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Riverbed, Partners Poised to Dominate, Disrupt

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Edward Gately

**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of March’s important channel-program changes you should know.**

RIVERBED PARTNER SUMMIT — Riverbed Technology is doubling down on partner investment with updates to its Partner Performance Program aimed at domination and disruption.

Riverbed announced the updates during its Partner Summit 2016 this week in Scottsdale, Arizona. About 180 partner executives from 105 partner organizations in 28 countries are attending the Summit.

Jerry Kennelly, Riverbed’s founder and CEO, told attendees the company reported $1 billion in revenue in 2015, with 80 percent contributed by partners, and the fourth quarter was the best ever, with $280 million in revenue.

“We are a 100 percent channel company and also customer focused, and a sales company,” he said. “You guys are our customers, 84 percent of worldwide sales are purchased by the people in this room.”

The total addressable market for Riverbed’s expanding portfolio will double over the next four years, reaching $22 billion by 2019, Kennelly said. The company has been expanding beyond WAN-optimization to encompass application-defined networking (SD-WAN) and software-defined edge.

Riverbed became a private company a year ago, and one of the benefits of going private was being able to restructure without Wall Street “breathing down your neck,” Kennelly said. The restructuring allowed Riverbed to eliminate a lot of distraction and overhead, and to provide “a clearer story” for partners, he said.{ad}

Riverbed is investing in incentives aimed at helping partners expand across three key areas: building an embedded offering and services program, driving joint engagement, and accelerating repeatable revenue in the smaller enterprise and midmarkets. That includes rebates for partners to embed Riverbed products into their own services.

In addition, the vendor will add two new tracks to its partner program – for managed services and system integration and outsourcer – and make investments and refinements to its value-added distributor program. It also launched an authorized consulting partner track to enable key partners to better support customers by delivering Riverbed franchise professional services.

And finally, Riverbed has launched pilot programs for managed services sold via the channel with subscription licensing and pricing, and will begin offering an as-a-service subscription model for its products by the end of the year.

“This is our time to disrupt and dominate,” Kennelly said.

Technology distributor Avnet has been a Riverbed partner for six years, and “it is one of the most collaborative and truly a partnership,” said Cheryl Neal, Avnet’s vice president of data, networking and security solutions.

“Seeing where Riverbed is going and seeing where they’re already at has just expanded our opportunity,” she said. “We see Riverbed fitting in with so many of the solutions we sell. There’s opportunity where we can fit Riverbed into multiple conversations and help our partners and enable them to take it a lot further than we did before when it was more of a WAN-optimization company.”

Subbu Iyer, Riverbed’s chief marketing officer, told partners that by 2020, 75 percent of businesses will be digital or have digital transformation under way. However, only 30 percent will be successful.

“Thirty-three percent of top companies in every industry will be disrupted by 2019,” he said. “That disruption means significant erosion in profit, revenue and market share. They need help.”

Successful digital transformation means more revenue generated, higher market valuation and increased profitability, Iyer said.

Edward GatelyRIVERBED PARTNER SUMMIT — Riverbed Technology is doubling down on partner investment with updates to its Partner Performance Program aimed at domination and disruption.

Riverbed announced the updates during its Partner Summit 2016 this week in Scottsdale, Arizona. About 180 partner executives from 105 partner organizations in 28 countries are attending the Summit.

Jerry Kennelly, Riverbed’s founder and CEO, told attendees the company reported $1 billion in revenue in 2015, with 80 percent contributed by partners, and the fourth quarter was the best ever, with $280 million in revenue.

“We are a 100 percent channel company and also customer focused, and a sales company,” he said. “You guys are our customers, 84 percent of worldwide sales are purchased by the people in this room.”

The total addressable market for Riverbed’s expanding portfolio will double over the next four years, reaching $22 billion by 2019, Kennelly said. The company has been expanding beyond WAN-optimization to encompass application-defined networking (SD-WAN) and software-defined edge.

Riverbed became a private company a year ago, and one of the benefits of going private was being able to restructure without Wall Street “breathing down your neck,” Kennelly said. The restructuring allowed Riverbed to eliminate a lot of distraction and overhead, and to provide “a clearer story” for partners, he said.{ad}

Riverbed is investing in incentives aimed at helping partners expand across three key areas: building an embedded offering and services program, driving joint engagement, and accelerating repeatable revenue in the smaller enterprise and midmarkets. That includes rebates for partners to embed Riverbed products into their own services.

In addition, the vendor will add two new tracks to its partner program – for managed services and system integration and outsourcer – and make investments and refinements to its value-added distributor program. It also launched an authorized consulting partner track to enable key partners to better support customers by delivering Riverbed franchise professional services.

And finally, Riverbed has launched pilot programs for managed services sold via the channel with subscription licensing and pricing, and will begin offering an as-a-service subscription model for its products by the end of the year.

“This is our time to disrupt and dominate,” Kennelly said.

Technology distributor Avnet has been a Riverbed partner for six years, and “it is one of the most collaborative and truly a partnership,” said Cheryl Neal, Avnet’s vice president of data, networking and security solutions.

“Seeing where Riverbed is going and seeing where they’re already at has just expanded our opportunity,” she said. “We see Riverbed fitting in with so many of the solutions we sell. There’s opportunity where we can fit Riverbed into multiple conversations and help our partners and enable them to take it a lot further than we did before when it was more of a WAN-optimization company.”

Subbu Iyer, Riverbed’s chief marketing officer, told partners that by 2020, 75 percent of businesses will be digital or have digital transformation under way. However, only 30 percent will be successful.

“Thirty-three percent of top companies in every industry will be disrupted by 2019,” he said. “That disruption means significant erosion in profit, revenue and market share. They need help.”

Successful digital transformation means more revenue generated, higher market valuation and increased profitability, Iyer said.


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