Security News

New Zscaler Channel Chief: We’re ‘In Build Mode Right Now’

Wade Tyler Millward

‘Zscaler is in build mode right now,’ Karl Soderlund tells CRN in an interview.

What are some of your first steps as Zscaler channel chief?

I plan on going on a worldwide listening tour to really understand what’s working, what can be improved and what the vision and future should look like between the ecosystem partner and Zscaler.

Because in my past 30 years, it’s really been my badge of honor that I listen first and act second. Going into a new role like this, I’m really excited to sit down with these partner executives and really understand what they’re seeing in the marketplace and how we can be the best partner possible. … I’m going to deeply inspect the enablement opportunity for our partners.

I’m a big believer that before you can ask for pipeline or bookings, there has to be the capabilities and skillset both on the technical and sales side.

And that starts with enablement. It’s almost the first leading indicator of the health of the business is how our partner is taking advantage of the enablement and what we can do better to enable them.

How big is the security opportunity for services-led partners?

The opportunity for partners will be greater in the next five years than they have in the last 25 years. And if we look at why that is, there is a global IT shortage of cybersecurity professionals.

There is a lot of transition within companies right now with folks leaving and that demand for talent.

And so the partners have an opportunity to provide these services, to provide consulting, to provide lifecycle management to these customers. And more so than ever before.

And now with the recent economic headwinds, they need that help. They can’t just go out and hire a redundant amount of resources. They need to maximize the return on what their investments are.

And partners are so good at evaluating what the needs are in the infrastructure, in the community and really produce the best results. So it’s perfect sense and why we lean in so much.

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at

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