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Yiorgos Marathias: Courageous Trailblazer

A daydreamer as a child, Yiorgos Marathias came to the U.S. from Greece when he was 17. Everything around him fascinated him. In love with the world of ideas no matter where they came from – Aerospace Engineering, Mathematics or the amazing universe of the Liberal Arts – he thought at first he would become an academic but was drawn to the complexity and independence of business.
In all his jobs Yiorgos always created his own niche, an enterprise inside the organization. It was in 1998, that with a colleague at PeopleSoft they put together a group that created the first reporting solutions for PeopleSoft’s Higher Education clients and in 2005, he and his senior team created Phytorion, a company focused on reporting and analytics.
Yiorgos shares, “Feeling independent was a deep need and I have tried to create an environment that offers the same to all my colleagues, an environment where they can grow and focus on what fulfills them.”
Phytorion Offering “Solution that Starts with a Set of Pre-built Frameworks”
The solutions offered by Phytorion start with a set of pre-built frameworks that they tailor quickly to fit the precise needs of each client. Phytorion’s software offers both the ability to complete standard tasks as well as answer highly complex questions, questions that need data, definitions and rules from silos and ERPs across the organization and outside of it.
Phytorion, a word that means fresh ideas and innovation, collaborates with top innovation centers in discovering new technology. With IBM, Phytorion is developing a Predictive Customer Intelligence solution for different industries with a first focus on higher education. Using a variety of tools, from analytical to predictive, it is focusing on improving teaching effectiveness and student outcomes and maximizing operational efficiency.
‘Uniqueness as the Key Advantage over Competition’
“What we have found to be the best path to success is to adapt to the organization we find. Not just our software, which we customize to the users’ exact needs, but also our approach which we modify to the way the organization wants to work,” says Yiorgos.
The developers/consultants of Phytorion are people with great experience in the industry, people who have both significant knowledge but also the understanding that one size does not fit all and that you have to truly collaborate with your client to create the right solution for them.
Yiorgos adds, “At one university which had unsuccessfully tried to complete a particular project three times before, we didn’t bring more rules. We first worked on establishing trust among the different departments where relationships had become difficult over the years. Then we methodically solved each problem not by just leveraging our domain expertise but also by always working to find common ground without hiding behind contracts.”
Phytorion wants its customers to be successful not just at go-live but three, five years down the road. This is the reason they come to Phytorion in the first place–they know first-hand how difficult it is to achieve long-term success–and this is why they stay with Phytorion year after year.
While explaining the roadblocks in Phytorion’s journey, Yiorgos says, “In 2008, when the economy crashed, very large projects disappeared in front of our eyes. It took a while for the market to start spending money again but in the meantime, we did not let even a single employee go, we did not take even a penny from anyone’s salary. Building long-lasting relationships both inside your company as well as with your clients is the strongest bond you can have, the light that will see you through the dark of night.”
Future Panorama
As organizations are forced to do more with less, they continue merging and cutting back.  Valuable information must now be distilled from disparate systems, systems that all have their own rules and their own history. “We have developed technology that greatly accelerates our work, and this combined with our deep expertise brings our clients success every time,” adds Yiorgos.
Phytorion focuses on acquiring talent that both knows their area in great depth but also have the humility to listen and the flexibility to adapt to the new unknown, to what the present client wants and needs.
“We take on the most complex of projects while we work with organizations whose analytical departments can range from the very large to the brand new. And we support our clients regardless of how long ago we implemented, even when it goes back to 1999,” asserts Yiorgos.
Going forward on its bright path, Phytorion plans to double the company in the next year and a half while keeping a very strong focus on the company’s culture. Phytorion has no turnover and that’s because everyone in the company has found their fit; the place where they do what they are interested in. This aspect of the culture cannot be overlooked and it cannot be replaced.
Phytorion will continue offering the best to its clients. As one said, “We found ourselves drifting in a sea of data until we were rescued by Phytorion who have continued to painlessly guide us through our data warehouse journey. Without Phytorion we would not have reached such a rich destination.”