Cybersecurity startup Zorus has hired Datto veteran Ian McChord as CEO, ChannelE2E has confirmed. The move comes as Zorus seeks to further scale and evolve a business that helps MSP partners to monitor, filter and secure web traffic for remote workers and office workers alike.
McChord succeeds Zorus founder Greg Gage, who shifts to the CTO (chief technology officer) role at the Monroe, Connecticut-based startup.
So what attracted McChord to Zorus -- and what moves does he have in mind for the MSP-friendly security company? McChord provided answers in this ChannelE2E interview.
ChannelE2E: Why did you decide to join Zorus as CEO?
Ian McChord: The channel, the team, and the technology. When I left Datto two years ago, I didn’t quite understand how many close connections and relationships I’d also be losing. The MSP channel is such a close-knit community, with hardworking and compassionate business owners. I got lucky to find myself surrounded by them in my role at Datto, and now I’m excited to rejoin the community. The team at Zorus is exceptional. The business is technology- and partner-first, a familiar culture to me and one that breeds successful companies. Finally, the technology Greg Gage has developed and is developing will change the way security is done at SMBs. It’s written for the new ways attacks will occur, and delivered exclusively through MSPs.
ChannelE2E: Your brother, Austin McChord, is an investor in Zorus. Did you and Austin have any discussions about the company’s potential market opportunities?
Ian McChord: Absolutely! Austin knows the MSP space as well as anyone I’ve ever met. He is a mentor to me, and a trusted advisor. He mentioned that security is an area of growth for MSPs in the future, and there is a constant need for solutions to evolve. Certainly an exciting opportunity to step into.
ChannelE2E: What are your first priorities as CEO?
Ian McChord: Building out a team to support the technology we have developed. Zorus has been run as an R&D-heavy business until this point. It’s truly exciting to see what we’ve built, but at the same time the business now needs to expand so we can continue to build new technology. Zorus has an aggressive hiring plan with openings in engineering, sales, support and marketing. (P.S. -- for anyone reading this and looking for a new opportunity please email [email protected] to learn more.)
ChannelE2E: When ChannelE2E first blogged about Zorus in April 2020, the company’s core focus was designed to help MSP partners to “monitor, filter and secure customers’ web traffic for remote workers and office workers alike.” Does that remain the core Zorus focus, or will you evolve it a bit?
Ian McChord: Our focus is evolving in a way of providing a wider range of functionality. We want to be a full channel-only security solution that allows MSPs to consolidate services, and take advantage of our portal and MSPs focused features. We are still focused on web traffic but have our eyes on securing a business from any digital attack.
ChannelE2E: As you join the company, founder Greg Gage shifts from CEO to CTO. What are Greg's R&D priorities for the company near-term?
Ian McChord: Yes, Greg is moving to founder & CTO. He leads a team of passionate engineers on an aggressive roadmap which includes building a Mac agent to expand our technology into Apple products, Active Directory (including AzureAD) support, and many other MSP-focused features. We have big plans beyond that but those are the key features coming out within the next 6 months.
ChannelE2E: Did Zorus pivot or evolve R&D amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the need for MSPs to support at-home customers?
Ian McChord: Zorus was already developing Triton, which is a platform for non-intrusive employee productivity monitoring. Remote work has been steadily increasing over the years and Zorus is using its tools for web security to help managers operate in a completely remote world. Obviously, we could not have predicted this pandemic, but we are happy that our services are helping businesses stay productive during it.
ChannelE2E: On the partner front, are you taking any new steps to (1) engage more MSPs or (2) further enhance the way you support your current MSPs?
Ian McChord: We are planning to be much more active in the MSP community. We are developing MSP-friendly content to help them educate SMBs on cyber security, and how to protect their businesses. We want to listen to the community and build products accordingly.
ChannelE2E: Anything else you want to mention while you have ChannelE2E's ear?
Ian McChord: As many of your readers know, Datto went public on Wednesday this week (October 21, 2020). I was a long-time employee and board member for many years. I just wanted to say that this market and this channel is responsible for building Datto, and I hope the IPO sends a message to the broader technology market that being channel-only matters. I want to continue to support this community and build products that are custom-tailored to the way MSPs operate.
As always I’m available anytime to anyone. Feel free to email me directly at [email protected].
Disclosure: Early stage investors in Zorus include Channel Investors LLC., which funds channel-focused technology startups. ChannelE2E editor Joe Panettieri is an investor in Channel Investors, LLC but has no involvement in Zorus.