SonicWall Vet Tapped as New Talari CEO, Going ‘100-Percent Channel’

Talari Networks has hired a new CEO to lead the company’s new business model.

The software-defined area networking (SD-WAN) provider says it is shifting to a “100-percent channel” strategy as it announces the appointment of Patrick Sweeney to CEO. He says he is joining Talari because of the growing significance of SD-WAN and Talari’s legacy as a “founder” in the market. The San Jose, California-based Talari was founded in 2007.

Talari's Patrick Sweeney

Talari’s Patrick Sweeney

“We have a huge base of loyal customers with thousands of deployments around the world. Our customers have given us an industry-leading net promoter score, validating that our solutions and support are enterprise-class,” Sweeney said. “Now the market has kicked into hyper-growth gear, timing is everything and we intend to take full advantage of this moment! We will accelerate our success by increasing our sales capacity, implementing a 100 percent channel model, and continuing to lead with SD-WAN technical innovations in cloud, mobility and the distributed workforce.”

Sweeney says the shift to the channels requires a fundamental change in the training and go-to-market strategy of the company’s sales team. He tells Channel Partners that the company briefed its sales organization two weeks ago that it would be making the pivot.

“We gave them the directive that we would be 100-percent channel focused,” Sweeney said. Their compensation, their activities, should be primarily focused around assisting the channel… training the channel and helping them be successful.”

Sweeney worked at SonicWALL for 16 years before coming to Talari a month ago. He was a vice president of marketing and product managing. He takes over for Mark Masur, who will serve as a member of Talari’s board of directors. Masur credited Sweeney for his role in at SonicWall, Dell (which purchased SonicWall in 2012) and the recently spun-off SonicWall.

“What attracted us to Patrick was his wide-reaching experience that spans across all aspects of high tech company operations,” Masur said. “His strong track record demonstrates he possesses the leadership capabilities to execute within fast-moving market transitions. As the company grows, and expands its partnerships and solution offerings, Patrick will bring an invigorated sense of purpose that will support and enhance our original vision.”

As an earlier adopter of SD-WAN, Talari has one of the larger customer bases relative to its competitors. Analyst Matthew Toth argued earlier this month that Talari is one of the SD-WAN companies with the most resources available to grow organically. Sweeney tells Channel Partners that his company has a great deal more flexibility with regard to M&A, whereas many of its rivals need to be purchased in order to scale.

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