ZeroNorth's annual recurring revenue grew 300% last year.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

May 7, 2020

4 Min Read

ZeroNorth, a provider of risk-based vulnerability orchestration, has hired Chris Riley, previously with Mimecast, to lead its channel.

As senior vice president of sales, Riley will lead strategic sales initiatives, including channel programs. His appointment follows a year of 300% growth in annual recurring revenue for the risk-based vulnerability orchestration firm.

“ZeroNorth has seen significant demand for our platform as companies seek to drive continuous software and infrastructure security programs,” said John Worrall, ZeroNorth’s CEO. “The success we are having in the market has allowed us to attract someone of Chris’ caliber who represents an ideal fit to lead our sales initiatives.”

Riley has more than 25 years of sales, professional services and operational leadership experience. He was Mimecast’s vice president of enterprise sales.

Before that, Riley was senior vice president of sales and president of SSH Communications Security for North America. And he spent more than 11 years at RSA, including as vice president of identity assurance sales.


ZeroNorth’s Chris Riley

Last year, ZeroNorth raised $10 million in Series A+ funding led by Crosslink Capital with participation from previous investors ClearSky, Rally Ventures and Petrillo Capital.

In a Q&A with Channel Futures, Riley talks about why he wanted to join ZeroNorth and what partners can expect in the coming months.

Channel Futures: Why did you want to take this role with ZeroNorth?

Chris Riley: Where do I start? With every relevant company and government agency on the planet becoming a technology entity, the need for security across the software development life cycle and applicable infrastructure is growing every day. Being able to abstract vulnerabilities so they can be dealt with at scale is critical now and in the future. ZeroNorth excels at delivering for this need. This is a terrific leadership team, board and investor group that I have a lot of really good experience with. My family and I are beyond excited. 

CF: What’s your take on ZeroNorth’s current channel strategy? Any changes needed?

CR: The early direction is the right one. We need capable partners with the right relationships who are able to add value during customer sales and success cycles. I don’t see any major changes needed at this time. We will continue to drive determined targeted growth to add capable partners this year and beyond to support our sales and customer acquisition growth goals.

CF: Will you be building/expanding/enhancing any channel programs? If so, how?

CR: We will build out our channel program by focusing on making enablement repeatable and developing partner-friendly incentive models.

CF: What are the biggest issues facing ZeroNorth’s partners and what will be your role in addressing them?

CR: This is a very challenging time for all constituents: customers, partners and platform providers. All partners and platform providers need more opportunities and at-bats. Those can be in short supply at a time like this. We must stand by our partners and have a qualified partner tied to every opportunity so that they may be able to derive value and experience. We grow our program with them, invest the right way regarding incentives and enablement, and then harvest joint rewards going forward. Enablement, enablement, enablement. We can do this with real opportunities. 

CF: How will your previous experience come into play in this role?

CR: It is so important to be patient, but purposeful as we build out our partner program. Opportunities in kind may be a few quarters or a year-plus out. But we must invest in opportunities now knowing a properly enabled community of the right partners will return the investments with new opportunities for us over time. And of course we will manage and measure this closely.

CF: What do you hope to have accomplished a year from now?

CR: We hope to have all of our business running through properly enabled partners able to deliver value during sales cycles and through the success cycle.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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