Here's what you might hear in an SD-WAN vendor pitch next year.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

November 21, 2018

10 Slides

The writing is on the wall for software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) vendors regarding the channel.

Most of these companies need the help of partners to scale their business and stay afloat in a competitive industry. The mass entry into the market can’t last much longer. It’s crunch time.

We saw at the Channel Partners Evolution SD-WAN Thunderdome Panel that vendors have been making drastic pivots in the last year. In the same panel, one company said it has gone from mainly resellers to adding MSPs; another recently added a managed service; still another launched a channel-partner program after working with only service providers.

Some of these companies come from an entirely foreign industry to what you’re used to selling, but the current age of business technology is all about convergence. Buckle up.

As this group of suppliers pivots to the channel, they’ll first need to sell their platforms to partners. And they’re competing against one another for the partner’s attention and allegiance. That might mean solid options for partners, but the process of selection could go on indefinitely. Partners face a bombardment of marketing jargon that often says the same thing: “Sell our product because it is unique and superior, and we will have your back because we are committed to the channel.”

We recently compiled a list of 20 top SD-WAN providers offering products and services via channel partners.

How do you wade through all the chatter?

Don’t lose hope. Although there’s a pile-up of manufacturers in this space, you’ll discover key differences between each company, either in their technology or the way they distribute their technology. You know the use cases of your customers well enough to form a baseline for the type of services they need. It’s ultimately your circumstances that should determine which product is “superior.”


Dell’Oro’s Shin Umeda

“Because SD-WAN solutions have many software components, vendors are approaching the market in many ways, from one-stop shop offerings to multivendor solutions based on partnership, open interfaces and integration,” said Shin Umeda, vice president of Dell’Oro Group. “There is no right or wrong way to implement SD-WAN; many factors need to be considered beyond the basic technology.”

We reached out to analysts to get their observations of vendors in order to help you know what to expect as you pick out SD-WAN solutions going forward. Hopefully you’ll get a sense of how suppliers differ and how they’ll attempt to profit from those differences.

Throughout the fourth quarter of 2018, as part of our “In Focus” series, we are featuring a series of galleries designed to help partners grow their businesses in 2019 and beyond.

“There’s a lot of noise around SD-WAN,” Bigleaf Networks co-founder Jeff Burchett said recently. “We all have different opinions, and frankly it’s not about one of us being dramatically better than the others, but [about] you guys figuring out who’s the best fit in the right situations.”

Although marketing hype continues to confuse partners and their customers, not all vendor efforts to expand are so cacophonous. Although some companies might be all talk, you’ll find that many are making a concerted effort to put their money where their mouth is.

In the gallery below, we outline 10 tactics suppliers will employ in order to get buy-in from you, the partner.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like