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Infovista Attacks SD-WAN Market with All-Indirect Strategy

Infovista is also helping service providers plan networks with its "5G-focused solutions."

James Anderson

October 17, 2018

3 Min Read
SDN
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Ask an SD-WAN vendor about its partner strategy, and you’re almost certain to hear the phrase “channel-driven.”

But Infovista‘s new channel chief says one company finally delivers on that promise.

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Infovista’s Jon Howes

“I’ve been in the industry a long time, and I’ve been with those vendors who say that because they think they channel wants to hear it,” said Jon Howes, who joined Infovista this year as senior vice president of global channel sales. “However, when it comes to the tough decisions of actually doing business, you can work with management teams who — let’s say are less committed than they are on the surface to maintaining that channel-centricity.”

Infovista on Wednesday announced a whole distribution agreement with TELoiP to bolster its North American channel presence. TELoiP’s MSP and VAR partners can sell the Infovista Ipanema SD-WAN solution.

“We’re pleased to partner with Infovista to bring the power of Infovista Ipanema to our partners in the U.S. and Canada who want to extend their manged SD-WAN offerings to include large enterprise solutions,” said Todd Davis, marketing director at TELoIP.

Infovista is also helping service providers plan networks with its “5G-focused solutions.”

The company also announced its its “all indirect, all the time” go-to-market strategy. Howes joined the company in March, and he has spent the last six months building learning resources, post-sales support and an easier on-boarding process and driving partner recruitment.

Howes told Channel Partners that the company was already “very heavy” in the MSP channel, but is working to draw value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators (SIs) into its program. And VARs and SIs have picked up on the partner program quickly, according to Howes.

Infovista differentiates itself better than most SD-WAN vendors. We learned in our summer interview with the company that its value proposition lies in layer 7, the application. Its deep-packet inspection (DPI) engine allows the network to prioritize workloads on session level, which goes deeper than just the application.

Howes said this is a significant difference from companies that approach SD-WAN from a “routing perspective.” Routing concerns itself with blending internet and MPLS traffic, and that is not Infovista’s priority.

“There certainly are routing questions to be answered there, and in no way am I trivializing the work that needs to be done there. That is important,” he said. “But our take is that you can’t answer the ‘how-should-I-route-this-traffic?’ until you understand the applications that are running on the enterprise’s network.”

According to Howes, the first wave of software-defined wide area networking concerned itself with limiting operational costs through internet transport. But as one vendor noted last week, the marketing hype around cost has fallen back to earth.

For Infovista, the key is to help customers prioritize and control the hodgepodge …… of traffic that runs through their network. This fights shadow IT and helps certain applications meet their performance requirements.

“That proposition is valid as long as the applications that are critical to the enterprises running their business get the resource they need from their network to carry on performing at the level that the enterprise needs it to perform,” Howes said.

Howes brings a strong expertise in networking technology and channel leadership, most recently working for Edgeware as its vice president of global alliances and channels. He was the general manager of global enterprise channels for Oracle from 2009-2017. Other previous employers include Acme Packet and Juniper Networks.

Infovista has existed since 1995 but moved into the SD-WAN market when it acquired WAN optimization provider Ipanema Technologies in 2015.

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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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