Doing business with Matt Kates of Zerto: 'Always seek out new perspectives’

Doing business with Matt Kates of Zerto: 'Always seek out new perspectives’

The ANZ head of Zerto talks about keeping abreast of technology trends, and taking the ‘smart, not sexy’ approach to problem solving.

Never assume what is right today will be right tomorrow.

Name: Matt Kates

Title: country manager, ANZ region, Zerto

Twitter handle: MattKates1

How long have you been in your current role? I have been ANZ country manager for eight months and worked for Zerto for two-and-a-half years.

What business technology issue is your role focusing on? Business resilience: disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC)

What are your interests away from work? Outdoor activities: camping, hiking, surfing, travel, basketball, family and friends.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received? ‘Don’t quit.’ When I was 12, I joined a competitive swim team and one month in I wanted out! It was challenging and painful every day at practice, and I wanted to do something a bit more fun. My mother told me I could quit, but only after I finished the whole season. I ended up swimming for nine more years and competed at the university level. Most importantly, I learned a lot through the training and competition.

Professionally, who do you admire most? I admire the vision and the honest communication to the market of Elon Musk. I also think the ‘smart, not sexy’ approach to problem solving that Ziv Kedem, our Zerto CEO, talks about.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

How long have you been working in your field? How did you get into your role? I have been working in ‘tech sales’ for 10 years. My first few sales roles were at EMC in the US; Boston and then San Jose.

After moving to Australia to open up an office for a small storage startup, I joined Zerto to start up the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region. Two-and-a-half years later, through a lot of hard work, lots of mistakes and some luck, Zerto has more than 25 people in APJ and I am running the ANZ region, where we have just hired our 10th employee.

If you weren't working in your field, what would you be doing? I’d like to take a year off and travel, spend a few months outdoors camping in California, or South America. As for another career, I could work in education as I love being around young people.

Can you share one key pointer for keeping abreast of business technology trends? Never assume what is right today will be right tomorrow. Technology moves so fast, always be seeking out new perspectives to be able to build a better picture of what the market will ask for in the future.

Prepare to be the disruptor - not the disrupted. How did you apply this insight to your organisation?

Zerto has a platform that provides a unique ability to transform not just disaster recovery outcomes, but also the architecture of an entire multi-site IT environment. This is great! We are the disruptor! But as an organisation, we need to be very clear and concise about how we message the benefits of change. This takes constant engagement with customers, an ability to empathise with their current challenges, and the commitment to help them through to their end goals.

That execution comes from effort, strategy and teamwork…things that are critical components of anyone we bring onto our team.

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