Former NetApp Exec Takes Reins At Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service Provider Quorum


Edward Sharp

Disaster recovery technology developer Quorum this week said it has appointed as its new CEO a former NetApp executive who told CRN he is taking the reins of a company poised for fast growth.

Edward Sharp, a 15-year NetApp veteran who this month left the storage vendor as vice president of emerging products, said his new gig as Quorum's CEO gives him a chance to participate in the industrywide move from a focus on backup to one on ensuring a disaster will not ruin a customer's business.

"One of the key things in this IT economy is that people need to keep their systems running," Sharp said. "It's not just a matter of backup and recovery. It's not good enough anymore to have the data safe. In my experience, customers spent money on backups but want recovery. Quorum has the technology to keep customers' systems running in a disaster."

[Related: Unitrends Acquires Yuruware: Disaster Recovery Tech Runs VMs, Virtual Networks In Cloud]

That is turning out to be a winning trend for Quorum, which was founded in 2008 after being spun out of Themis Computer, where it originally was set up to develop cloud-based technology for naval ships. The company is on track for revenue to exceed $10 million in 2014, Sharp said.

Even so, the company is not yet cash-flow-positive, Sharp said. "We're still in our growth phase," he said. "We're investing for growth."

Quorum develops technology that lets service providers offer Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service, Sharp said. The primary focus had been selling appliances that customers could put in secondary data centers to handle disaster recovery, but is now more focused on using the cloud as the recovery site.

"We still offer an on-premise appliance, but we now link it to the cloud," he said. "It can be run with a second appliance for a high-availability solution, or be used to replicate to the Quorum cloud. For customers of services providers who link to the Quorum cloud, the appliance is provided on a lease basis as part of the monthly service."

One of the things that attracted Paragon Micro to become a Quorum channel partner was its people, said Larry Hall, vice president of purchasing and partner development for the Lake Zurich, Ill.-based solution provider.

"The quality of the people at Quorum is fantastic," Hall told CRN. "They're clearly getting an A-player in Sharp as its CEO. But for us, it mainly comes down to the sales reps. We have a local team that's ultra-responsive."

Hall said his sales team has found that customers quickly understand the Quorum solution, which easily leads to a sale. "There's a lot of simplicity with the Quorum solution," he said. "And that's very important today."

PUBLISHED MAY 29, 2014