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Embarcadero Technologies Acquires ERwin Data Modeler: Now What?

By   /  March 24, 2014  /  4 Comments

by Karen Lopez

I’m sure a lot of you were surprised to read late last week that CA ERwin Data Modeler properties had been purchased by Embarcadero Technologies. If you’ve been in the data architecture business as long as I have, you’ve been through these shifts in ownership a few times. ERwin started at Logic Works, then went to Platinum Technologies, then CA Technologies. PowerDesigner started at PowerBuilder, then Sybase and now is owned by SAP.  It’s something we haven’t seen for a while, though.

But even though we’ve been down this road before, we haven’t really seen a product shift from a larger organization back to a smaller organization that specializes in data and database technologies. It’s this change that I think will make this acquisition the most interesting. I’ll have some thoughts on that later.

Disclosures: CA has been a sponsor of my monthly webinar, Big Challenges in Data Modeling here at Dataversity and I’ve also partnered with both CA and Embarcadero on efforts in the past.

I spent some time with Steve Haney (blog | @steve_haney), VP of Marketing at Embarcadero, talking about the acquisition and what’s happening next.

Why ERwin, why now, and what’s going to happen?

“By bringing together these two businesses, we’d have greater momentum into the category. ERwin was just one part of CA’s business…and Data Architecture is what we do. We felt that by having both these technologies in one family it would give us the opportunity to innovate and have a greater impact on the entire industry.

We’ve been working this deal for quite a while, years literally. CA really wanted to focus on their core capabilities around mainframe, cloud and mobility. We’re a bunch of data geeks here; we think that data architecture is the backbone of the IT industry. We think [Erwin] is going to get the proper love and attention it needs. By combining resources we’ll be able to invest more and innovate more.”

What will you be releasing about roadmaps and plans for both products?

“The transaction hasn’t closed yet, so it’s hard for us to comment right now, but for right now it’s business as usual. Both product lines, both businesses will have their own roadmaps and move forward.”

Will ERwin continue to support cloud and NoSQL architectures? Will ER/Studio get those features?

“Right now the plan is for the two products to move forward together, but maintain their own product roadmaps, as to what might happen beyond that, I can’t say. I want to say, but I can’t. I’m sure at some point in the future we’ll be able to comment on how things might change.”

As I understand it, Embarcadero is buying the product and the product teams, is that correct?

“Yes, that’s correct.”

For the most part, CA had gotten out of the business of direct sales of ERwin and mainly sold through partners and third party organizations. Will that change in the near future?

“No, absolutely not. We highly encourage the CA ERwin partners to call us as soon as possible. We want them in the family, we want them to stay reselling the product. We don’t want any of that boat to be rocked at all. The Erwin guys have built a great model in their reseller channel and we want to continue that here at Embarcadero.”

Enterprise Data World is coming up. Are there still going to be two sets of teams participating?

“That’s a great question. Probably yes. It’s going to take a few weeks us to close the transaction. We’ll probably keep moving ahead with our plans and both be there.”

What’s going to happen with user groups and the online communities?

“We are already engaged with the ERwin User groups. The user community around ERwin has been very well nurtured as compared to the ER/Studio community and we fully expect to leverage that and are incredibly excited to do so. We’ve had a very strong community presence on the other side of our business, the app dev tools, and we’ve never been able to get liftoff on the database side, so for us it’s kind of a blessing to be able to leverage that very passionate ERwin user group community.”

How do you think the changes the data modeling tool market? What do you think the impact will be there?

“We are going to be the market leader at the end of the day. Our goal is to compete seriously. Our objective is to move these technologies forward together. The fact that we are going to have the market leader position gives us the opportunity to innovate and take mindshare in ways we couldn’t before.”

What about timing?

“It’s probably going to be a 4 to 6 week closing process, so hopefully sometime in Q2.”

Final Thoughts?

“We think this Is a great thing for the industry. We will be able to take something that was that was doing very well at CA but make it even better, because this what we do, this is who we are as a company. This is going to be the biggest part of our business now, we think it’s going to supercharge everything.”

As you can see, there are still a lot of open questions while the financial transaction completes. I have asked some follow up questions and I hope to have answers for them soon. Meanwhile, what questions do you have about this change to the market?

About the author

Karen Lopez is Sr. Project Manager and Architect at InfoAdvisors. She has 20+ years of experience in project and data management on large, multi-project programs. Karen specializes in the practical application of data management principles. She is a frequent speaker, blogger and panelist on data quality, data governance, logical and physical modeling, data compliance, development methodologies and social issues in computing. Karen is an active user on social media and has been named one of the top 3 technology influencers by IBM Canada and one of the top 17 women in information management by Information Management Magazine. She is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, specializing in data modeling and database design. She’s an advisor to the DAMA, International Board and a member of the Advisory Board of Zachman, International. She’s known for her slightly irreverent yet constructive opinions and rants on information technology topics. She wants you to love your data. Karen is also moderator of the InfoAdvisors Discussion Groups at www.infoadvisors.com and dm-discuss on Yahoo Groups. Follow Karen on Twitter (@datachick).

  • George Brennan

    I’ve also followed ErWin from it’s LogicWorks days and was pretty dismayed when CA bought it given their tendency at the time to buy a market and let it wither through lack of innovation – they bought and dead ended products like Supercalc and Clipper.

    Although ERS does have an SDK of sorts I’ve always regarded Erwin as an extensible ‘engine’ where the competition was by comparison a fixed feature product.

    I do hope that this will shake up the market a little and in the longer term kick start a response with some new innovative products that reach into enterprise data architecture rather than just the project data modelling space.


    • It will indeed be interested to see what happens over the next few months.

    • renato

      I sold Erwin when it was Logic Works, and three years ago I became CA Advanced Partner and recovered the most of the sleeping Italian market, so you can imagine my surprise … In Europe ERS was never successful, so I don’t think it will be now, therefore Embarcadero has a great chance to get to European market with one move … if you cannot beat your enemy .. buy it!

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