**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of August’s important channel-program changes you should know.**
Silver Peak is creating a partner program for the market its channel chief said is about to catch fire.
The Santa Clara, California-based wide-area network (WAN) provider announced the new program Thursday, in an effort to educate partners about software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN).
“That opportunity is something that we wanted to get a hold of, and we wanted to enhance the existing Silver Peak channel program to address this burgeoning market,” Bob Bruce, senior vice president of Silver Peak’s worldwide channel sales, told Channel Partners.
Silver Peak has long been known for its WAN and data replication products, but Bruce said one of the reasons he joined Silver Peak last year was the emerging SD-WAN market. Bruce said SD-WAN could mimic the revolution VoIP brought to networking in the 2000s.
“While WAN optimization is tried and true, this burgeoning, exploding SD-WAN marketplace arguably is 10 times as big,” Bruce said.
He points to external drivers for the rise of the market: the prominence of software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products like Salesforce.com, complexities in the 15-year-old MPLS mechanism, and, finally, mobility.
“The whole landscape of employee location and employee deployment has changed radically in the last five years because of mobility – because of smartphones, because of laptops, because of tablets,” Bruce said. “And as of result of that mobile client base, it is also changing the structure of the wide-area network, in making broadband an alternative for connectivity.”
For those reasons, Bruce is calling SD-WAN a solution to a real problem in the marketplace.
“Given all those drivers, it’s not a matter of if this market change is going to happen,” he said. “It’s only a matter of when it’s going to happen.”
He said Silver Peak’s offering will address the concerns about latency performance that may be held about broadband.
“End users are always looking for ways to cut WAN costs while staying connected. SD-WAN offers integration with low-cost connectivity without compromising bandwidth,” said Tobi Sicklesteel, AmeriNet’s director of sales. “IT managers are interested and we expect this to be a new area of growth for our company.”
The new Global Partner Program includes partnership levels, sales and technical certifications, a Basecamp partner portal and a mobile application for iOS or Android. Bruce said he will be asking partners to spend time getting adjusted to the product.
“My downstream vision for this is that my partners will be fully positioned to understand the product, understand the market and drive this completely on their own,” Bruce said.