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SD-WAN market: Silver Peak reports a milestone

SD-WAN and hybrid WAN vendor Silver Peak said it has made strides in its initiative to capture the young SD-WAN market; more IT channel news from the week.

Back in September, Bob Bruce, senior vice president of worldwide channels at Silver Peak Inc., said he believed the SD-WAN market held massive potential for partners.

Nine months after launching a channel initiative that targeted the SD-WAN market, Silver Peak has reported the addition of 100 enterprise customers for Unity EdgeConnect, its software-defined WAN portfolio. According to Derek Dal Ponte, director of partner marketing at Silver Peak, based in Santa Clara, Calif., channel partners have played an important role in those customers wins.

"We are working hand in hand with partners to enable them ... to take [our] solution to market. A very large percentage of our business is transacted through partners. That is the go-to-market strategy that will continue," Dal Ponte said.

Derek Dal Ponte, director of partner marketing at Silver PeakDerek Dal Ponte

He noted that Silver Peak partners have sold SD-WAN technology across diverse verticals, including architecture, automotive, energy, financial, legal and retail, "because the offering is so applicable to so many different components of the industry."

"There are a lot of deals that are happening now of various sizes," added John Vincenzo, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Silver Peak. "[Partners] are ... offering [our SD-WAN] and reselling it or, in some cases, they're reselling it and then becoming a managed service [provider] to those customers."

During its channel efforts, Silver Peak has engaged with some untraditional partner types looking to expand their business models. Vincenzo cited an engineer staffing company as an example. When the staffing company found SD-WAN popping up among the projects its customers were looking to hire engineers for, it decided to resell Silver Peak SD-WAN on top of its staffing model to provide more value to its customers.

Going forward, Dal Ponte said Silver Peak will remain "keenly focused on being a channel-first company and making sure that the go-to-market strategy continues to be through partners." The company will continue to invest in sales, technical, and marketing staff and tools for partners.

John Vincenzo, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Silver PeakJohn Vincenzo

"I think now that the year of 'What is SD-WAN?' is largely behind us ... customers and partners are going to be looking at, 'Where is there differentiation?'" Vincenzo said. He admitted, however, that Silver Peak has only scratched the surface of the SD-WAN market, so educating customers on SD-WAN will continue to be important.

ZeroStack unveils channel program

ZeroStack, which offers a platform for building private clouds based on OpenStack, has launched a partner program and is pursuing channel relationships with regional partners.

The company's product, ZeroStack Cloud Platform, has been generally available since March. The offering consists of hyper-converged building blocks that incorporate compute, storage, networking and management software. The building blocks can be deployed at the customer's site or in a colocation facility. The product also includes a software-as-a-service-based portal that manages the hyper-converged infrastructure. 

Sean Cardenas, vice president of sales and operations at ZeroStack, based in Mountain View, Calif., said the company decided to pursue a channel-first strategy from the beginning.

"In my experience ... the best way to introduce new technology to end users in the enterprise space is through partners," he said. Cardenas' last two sales positions were at scale-out storage vendor Coho Data and hyper-convergence vendor Nutanix -- companies that both target channel partners.

"Partners are in front of their respective customers on a daily basis," he said. "Partners have trusted-adviser status with the end users."

Cardenas said ZeroStack has signed a half-dozen resale partners and is in discussions with other value-added resellers. He said the company will focus its recruitment on regional strategic partners, but may also work with national partners. ZeroStack's partner program offers training at no cost to the partner.

"We want to invest in the right partners," he said. "We are ... not looking for resellers that just add us to the line card."

News from the Lenovo Accelerate conference

Lenovo channel exec shares the vendor's five strategic goals of 2016

Lenovo increases back-end incentives on services

IT channel news roundup for the week of May 9

Here's a look at the highlights from the week:

  • Masergy Communications Inc. added service management capabilities to its UCaaS Analyst performance monitoring portal. The new features include real-time call management and user-customizable dashboards, with the ability to support tickets. Masergy provides hybrid networking, managed security and cloud communications offerings.
  • Salesforce brought all its Marketing Cloud partners into the Salesforce Consulting Partner Program. Marketing Cloud partners will have access to Salesforce Consulting Partner benefits, such as Sales Cloud licenses, technical support case packs and go-to-market support, according to their tier level. The automatic inclusion of Marketing Cloud partners in the Consulting Partner Program will go in effect on June 30, with a one-year period to fully transition into the program.
  • Software-defined storage vendor ioFabric Inc. signed an agreement with distributor Synnex Corp. to offer ioFabric Vicinity storage management software to its partners. Partners can sell Vicinity as either a licensed software and support product or white-labeled with additional hardware and software.
  • Cloud workspace services provider Itopia released Cloud Readiness Assessment, a free resource for IT services professionals and managed service providers (MSPs). The Cloud Readiness Assessment software generates brandable reports on infrastructure discovery effort, suggested fixes and remediation progress. The software is available as standalone software or as part of Itopia's Cielo Suite 2.0.
  • Object storage software vendor Caringo added hierarchical data protection policies, historical metrics and usage metering to the Caringo Swarm platform. MSPs can use the new metering to view usage data with flexible queries available for better billing, show-back and capacity planning, the company said.

The Market Share is a weekly news roundup published on SearchITChannel every Friday.

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