Aryaka Channel Chief: Olen Scott Talks SD-WAN’s ‘Enormous Tailwind’


It’s impossible to miss the enthusiasm in Olen Scott’s voice as he discusses SD-WAN.

The former channel chief for EarthLink and Windstream recently joined Aryaka Networks to lead the vendor’s channel program. Aryaka announced his appointment as senior vice president of worldwide channels two weeks ago.

The globally focused SD-WAN provider has tasked him with expanding and improving its existing partner program.

Aryaka's Olen Scott

Aryaka’s Olen Scott

“Olen will play a critical role in growing Aryaka’s global channel program, and we’re thrilled to have his extensive experience in the managed services and communications industries added to our robust leadership team,” chief revenue officer Karen Freitag said last month.

Scott rose to prominence in the partner community as EarthLink’s channel chief. He later oversaw the company’s channel integration with Windstream.

Scott spoke with Channel Partners about why he joined Aryaka and what he hopes to accomplish. We have edited the transcript for length and clarity.

Channel Partners: What attracted you to Aryaka?

Olen Scott: As you know, I come from the space and had a rather strong background in SD-WAN. In fact, when I ran EarthLink’s channel when SD-WAN was just getting hot, I was often on the same panels as Aryaka, and I loved their story. I loved their value proposition. There’s a middle-mile story. The fact that we own our own global network core is a huge differentiator. And I knew what a differentiator that was when I was sitting across from them as their competitor. So when I got a phone call a couple of months back that Aryaka was looking for a new global channel chief, it was hard throughout the process to contain my enthusiasm. I just loved the value proposition.

In this industry, in this space, there [are] a lot of companies selling what amounts to the same thing or different flavors of the same thing. It’s really exciting and really a privilege when you get to work with a company that you believe has something that is genuinely differentiated. In fact, just calling it SD-WAN actually underserves it, because it goes so far beyond that.

CP: What are some of the differences and similarities between Windstream’s and Aryaka’s platforms?

OS: SD-WAN in its pure sense is software-defined, real-time route selection at the customer edge. Software-defined optimal path selection. That’s SD-WAN. But most companies are deploying it just as software siting on a customer edge, and then it goes out to the internet. When it gets out to the internet — it’s the internet. It’s the Wild West. The internet, while it’s far better than it was five years ago or even two years ago, it’s still the internet with all the uncertainties and unknowns and security risks that entails.

Because we manage and own our own global private network core, the customer uses internet access just to get to …

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