A Face in the Cloud – Zach Morgan, Business Development Consultant
Here at Cloudreach, we believe that the growth of a great business is fuelled by great people. It is our talented individuals that make Cloudreach the success it is. Zach Morgan, our Business Development Consultant, has been instrumental in helping us grow our cloudy presence in the Midwest. We caught up with him ahead of the Chicago AWS Summit - read the interview below.
Tell us a bit about your current role then Zach?
I am in Business Development for Cloudreach and based out of Chicago. My primary job functions include finding new business, managing existing accounts and developing relationships in our partner ecosystem (AWS, Microsoft, Google, and others).
We owe you a big thanks for helping open up our Chicago office a few years ago. How did you find the process?
It was certainly a challenging prospect to open an office and handle the ups and downs throughout the growth of this market. I started in my home office and eventually moved to a single WeWork desk in order to at least see other people day-to-day. A big moment (don’t tell him) was when fellow Cloudreacher, Andy Vink, moved over here from The Netherlands in order to help grow the office. He already had history with Cloudreach and helped me in spreading our culture over here. Currently, we are at 15 strong and looking to continue to build. It’s a great group of diverse cloudy people. Our office represents individuals from CE, Legal, People Ops, Sales, and IT. We have the best Slack channel. Also, the best local bar, called Rossi’s where you procure your drinks from a fridge in the back of the bar. We keep it classy and cloudy over here.
How has the Midwest responded to Cloud Computing?
The Midwest has been a slow adopter, for sure, but has seen a lot of growth over the last year plus. I still remember some tough conversations early in my tenure with customers who were highly protective of their Data Centers. Traditionally, industry in the Midwest is a bit more conservative than what you might find on the East or West Coasts of the US. The start-up community is smaller here (although now growing) and we lack the media presence who had a compelling need to retire IT debt and innovate fast (see NYC). That aside, the market has really caught up over the last year or so and large enterprises are really jumping into the public cloud in a big way. The opportunity in this region is really unparalleled compared to the rest of North America and we are in a prime position to take advantage of that.
Where would you like to see Cloudreach expand to next?
I think an area like Southern California would be a great next step for Cloudreach expansion. LA and San Diego host a lot of great companies which are doing super innovative stuff. Plus selfishly I would like to visit that office for a quarterly.
What do you like about working for Cloudreach?
Cloudreach has provided me a lot of autonomy in my career. As mentioned, I was the first on the ground in Chicago and was entrusted in helping build our brand name in the region and grow the cloudy culture in the office. Cloudreach gave me the direction and the tools to succeed, but let me do things my way for the most part. Though more challenging than if I had someone guiding me through every step, it really helped me mature in my role faster than I would have otherwise. Also, it has given me an extreme sense of ownership for my responsibilities, clients, projects, office, etc. I also get the opportunity to work on really cool projects with great companies. These are dynamic companies that have bold initiatives to modernize their business through public cloud and Cloudreach has been instrumental in helping them achieve those goals. Lastly, Cloudreach allows me to pursue philanthropic efforts via our Cloudreach Cares program. I signed our first fully Cloudreach funded engagement with Companions Journeying Together and we recently conducted a volunteer day with a local animal shelter, PAWS. We are looking to continue our work with PAWS on a consistent basis. All this adds up to a very fulfilling day job!
What potential do you see for Cloudreach to make an impact on the tech industry?
Cloudreach has made a huge impact in the Public Cloud space already. As we continue our growth as an organization I am excited to see what we can bring in the more innovate areas of cloud technology outside of data center migrations. By combining our historical knowledge of IT transformation with new innovative spaces like Data Science, Machine Learning & AI, Cloudreach can truly separate themselves from the competition.
How do you define success?
I mentioned feeling fulfilled before, and I believe that is the strongest metric when defining success. Doing something that leaves you feeling enriched, empowered, and happy at the end of the day is the type of success I am looking for.
What’s your best fact about Chicago?
The Twinkie was invented in Chicago. The finest of indestructible snack foods. Also, Home Alone was filmed here. I know where the house and church in the movie are located, so next time you are here feel free to ask for a tour.
You are stranded on a desert island and can only take three items with you, what would they be?
My collection of George Pelecanos books (he’s my favorite writer), my pair of Yeezy’s (need to look fresh on the island), and a lot of sunscreen (I am quite fair-skinned).
If you could fill a swimming pool with one thing what would it be?
Soup dumplings from a local Chinese restaurant - Imperial Lamian. I’d do a full cannonball. No regrets.