CRN Exclusive: HyTrust Taps Ex-Zerto Channel Chief Jason Cowie To Build Out New Partner Program


HyTrust has snagged former Zerto channel leader Jason Cowie to redouble the company's focus on the channel and build out a broader partner ecosystem.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based security vendor has tasked Cowie with building out HyTrust's go-to-market strategy and launching a new global partner program that incentivizes and rewards a wide range of solution providers. The program will evolve from a single-tier to a multi-tier program spanning both traditional and non-traditional solution providers, Cowie said.

HyTrust's new partner program will focus on solution providers that have struggled with making the transition from selling on-premises products to helping their customers move workloads into hybrid environments, Cowie said.

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The company also plans to embrace non-traditional partners, such as born-in-the-cloud solution providers, and regional or boutique systems integrators with business models that are compatible with HyTrust's go-to-market strategy, according to Cowie. HyTrust is looking more at quality than quantity when it comes to adding new solution providers, Cowie said.

HyTrust is most interested in adding channel partners with a strong focus on software-defined data centers and driving cloud transformation projects for customers of all sizes, Cowie said. New partners should also hold a large number of VMware, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure certifications, according to Cowie.

The new partner program will offer a clean deal registration process, Cowie said, and reward both value-based and volume-based partners of HyTrust. The company is additionally building out a whole set of enablement tools to accelerate the development cycle for partners and grow deal size, according to Cowie.

The channel accounted for only 30 percent of HyTrust's 2017 revenue, according to the company. Cowie has been focused on growing that figure since starting as HyTrust's first-ever vice president of global channels on Nov. 30, with a re-launch of the partner program expected in the second half of 2018.

Cowie joined HyTrust from Zerto, where he spent 19 months managing the disaster recovery and business continuity vendor's global channel team. Prior to that, Cowie put in more than three years building out the infrastructure performance management vendor's global partner ecosystem.

All of HyTrust's public sector business goes through the channel, Cowie said, where the company enjoys longstanding relationships with key players such as Reston, Va.-based Carahsoft, No. 18 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500. Conversely, HyTrust's enterprise and commercial businesses are more direct today, according to Cowie.

Another central aspect of HyTrust's new partner program will be the promotion of joint offerings with technology alliance partners such as VMware and Intel, according to Cowie. As VMware's structure gets extended into Amazon Web Services, Cowie said HyTrust is looking at creating a single platform from which the offering can be managed and security and policy features can be applied.

All told, Cowie said HyTrust would be interested in growing the number of certifications held by its partners as well as their ability to provide pre-sales, post-sales and consultative support by leveraging the company's platform.

Virtual Tech Gurus partnered with HyTrust a couple of months ago to marry its migration capabilities with HyTrust's security infrastructure assessment, according to Wendy Collier, director of business development and strategic relationships for the Dallas-based HyTrust partner.

The arrangement has provided clients with a single point of contact that can handle the majority of the issues with a customer's infrastructure, Collier said. Specifically, Collier said HyTrust's tool makes it possible for Virtual Tech Gurus to identify potential compliance issues or areas of security risk within a customer's environment.

"We did not have the capabilities or the expertise to look at some of these environments and give them a security recap," Collier said. "This opens up a new line of opportunity."

Collier said she knew Cowie from Zerto, and has been impressed by his dynamic personality and ability to strike up a conversation. From a business standpoint, Collier said Cowie excels at identifying areas of synergy or alignment, as well as figuring out how to translate that message to a broader audience.

"Jason's fantastic," Collier said. "He's definitely someone that I would work for in a heartbeat, and I don't say that about many people."