SD-WAN Roundup: Aryaka Hires Another Sprint Alum, Expands Security Partnerships

The updated C-suite better resembles Matt Carter's vision for the company.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

January 16, 2019

4 Min Read

SD-WAN vendor Aryaka Networks hired three new executives to help CEO Matt Carter pursue “aggressive goals.”


Aryaka’s Matt Carter

Aryaka announced Karen Freitag as its new chief revenue officer, Michelle Owczarzak as its chief transformation officer and Shashi Kiran as its chief marketing officer. The vendor appointed them in order to more closely align under the vision of Carter, who joined as CEO last fall. Carter aims to make Aryaka more visible in a market where it already has a strong customer base.

“We are excited to have experienced industry veterans join our robust executive leadership team and continue to help build upon the immense success and growth that Aryaka has seen in recent years,” Carter said. “As our customers expand globally, embrace SD-WAN, or move to the cloud, we’re becoming the de facto choice for their needs to make this happen better, faster, cheaper than anyone else in the industry. Today’s appointments are in line with us building a world-class team. Each of these leaders brings tremendous domain knowledge and proven expertise to scale Aryaka’s growth to the next level.”

Freitag, who now oversees Aryaka’s global sales organization, worked with Carter at Sprint. Together they helped push the carrier deeper into IoT. She replaces Mike Hoffman, whom Aryaka hired late in 2017. Hoffman has since moved on to YatoScale.


Aryaka’s Michelle Owczarzak

Owczarzak previously was Carter’s colleague at Inteliquent.

Kiran, who has done stints at Cisco and Google, replaces former CMO Gary Sevounts, who now works for fraud prevention provider Kount. Kiran credited Aryaka for its steady growth in a recent LinkedIn post.

“Matt … is looking to establish a hyper growth path, and that presented a nice combination of opportunities and challenges for me to get involved in,” he said.

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in December.

An Aryaka marketing executive told us last month that the company would expand its leadership team in 2019, and launch a new branding initiative near the end of the first quarter. Aryaka aims to clarify how it is different from its competitors.

We’ve often described Aryaka as an MPLS killer, but that understates the customer needs Aryaka addresses. One of its more unique assets is its global private network, which allows businesses to connect remote locations to one another across continents.


Aryaka’s Shashi Kiran

Aryaka has found a niche with high technology manufacturing firms that are headquartered in China and have locations in the U.S., and vice versa. These companies need to securely transfer large files of data across the Pacific, and MPLS and the Internet often aren’t suited for the task – both in terms of economics and performance.

One SD-WAN expert called Aryaka, along with Cato Networks, a leading provider of the “China-Asia solution.” Last year one of China’s three “last-mile” connectivity providers agreed to resell Aryaka’s offering as a managed service, at the same time the country’s government was cracking down on VPNs.

A third 2019 goal is to deepen its …

security story. Aryaka prioritized security in 2018, expanding its group of Passport security-vendor partners to include Palo Alto, Zscaler, Radware and most recently, Symantec.

While smaller businesses may prefer security that’s integrated into the SD-WAN platform, many midmarket and enterprise companies are demanding Aryaka’s “best-in-breed” strategy.  Those customers have the resources in place to handle a multi-vendor strategy.

Customers and partners are asking for more of this approach in 2019, and Aryaka aims to establish additional layers of integration and new partnerships with security vendors in the upcoming year.

Quick Hits

  • Infovista, another SD-WAN provider with its own unique niche, announced a new CEO last week. The Virginia-based company is also targeting “accelerated growth.” Learn more about Jose Duarté, the new chief executive.

  • Ecessa, which calls its platform “on-premise,” announced a 2019 road map comprised of firmware upgrades. We wrote about the changes in December, but Ecessa’s approach to security contrasts interestingly with Aryaka’s.

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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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