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New Talari CEO Q&A: Circuit Flexibility Key to SD-WAN Success

Q&A

Talari Networks‘ new CEO believes the indirect sales channel is the key to growing in the midst of an ever-consolidating software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) market.

The San Jose, California-based company announced yesterday that Patrick Sweeney left his previous position at SonicWall to take the lead at Talari. The company has been developing SD-WAN offerings since its founding in 2007, and Sweeney tells Channel Partners that Talari is one of four vendors that are large enough to compete with an organic growth strategy in the SD-WAN market. Sweeney said in Tuesday’s announcement that he aims to pivot Talari’s sales team to a 100 percent channel focus in order to achieve the growth.

Talari's Patrick Sweeney

Talari’s Patrick Sweeney

Sweeney spoke to Channel Partners about his decision to join Talari, his predictions for the SD-WAN market and his experience with SonicWall.

We have edited the transcript for length and clarity.

Channel Partners: Why did you choose this company?

Patrick Sweeney: My background is such that I came out of the security space and was able to participate in a high growth segment — security — from about 2003 onward. What I like about the SD-WAN space is, it seems to me that it is the next similar big market where IT will get a net benefit by investing in SD-WAN, and you wind up being able to bring the promise of the internet to reality without having to compromise on communications quality. The market’s very real; it’s growing very quickly. It becomes a productivity investment rather than just being a cost investment. The other thing that’s happening in the market today is that the channel [is] stepping in and being a bigger part of the revenues and the services associated with SD-WAN. The channel today winds up playing a huge role in security in the exact same way I see that the channel — MSPs, MNSPs, traditional VARs, all those that provide the services and the knowledge — in order for the market to scale, you’ll see that those players are going to play a pretty pivotal role and a big part in this marketplace.

And my background coming out of SonicWall was to be very into the markets that are very complex but just ripe for the channel. And SonicWall was a 100 percent channel-based company; that’s how we grew, and that’s how we were successful. I think Talari is in the middle of pivoting to the channel and, for me, our go-to-market motion is going to be all about getting that to be 100 percent channel-driven all the time.

CP: What does that channel investment look like, from a Talari perspective?

PS: The biggest investment is really the sales people changing their go-to-market motion and their training to be channel-focused. We actually made a big, big infrastructural…

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