Marketo Hires IBM Analytics Guru by Heather Clancy @FortuneMagazine April 25, 2016, 10:01 AM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Linkedin Share icons If you had doubts that predictive analytics is the next big battleground in marketing software, you may set them aside. Marketo mkto has added a chief scientist to its leadership team: Shankar Venkataraman, a software engineer who spent the past year as chief technology officer for the IBM Analytics platform. In his new role, Venkatraman will lead development of new analytics features for the company’s marketing automation platform. In particular, Venkatraman will be focused on adding services meant to improve Marketo’s ability to help marketing teams personalize outreach for “billions of customer interactions.” Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily technology newsletter. Venkataraman has been a distinguished engineer with IBM ibm for the past eight years. He joined IBM via the tech giant’s acquisition of Cognos back in January 2007. You might also recognize many of the other business software companies on his resume, which include sales relationship application upstart Epiphany, management software company Remedy, and database pioneer Informix. Marketo is getting more serious about winning over big, strategic accounts. Last month, the software maker forged a relationship with Accenture to strengthen its credibility. The push into analytics is another part of that mission as the relative underdog faces increased competition from big software companies with a much higher profile in big businesses, such as Oracle and Salesforce.