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SD-WAN Roundup: FatPipe Says Channel Partners Set It Apart

Plus, we recap the top 10 moments in SD-WAN this year.

James Anderson

December 22, 2017

7 Min Read
SDN

The CEO of FatPipe Networks says channel partners have helped cement customer loyalty.

Welcome to this week’s edition of the SD-WAN Roundup — the last of the year. If you go to the second page, you’ll read about the top 10 SD-WAN moments of 2017. But to start, you’ll hear from FatPipe. The software-defined wide area networking provider spoke to us about its place in the SD-WAN market, its predictions for 2018 and the role its partners play.

The Salt Lake City, Utah-based vendor has existed since 1989 and says it has sold SD-WAN for 15 years. When asked about how his company differentiates itself, FatPipe CEO Ragula Bhaskar points to its go-to-market strategy. SD-WAN providers vary in the channels they use to sell their products. Some sell through service providers. Others, like SimpleWAN, sell through master agents.

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FatPipe’s Ragula Bhaskar

Bhaskar says FatPipe’s partners range from large companies like AT&T to small resellers. Those partners get internal support, joint marketing and leads from FatPipe.

“Most of our resellers have been selling FatPipe for over 15 years, and that loyalty says a lot about FatPipe. We also back up our resellers with strong support, all done internally. We do not outsource our support, unlike others,” Bhaskar told Channel Partners. “While other SD-WAN vendors sell directly to end users, FatPipe works with its channel partners to deliver solutions.”

FatPipe partnered with Avaya earlier this month in order to let Avaya customers and partners integrate FatPipe’s MPVPN SD-WAN product into Avaya’s collaboration platform. That came two months after FatPipe announced a new SD-WAN enterprise product to help with network function virtualization.

FatPipe answered several questions for Channel Partners about its industry.

Channel Partners: What is your perspective on recent M&A in SD-WAN?

Ragula Bhaskar: It is always interesting to see startups and VC-funded [venture capital] companies acquired. These are the “burgers” that get flipped and the team falls apart after that. This is not unusual as founders and entrepreneurs look to cash out of a business they start. Oftentimes the acquiring company does not have the same passion for innovation that the founders had, and so customers are left with mediocre products that are stuck in a technological time warp. At FatPipe, we are trying not to get too caught up in the M&A hype around SD-WAN. We are focusing on providing our customers with innovative solutions and world-class support.

CP: What is FatPipe’s outlook for the year ahead in SD-WAN?

RB: 2018 looks to build on the momentum of 2017. We are currently ramping deployments with several customers and partners that will make 2018 sales another large jump in sales from 2017. We are expanding our sales force to …

… work with more channel partners and providing the support they need.

CP: What advice do you have for channel partners that want to sell SD-WAN?

RB: Look for a strong technology partner; otherwise, you will not solve a customer’s problem. A good example is that FatPipe’s products can send data on parallel lines simultaneously (patent-protected), thus delivering the data is half the time. Others can do failover, which means that both lines are not fully utilized. That means that the customer wastes bandwidth and gets about 50 percent less speed. In some cases, like VoIP, the same VoIP and other traffic data packets are sent over two lines and the packet that reaches first is kept and the second packet is dropped. So, 50 percent of the packets are dropped. That is a tremendous waste of bandwidth, especially for hosted VoIP and other solutions where maximum utilization of bandwidth allows for over provisioning of bandwidth, while with the competitors’ solutions, you just cut the bandwidth capacity by half because of packet duplication.

Look for a product that can be deployed in greenfield (new) or brownfield (working alongside existing networks and do a migration) environments. FatPipe works alongside BGP, EIGRP, GRP and other legacy networking protocols. Many SD-WAN vendors are direct sales force-driven and not set up to properly support the channel. For others, SD-WAN lite companies are simply a niche offering and don’t necessarily have the back-end support the channel needs. It is best to partner with an established company that focuses on SD-WAN.

The Year in SD-WAN

We compiled a list of the 10 most important events that happened in SD-WAN this year. A couple of companies, namely VeloCloud and Aryaka, made it on the list multiple times, but you’ll see that a variety of businesses were movers-and-shakers in 2017.

We’ve listed the events in chronological order.

Jan. 19: VeloCloud Lands Windstream
Windstream joined the movement of service providers partnering with VeloCloud Networks. VeloCloud captured the attention of the industry by announcing multiple agreements with service providers, including AT&T, EarthLink and Sprint. The number has gone over 60.

Jan. 23: Aryaka Raises $45 Million
Aryaka capped off a Series D round of funding, with the goal of expanding its SD-WAN services globally. The company later told us that its partner program would grow as a result of the new cash.

March 2: VeloCloud Gets Funding
VeloCloud got some capital of its own, as investors put $35 million into the company. Cisco Investments was involved in the Series D round of funding.

March 9: Cradlepoint Joins the Investment Party
Cradlepoint said it gathered $89 million in funding. TCV, which led the investment, has contributed to companies like …

… Netflix and Splunk. Cradlepoint told us that its channel partner program would grow as a result.

April 19: Riverbed Buys Xirrus
Riverbed Technology announced plans to buy Xirrus, a cloud-managed Wi-Fi provider. Riverbed said the acquisition would help its SD-WAN strategy. A large customer list and scale for deploying into large organizations are two of the main advantages.

May 1: Cisco-Viptela
Cisco put a spark into the SD-WAN industry with the purchase of Viptela. The buy aligned it with a company complementary to Cisco’s SD-WAN approach, which uses routers. Read what its rivals had to say about the acquisition. Also, check out our previous SD-WAN roundup, which features Cisco.

Aug. 17: IPO Speculation
Murmurs of SD-WAN companies going public got more and more prevalent throughout 2017. Futuriom released a study that predicted at least two vendors to file for IPOs in 2018. Aryaka, Cradlepoint, and FatPipe were most likely, according to Futuriom.

Nov. 2: VMware Buying VeloCloud
In perhaps the largest SD-WAN announcement of 2017, VMware said it would buy VeloCloud and integrate it into its NSX network virtualization and security platform. The acquisition recently closed. Competitors in SD-WAN have shared a variety of opinions on what the acquisition means for them.

Nov. 20: Talari All-In on Channel
Talari Networks, which has been in the SD-WAN market since its inception in 2007, hired Patrick Sweeney as its CEO. Sweeney’s goal is to transform Talari’s go-to-market strategy to 100 percent partner-driven. Read Sweeney’s interview with us about the future of Talari.

Dec. 6: Aryaka Stokes IPO Ambitions

Aryaka hired Mike Hoffman to serve as chief revenue officer and vice president of global sales. Hoffman’s appointment is particularly significant because he helped Gigamon become a public company in 2013. Aryaka said it was looking forward to its “next stage of expansion.” Aryaka was the main subject of our Nov. 22 SD-WAN Roundup.

Quick Hits

  • Cato Networks teamed up with Avant Communications last week. It’s Cato’s third master agent partnership, and one that it says finally gives it a national reach. Read the full story.

  • VeloCloud is now officially part of VMware. The acquisition closed Dec. 12. Read the news of the closing.

  • Masergy updated its managed SD-WAN offering. Learn more about what those enhancements entail.

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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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