Zerto Channel Chief: We're Working to Drive Revenue for Partners

After his first three months in the job, Jim Ortbals reviews the backup and disaster recovery vendor’s relationship with the channel.

Todd R. Weiss

May 23, 2019

3 Min Read
Drive revenue

ZERTOCON – In late February, former VMware and Cisco channel executive Jim Ortbals joined disaster recovery and backup vendor Zerto as its new vice president of global channels and cloud sales to help grow the company’s combined channel partner and cloud businesses.

Now three months into the job, Ortbals spoke with Channel Futures in Nashville this week at the company’s fourth annual ZertoCON customer and partner conference to talk about how the company’s partner program is progressing.

Since Ortbals’ arrival at Zerto, the company unveiled the latest version of its flagship disaster recovery and backup application, Zerto 7.0, and introduced new enterprise subscription-based licensing and services for customers.

For channel partners, both announcements offer new avenues for revenue and services growth for traditional partners such as VARs and systems integrators and for cloud service provider partners, said Ortbals.


Zerto’s Jim Ortbals

“We’re seeing the lines continue to blur now between both groups,” he said. “Those traditional resellers are evolving [and asking] ‘How do I take advantage of that recurring revenue as opposed to selling it one time and being done?’”

The newly-rolled-out enterprise subscription licenses will help with that, he said. “Essentially it’s term-based licensing, a two- to five-year lease of the software,” which can benefit customers as an operational expense instead of a capital expense in their budgets.

“And for partners, that is recurring revenue rather than one-time revenue,” Ortbals said. “It makes it a little stickier. We’ve done some work with our partner community to get the word out there.”

Zerto has also been working to deepen its partner relationship with Microsoft, particularly when it comes to joint go-to-market efforts involving Microsoft Azure cloud and migrating data and applications there, said Ortbals. The go-to-market efforts are describing how Zerto can be used to help protect those assets with Zerto backup and disaster recovery once the migrations have been completed, he said.

“It’s a nice elegant story for our partners who are talking to their end users as well,” he added. “Microsoft likes that, too, because one of their toughest things can be getting customers into the cloud and then getting them paying for additional services.”

An important task for Ortbals in his new role is to carefully monitor his company’s relationships with its partners and the channel, he said.

“We have to look at everything top to bottom to be sure we stay close to and aligned with our partners,” he said. “Some…

…changes are being done internally to ensure more local connections with partners.”

Ortbals, who has some 20 years of experience in the technology industry, previously worked at VMware and Cisco, building and developing channel teams and partner ecosystems. He also ran the global sales operations for VOSS Solutions and had sales roles at Allot Communications and Cisco. In his new role at Zerto, he manages all partner, cloud and reseller relationships for the company.

Zerto’s flagship product is its IT Resilience Platform, an enterprise-grade platform which customers can use to replace multiple disaster and data protection applications and services. The platform combines disaster recovery, backup and cloud mobility services for users. The company’s partner network includes more than 1,800 VARs and systems integrators and more than 350 cloud service providers. The company says it has more than 6,000 customers around the world.

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About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and eWEEK.com, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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