Best in SD-WAN: Bigleaf, Aryaka, CBTS or Fusion Connect?

A war of words helps you make the call.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

September 9, 2020

4 Min Read
Global WAN

CHANNEL PARTNERS VIRTUAL — SD-WAN vendors all bring something different to the table, and even they admit as much.

Matthew Douglass, CBTS’ senior director of solution engineering, on Tuesday told a partner audience that different customers require different SD-WAN platforms.


CBTS’ Matthew Douglass

“Our job is to introduce ourselves to that partner, make sure they understand they have support from us on the sales engineering side and the discovery side, “Douglass said. “We meet with that customer, and if we’re not the right solution, we’ll actually walk away.”

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

Douglass was speaking at Channel Partners Virtual‘s SD-WAN Thunderdome. Representatives from Fusion Connect, Bigleaf Networks, CBTS and Aryaka Networks fielded questions from “ringmaster” Bryan Reynolds, TBI‘s director of sales operations. The series of inquiries helped attendees see how the SD-WAN vendors differentiate themselves and bring value.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

These companies all look very different from each other.

Fusion Connect is a cloud services provider that partners with three different vendors for its SD-WAN solutions.

“Our real opportunity here is to make sure we’re building the client a solution that fits their needs, not making their needs fit our solution,” said Terry Corder, Fusion’s director of solution engineering.


Fusion Connect’s Terry Corder

CBTS is 25-year-old IT services company that specializes in Cisco as a service. Like Fusion, CBTS uses multiple SD-WAN solutions, including (Cisco) Meraki, (Cisco) Viptela and (VMware) VeloCloud. The company sets itself apart with its emphasis on managed services, which comprise half of its business.

“It’s not only about expertise but the ability to execute as well,” said Douglass.

Aryaka differs from the field thanks to its global, layer 2 private network. And Ron Beer, vice president of Aryaka’s Americas agent channel, said the company has pivoted to serve more than just global customers.

“We now are very competitive in regional products, in products that do not necessarily need global applications, and that has helped us get into a lot of opportunities and get our partners a lot more familiar with what we do,” Beer said.

Bigleaf serves the midmarket with what it calls SD-WAN’s “easy button,” sitting outside a customer’s existing firewall and automating various QoS policies. The company’s recently launched Home Office product has caught the attention of partners and customers in recent months.


Bigleaf Networks’ Eric Brooker

“We have seen an insane amount of partners calling us,” said Eric Brooker, senior director of national partner programs.

Customer Size

Beer answered a question that some partners may be asking: How can small agents serving small customers get into SD-WAN? He echoed his peers in saying that Aryaka serves single-site customers, even though we normally associate SD-WAN with multilocation.


Aryaka’s Ron Beer

“We’ve done a one-location deal in China that has helped that customer there,” Beer said. “Obviously we want to build upon that and get the other locations with that also. But we’ve done everything.”

Channel Partners Virtual runs through Sept. 10. There’s still time to register!

The representatives touched on how supply-chain delays have impacted the SD-WAN market during the pandemic. While Aryaka and Bigleaf tout their manufacturing identity as an advantage, Fusion and CBTS value offering solutions from multiple sources.

“The benefit with having multiple vendors that do SD-WAN is that we can find the right solution, depending on which vendor it is, and be able to pull from other vendors when we are having a supply-chain issue,” Corder said.

The Channel Partners Virtual event runs through Thursday, and features a Thunderdome centered around UCaaS.

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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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