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SD-WAN Roundup: MetTel, Aryaka Celebrate Anniversaries; Riverbed Gets New CEO

Aryaka says customer conversations center around cloud connectivity and securing that connectivity.

James Anderson

October 29, 2019

6 Min Read
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Investing in SD-WAN has paid major dividends over the years for partners and vendors alike.

Take for example Aryaka Networks, which recently turned 10 years old.

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Aryaka’s Matt Carter

CEO Matt Carter said SD-WAN has changed drastically ways since the San Mateo, California-based vendor launched in 2009. He said more customer conversations center around cloud connectivity and securing that cloud connectivity. And SD-WAN itself has become much more popular.

“When the company started, it was an interesting sort of technology going up against the incumbent network [MPLS],” Carter told Channel Partners. “Now today SD-WAN has sort of moved into the mainstream conversation around network architecture on a global basis.”

Carter previously worked for Sprint. The carrier had been selling MPLS largely through a direct sales force, but it became clear around five years ago that the niche SD-WAN technology was drawing eyeballs — especially partner eyeballs.

“They were not going to kill the golden goose at the time — the business that was paying them a lot of money [MPLS]. But at the same time, they had had another offering that gave them something to go talk to their customers with,” Carter said.

Carter said partners also are interested in selling a managed service rather than a boxed solution. He said customers are interested in outsourcing the network to a company that provides an end-to-end solution.

“There’s this managed service piece, which requires a little bit more time to sell, but it’s that side of the market that’s actually growing. And that’s why we’re seeing a lot channel partners really beginning to embrace the managed service differentiation,” Carter said.

Aryaka has transformed itself in multiple ways this year, including a large C-suite refresh. The company has also made in-roads with the public cloud, joining the Microsoft Azure MSP Program and integrating with Oracle Cloud.

MetTel

MetTel celebrated the fifth anniversary of signing on as VeloCloud’s first carrier partner. Ed Fox, MetTel’s chief technology officer, said his company chose between Viptela (now owned by Cisco) and Glue Networks (now Gluware).

MetTel still reaps the benefits of partnering with a vendor that has time and time again scored at the top of SD-WAN leaderboards. And the decision to invest in the technology itself has proven indispensable.

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MetTel’s Ed Fox

“Today there’s not a meeting we go into where someone’s not mentioning SD-WAN,” he told Channel Partners.

Fox said SD-WAN leads to a massive increase in revenue per customer. One client, for example, eventually bought 14 products from MetTel after accepting the carrier’s SD-WAN RFP. An agent brought in the 3,000-site customer. Fox said SD-WAN opens the door to sell more services.

“We will provide the broadband. We will provide the MPLS. We’ll provide the 4G backup because we’re an MVNO for AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, and we’re already interconnected with their network. We’ll provide the cloud firewall. We’ll layer over our voice services so they don’t necessarily need to have two networks anymore,” he said.

Fox said MetTel’s SD-WAN conversations are going …

… deeper into the local area network (LAN), with customers asking for more involvement with Ethernet ports and Wi-Fi access points. MetTel also is working on a project with VMware and Dell to to help migrate customer applications — whether from public cloud, a hybrid data center or somewhere else.

“I hear clients just saying, ‘Hey, I don’t really care what’s in the middle anymore. You can call it SD-WAN, you can call it MPLS, you can call it frame relay, you can call it VPN. I don’t even care. I just want my end users to get to their applications wherever they sit, and I want you to report on it and give me some type of SLA,'” Fox said.

Katalyst

We wrote last month about the Cisco MSP Katalyst, which used SD-WAN as a key tool to accrue a recurring revenue base.

Cisco interviewed Katalyst chief technology officer Jesse White about SD-WAN deployment and security. White said his company’s white-labeled SD-WAN managed service has become popular among customers that are demanding simplicity and don’t want to worry about in-house deployment.

“The commoditization the industry has experienced in the last half-decade has allowed our clients to strategically shift dollars from large private connectivity costs, into connectivity that is both smarter and closer to the final destination,” White said. “This ultimately provides our own clients with a superior user and application experience.”

Read the article, as well as another Cisco blog about zero-touch provisioning.

Quick Hits

  • Expereo launched a new platform that gives clients insights into “global internet underlay, SD-WAN overlay and cloud application performance.” The company announced the platform at the WAN Summit and will add features in 2020. Check out the video Expereo made to unveil the platform.

    • Masergy has announced a sweeping rebrand as it nears its 20th anniversary. “Transform with Certainty” is the company’s new slogan. Read Masergy’s announcement.

  • Riverbed Technology named Rich McBee as its new president and CEO. He replaced interim David Murphy, who had replaced Paul Mountford. Riverbed also announced the new generation of its SteelConnect SD-WAN platform. This one is is meant to help enterprise customers with large, complex and potentially legacy-based networks. Get details on the platform update.

  • Bigleaf Networks hired Eric Brooker as senior director of national partner programs. He’ll oversee master agents in his new role as Bigleaf pours more investment into its agent and MSP channels. Read our story about Brooker and Bigleaf.

  • Teridion updated its enterprise solution to allow channel partners to sell in China again. The company has built a cloud-based network that’s compliant with China’s three government authorized internet service providers. Read more about Teridion.

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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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