Software-defined wide area networking provider VeloCloud‘s decision to become more selective with partners is a sign of its growth.
So says Mike Wood, the software-defined, wide-area networking company’s vice president of marketing, who spoke to Channel Partners about his company’s channel program, its technology and the state of the SD-WAN industry.
The company wrapped up a $35 million funding round in March and said some of the money would go to building support and training for partners. Wood tells Channel Partners that VeloCloud has also enhanced its partner portal.
Wood says VeloCloud works with four main types of partners: VARs, system integrators, managed service providers and traditional telecommunications service providers.
He says the company made the decision to become more judicious with partners it works with about a year ago. The company had been eagerly accepting partners from the onset of its partner program in 2014, but its growth has led to more discretion.
“Our reputation was in jeopardy of being damaged by a couple of opportunities that were sold but were not being deployed [correctly],” he said.
Wood says VeloCloud and the rest of the SD-WAN industry are realizing the importance of architecture. He says the technology doesn’t work as a mere feature that complements a networking box.
“Genuine SD-WAN mandates an architecture built from the ground that will scale and adapt your enterprise network over the next 10-20 years. Genuine SD-WAN is outcome-driven (application performance, user experience, proactive, dynamic, etc.) and cloud-delivered at the orchestration, control and data planes (not just cloud-based),” he said. ” It must operate over any available transport, be zero-touch, 100 percent GUI-based, be subscription-based and enable services insertion in the branch, data center, and cloud.”
Wood says service providers are moving toward “pure-play SD-WAN” offerings. He says Cisco’s plan to acquire Viptela was a public recognition that Cisco needed to do more than just SD-WAN capabilities into its router-based architecture.
“The Viptela acquisition sends a message that SD-WAN is not a feature or set of features which can be added to or bolted onto traditional networking boxes,” he said.
Wood says this “pure play” understanding could lead to more mergers involving SD-WAN companies. Versa Networks, for example, is a smaller company he says could be a prime target.
“I can see traditional networking vendors getting a headstart in SD-WAN through the acquisition of smaller SD-WAN vendors once they realized SD-WAN cannot be added to existing boxes,” he said.
Wood spoke to Channel Partners following the VeloCloud Achieve partner event in Mountain View, California, which more than 200 partners attended for sales and technical training. The company called it the largest gathering in the SD-WAN industry.
“VeloCloud Achieve 2017 provides an opportunity for partners from all over the world to engage on a personal level with fellow SD-WAN professionals,” VeloCloud CEO and Co-founder Sanjay Uppal said. “Our growing global network of channel partners is critical to the success of VeloCloud, and we are pleased to bring such a strongly represented group to this event here in the Bay Area.”
Wood spoke to Channel Partners a month ago about his company’s new security ecosystem and the Cisco-Viptela acquisition.