ZL Technologies Selects Former Cisco Exec to Lead Channel

Edward Gately**Editor’s Note: Click here to see which channel people were on the move in February or here for our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.**

ZL Technologies has hired Erna Arnesen, formerly with Plantronics and Cisco, as chief channel and alliance officer to develop a channel and go-to-market strategy for the company’s offerings, with a focus on ZL File Analysis and Management (ZL FAM).

ZL Technologies' Erna ArnesenIn this newly created role, Arnesen will support the sales team by developing go-to-market programs and capabilities, as well as creating channel and alliance partnerships, to bring ZL’s offerings to market globally. She has more than 25 years of experience leading channels and alliances teams and initiatives.

Arnesen tells Channel Partners her plan is to start by building a channel-centric, go-to-market strategy for ZL FAM, and “use that momentum to build and refine a more comprehensive go-to-market strategy for the company.” ZL provides unified information governance and analytics for large enterprises.

“This is not a new concept for ZL — we have up and running partners for the core governance product, but I believe ZL is at an inflection point and a formalized partner program will help ZL scale,” she said. “Forming a channel program begins with reviewing corporate strategy, product strategy and sales strategy, because it should be a natural extension of these. Channel strategy has to be last and can’t be done in a vacuum; it must be done in the context of the company’s larger goals and objectives.”{ad}

While ZL already has a go-to-market strategy and global network of partners for Unified Archive, which has been in existence for a long time, the release of ZL FAM provides a “unique opportunity to implement a more formalized strategy,” Arnesen said.

“This will be the first comprehensive global partner program that ZL has undertaken across the entire ecosystem of partner types,” she said. “At this point in time, because of our unique new product, we have an opportunity to help ZL scale, while at the same time implementing a more holistic program that will make it easier for our partners to leverage.”

As Plantronics’ vice president of global channel and partner marketing, Arnesen was responsible for developing that company’s global and strategic alliance marketing, channel strategies and go-to-market models. Previously, she worked in similar roles in channel sales, marketing and alliance management at Cisco Services, Symantec, …


… Fujitsu Softek, CyberSource, SGI, NeXT and at Apple Computer.

ZL has received a lot of feedback from both existing and potential partners asking it to provide more diversity in the types of partner relationships it can accommodate, based on the type of value being added, Arnesen said.

“Technology partners, consulting partners, services partners, more traditional channel reseller partners — they all add a lot of value, and our eventual partner program is going to reflect this by better supporting all of them,” she said. “Though we currently already have a partner network, right now we’re working to formalize the program to make the process more efficient and much easier for our partners to do business with us.”

Arnesen is on the board of directors of Watermark, a women’s leadership organization in the Bay Area, and most recently was chair and head of the governance committee. She serves on the board of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) and has also served as an advisory board member of Women in Consulting (WIC).

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