Valley vet Doug Dennerline took over as CEO, but it was easy to attribute those to his desire to bring in his own team. Williamson and Herman were hired under his reign.
Alfresco also announced a $45 million funding round with which it plans to grow the company.