Viptela Co-Founders Launch Prosimo, Raise $25 Million

Prosimo takes a decidedly different approach to the workforce than SD-WAN vendors.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

April 6, 2021

5 Min Read
modern applications
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The people who brought you SD-WAN pioneer Viptela are modernizing application delivery for the distributed workforce.

Prosimo emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, announcing $25 million in seed and Series A funding from several investors. The application delivery startup improves application experience and multicloud adoption while enabling a work-from-anywhere workforce. The Santa Clara, California- based company provides an Application eXperience Infrastructure (AXI) platform, which vertically integrates the infrastructure stack. As a result, Prosimo enhances application delivery for a multicloud environment.


Prosimo’s Ramesh Prabagaran

Co-founder and CEO Ramesh Prabagaran most recently worked for Cisco, which acquired Viptela for $610 million in 2017. He and his team in 2012 founded Viptela, one of the first vendors to bill itself as an SD-WAN provider. Prabagaran later managed the product and engineering teams for Cisco SD-WAN.

Prabagaran said Prosimo’s offering can work as a complement to SD-WAN. That’s because a big difference exists between the two technologies.

Prabagaran observed that SD-WAN heavily emphasizes offices. It provides ways to connect campuses and branch offices to data centers and the public cloud. However, COVID-19 made us think about offices much differently. What do we do when the majority of workers are not operating from a branch office? What if, for example, they want to work from home or at a coffee shop? That’s when we need to think of employees as working out of a “branch of one.”

“If you want to leverage internet-like economics for that connectivity, SD-WAN is a great technology,” Prabagaran said. “There is a layer on top of SD-WAN that you can bring to improve on the application experience even further, and you use exactly that same technology as you expand from a branch of 500 into a branch of one.”

The Alternative

Prabaragan said we need to start with a focus on the application rather than a “network-centric” focus. Prosimo provides a “per-application SLA,” which recognizes the different requirement each application brings to the table.

“You can’t treat all applications as the same, because the application today is not actually one application but a sequence and combination of applications within,” Prabagaran said.


IDC’s Brad Casemore

Customers have reported up to 60% in savings on their cloud spending, up to 90% reduced deployment time and up to a 90% improvement in page loading due to application performance, according to Prabagaran.

Brad Casemore, IDC‘s research vice president of data center networks, said Prosimo aligns the infrastructure stack with “cloud-era applications.”

“As organizations have embraced clouds … applications are not only more cloud-native, changing how they are developed and managed, but they are also increasingly distributed. Employees and customers, who access and engage with those applications, are also highly distributed,” Casemore said. “IDC finds that the result is enormous pressure on infrastructure to adapt to cloud-centric application requirements and to materially support tangible business outcomes.”

Prosimo Partners

Prosimo works with resellers, systems integrators, managed service providers and referral partners — 12 in total. Ninety percent of the company’s sales come through the channel. Prabagaran describes the company’s training, managed services and professional services as 100% partner-led.

Channel partners often play one of two roles. In some cases, the partner is a cloud migration adviser and consults the business on their applications.

“They will go do an initial discovery of the customer’s set of applications and say, ‘Out of your few hundred applications, these are the ones you should migrate first,'” he said.

In other cases, the partners focus on …… the delivery and management of the Prosimo service, while leaving application decisions to the customer.

“They’ve said to the customer, ‘You worry about applications. Let me take care of the delivery, putting stuff together and managing it for you,'” Prabagaran said.

Channel Futures asked Prabagaran a few other questions.

Channel Futures: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?

Ramesh Prabagaran: Prosimo’s solution in the cloud cuts across cloud networking, secure access, application performance and observability powered by machine learning. Fortune 500 customers and a variety of partners who have endorsed the solution already refer to three primary differentiations:

  • One vertically integrated stack for user-to-app, and app-to-app needs in the multicloud, preventing multiple fragmented initiatives for cloud.

  • Completely in the customer’s administrative control — but delivered as a service. A lot of opportunities for partners to add value on top of this service.

  • The focus is on high quality decisions and outcomes powered by ML, not just putting different services together.

For each of the layers of the stack, Prosimo has seen competition: secure access (Palo Alto Networks, Zscaler, etc.), application performance (F5 Networks, Cloudflare, Akamai, etc.) and cloud networking (Aviatrix). But Prosimo takes a completely different approach to solving the problem through a vertically integrated stack.

CF: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?

RP: Enterprises are struggling with accommodating multiple different types of applications in the public cloud. They need to embrace a cloud-native and born-in-the-cloud type approach to solve the infrastructure problem — closely aligned with investments happening in AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Embracing cloud providers’ regions, edge locations and multitudes of services will separate out the leaders from the laggards. Enterprises going down the virtual appliance in the cloud path will see serious limits to which they can embrace and extend the cloud.

CF: How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve over that time frame?

RP: Prosimo’s channel strategy is well aligned with cloud disruption. Managed service providers and system integrators alike will help accelerate cloud adoption with applications being in the center of the universe. Value will move up the stack to focus on quantifiable application experience outcomes, and Prosimo will provide those partners with the required capabilities to be the trusted adviser to the enterprises, focused on these outcomes.

CF: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?

RP: To stay relevant in this cloud-first world, do you have differentiation and disruption that enterprises require? Specifically, are you going to embrace a cloud-first approach with the required toolkit, or are you going to go the traditional, heavy virtual appliance path with existing vendors? Can you help enterprises think more like born-in-the-cloud companies as they accelerate public cloud? For example, how do enterprises deliver an application experience like the “Uber app” for their enterprise applications? They need a new architecture and approach to delivering application experience.

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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.

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