Nextiva Channel VP Leaves to Head ThreatProtector's Worldwide Channel Sales

He moved up the ranks to Nextiva's vice president of channel sales for North America before taking a new gig.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

February 24, 2021

6 Min Read

Employee security training provider ThreatProtector Cybersecurity Advisors has lured Carl Katz away from Nextiva to lead its worldwide partner sales.

Katz was with Nextiva for six-and-a-half years. He moved up the ranks from channel manager to regional director, to vice president of channel sales for North America.

Nextiva says it’s actively vetting a pool of qualified candidates to fill the vice president of channel sales role.

Eric Martorano is Nextiva’s chief revenue officer and channel chief.

“As we continue to invest in our partners, it is bittersweet we announce the departure of Carl Katz from Nextiva,” he said. “We wish Carl success in his new ventures outside of the UCaaS/telephony space, and thank him for his many years of service to Nextiva and our partners. I am more bullish than ever on what is to come from Nextiva’s partners in 2021. I believe that our NeXus partner program is unmatched in the level of pre-and post-sales teams, resources, and the tools we’ve built to support the growth and success of our channel partners.”

ThreatProtector provides employee security training, phishing education and dark web monitoring. In addition, it offers advanced email encryption, communications compliance, advanced endpoint protection and device optimization.

Its partner program, Elevate, provides free access to its services, search engine optimization, sales enablement tools, lead generation webinars and more.


ThreatProtector’s Carl Katz

Before joining Nextiva, Katz was national channel sales manager at TW Telecom. He also held roles with Fision Work, NuVox Communications – which Windstream acquired – and Level 3 Communications, which CenturyLink acquired.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Katz talks about what ThreatProtector partners can expect from him.

Channel Partners: Why did you want to take this new role with ThreatProtector?

Carl Katz: The reason is because in today’s selling environments, standard telecom products like internet, SD-WAN and UCaaS, are no longer the door openers as they used to be.

The old adage of joining an organization where the puck is going as opposed to where the puck is has never been more true with cybersecurity. Businesses are looking for real solutions to combat the threats posed to them every day. Cybersecurity scams are the largest illegal business in the world at over $8 trillion. So that’s why I decided to move, because obviously there’s a real need for cybersecurity.

In addition to that, ThreatProtector‘s partner program provides our partners with the tools required to get appointments with any prospect, because the fear of cybersecurity breaches and ransomware is more substantial today than ever.

CP: Is this a big change for you, switching from UC to cybersecurity?

CK: It is a change, but it’s all as a service. It’s a platform like a lot of UC companies are platforms. So as a platform, it has a lot of the same comparables to UC. It provides customers with value. It provides customers with a solution and it helps today where the world is virtualizing. Our product helps secure employees from a training and mitigation perspective from the bad guys.

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

CK: ThreatProtector is a channel-only business. We don’t sell anything in direct sales. So what that means is we work only through partners — working with partners and providing partners with a great solutions. Supporting partners is what I’ve been doing for the past six-and-a-half years with Nextiva. From the leadership perspective, it will come in handy as I know a lot of partners and I know they’re looking for solutions.

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in January.

CP: What types of partners does ThreatProtector work with?

CK: We work with a lot of the same partners selling other ancillary services like UC, internet and SD-WAN. Our partners add value to their portfolio. So telecom agents, VARs, those types of companies are great fits for ThreatProtector.

CP: What’s your take on ThreatProtector’s channel strategy and partner program? Can we expect to see changes with you now on board?

CK: You’re going to see enhancements and we’re going to go to the market in a really big way. We have three master agents in our portfolio, TBI, Telarus and TPG. We’re going to add benefits. We have a partner program called Elevate, which is unique in the industry in that it offers a lot of tools to help our partners get in the door of businesses. So we’re going to enhance the value of …

… our partner program to give partners additional tools to not only sell our products, but to get in the door with larger companies.

CP: What’s at the top of your to-do list?

CK: The top of my to-do list is bringing partners to ThreatProtector, educate them and enable them to sell our cutting-edge product.

CP: What are the biggest challenges facing ThreatProtector partners and what will be your role in addressing those?

CK: The biggest challenges they are going to have is that they are not proficient in cybersecurity and all the products available to help customers mitigate the dangers of being exposed to cybersecurity crimes and breaches. So what ThreatProtector does is it’s a door opener to businesses. Our proprietary employee security training platform is unique in that it’s simple to understand and doesn’t take an advanced training or advanced degree to show the product to their customer. So we fill the gap as we’re a great entry into the cybersecurity space for partners that are not familiar with that space.

CP: Who are ThreatProtector’s biggest competitors, and what will be your role in helping the company and its partners gain market share?

CK: So companies like KnowBe4, and in some cases Mimecast, are competitors in some way. But our proprietary algorithm called our employee security score is a differentiator. It brings everything together. We include employee security training and phishing simulations. We also have a unique, proprietary product that will enable customers to determine whether an email is real or not. ThreatProtector also offers dark web monitoring and even helps create security policies for our customers.

We take all of our products, we get all the information from each of our customers’ employees, and we can determine through the algorithm what their employee security score is. That is a major differentiator because most companies do different aspects of what we do. But when you ask them who’s the weakest link in the organization, who’s more apt to click on a phishing scam, they couldn’t give you the answer because they don’t understand the weakest link. I would equate our employee security score to a credit score. You wouldn’t loan money to somebody with a low credit score, and you wouldn’t trust somebody in your organization with a low employee security score. So it’s along the same lines as a credit score.

CP: What do you hope to have accomplished a year from now in this new role?

CK: I want to educate the channel partners on cybersecurity so they can effectively go to market and help their customers defend against the dangers of hackers and the fastest-growing business of ransomware. And we want to dominate the channel for cybersecurity.

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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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