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Catalyst Cloud taps Igor Portugal to drive growth

Catalyst Cloud taps Igor Portugal to drive growth

Public cloud service provider Catalyst Cloud looks to move beyond organic growth

Igor Portugal (Catalyst Cloud)

Igor Portugal (Catalyst Cloud)

Credit: Reseller News

New  Zealand public cloud provider Catalyst Cloud is seeking to accelerate growth with the appointment of a chief growth officer.

Igor Portugal, who has been business development manager of Catalyst IT since January 2017, has been redeployed to the new role at Catalyst Cloud.

The shift reflects a commitment by the Catalyst Cloud board to invest in accelerating the growth of the now independent cloud computing business.

Catalyst Cloud had grown well organically over the last three years, Portugal told Reseller News on the sidelines of last week's Edge 2019 conference. 

However, organic growth was starting to exhaust itself at the same time the market opportunity was expanding.

"We're in a prime position to take on some of that growth but to do that need to mature our sales effort rather than grow organically," Portugal said.

Portugal will be running sales, marketing and retention teams. However, his first job was to build those teams from one staff member currently to around five within the next two years.

"It's really important decision makers know they have a local expert provider," Portugal said.

The change is also about offering another option for users seeking multi-cloud capabilities.

"We don't believe that any particular cloud provider is all things to all people," he said. 

Cloud geography and mobility were also important. 

"With our geographical position we do believe that cloud geography does matter and it's not just about data sovereignty but also for performance related to latency."

Some of Catalyst's existing customers, for instance, use both AWS and Catalyst to offer a better experience to NZ customers, Portugal said.

"We don't want our customers to stay with us because they have to," Portugal said. "We offer customers freedom to move and we want them to stay with us because they choose to stay with us.

"At Catalyst Cloud, we are uniquely placed to help businesses minimise risk and improve data resiliency with three local data centres here in New Zealand."

Launched four years ago, Catalyst Cloud operates on the Cloud Native Computing Foundation certified Kubernetes platform.

Clients range from AUT, Māori Television and GNS Science to smaller innovators such as Nyriad and Dragonfly Data Science.

"Igor is a pioneer of open source and a proponent of cloud computing," said Catalyst Cloud managing director Bruno Lago. "He is an inspiring and knowledgeable person for our team and for anyone whose company is considering how to exploit true cloud more fully."

Portugal co-founded New Zealand's first Linux service provider in 1999 and co-founded Vadacom cloud-based phone systems in 2005, growing the business over the following 12 years. 

Catalyst Cloud, which has offices in Wellington and Auckland, became an independent business within the Catalyst Group in August 2017. That year it also began making moves towards a channel strategy to drive cloud growth.

Portugal said he had looked at customers on Catalyst Cloud and the New Zealand partner and reseller ecosystem. 

He said the decision to use a cloud service wasn't usually made by by one party -- the business, the integrator and the software vendor or developer all had to be in broad agreement.

"As a cloud provider we need to speak to that entire ecosystem. But also as a cloud provider we care about our customers' success. 

"In an elastic cloud environment we don't lock them in to a term or a spin. If they are successful they use more of our resources."

Part of his focus and energy in the new role, therefore, would be to put resources into helping customers succeed.


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