Zerto Taps Ex-VMware, Cisco Exec to Head Channel, Cloud Sales
Zerto, the disaster recovery and IT resiliency provider, has hired former VMware and Cisco channel executive Jim Ortbals to drive growth for the company’s newly combined worldwide channel partner and cloud businesses.
Zerto introduced a cloud service provider (CSP) model in 2012. Ortbals, whose title is vice president of worldwide channel and cloud sales, will lead a single, unified partner strategy, the company said.
The new hire, who has almost 20 years of experience in the technology industry, previously worked in 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 position with Zerto, he will manage all partner, cloud and reseller relationships for the company.
“I’ve extensively worked in the reseller channels and cloud channels,” Ortbals told Channel Futures. “Most of my career, in fact. But a lot of time has been spent on the cloud side.”
After a diverse career working in jobs from being the head of sales for a small technology startup to his channel work with VMware, Ortbals said he is looking forward to helping Zerto grow its operations with fervor.
“What struck me as exciting about Zerto was the chance to come and run it all for a rapidly expanding company and lead it on a global basis,” he said. “The line between what is a cloud provider and what is a reseller have been blurring quite a bit. So, in my opinion, it’s a great opportunity, at this point in our trajectory, to come in and set the strategy, implement it and execute on it by knocking down some of the obstacles that stand in the way of how cloud providers engage with resellers and vice versa.”
Ortbals said his long experience in the IT business world has prepared him well for his new post.
“I’ve been in the trenches, working with resellers and understanding their challenges,” he said. “Likewise, I’ve done the same with cloud providers, understanding their business models, and understanding the challenge of taking technology and adopt it into a service offering.”
Bring together Zerto’s cloud and channel partner programs together under one banner for the first time will present its own unique challenges, he explained.
“What’s exciting is bringing that experience into building one succinct channel strategy that recognizes the strengths of each and build out the programmatic incentives, structure and go-to-market [plans] around each,” said Ortbals. “We already have a fantastic channel ecosystem — it’s a who’s who of partners. Where I’m going to look to invest in are areas or regions and verticals that we could be stronger in. I plan to be more targeted in our channel recruitment.”
A major goal for Ortbals will be working to make Zerto, which does 100 percent of its business through the channel, more relevant to its partners, he said.
“There’s no need for convincing of the value of the channel within the company,” he said. “The next stage is how do we proactively work with our channel partners on a day-in and day-out basis to organically grow the business through the channel directly.”
To accomplish these goals, Ortbals said he will leverage and build upon …