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


… our nearest aggregation point. We’ve got 30-plus of these aggregation points globally, and at that point we transit our private global core to the nearest egress to where they’re going. Oftentimes they never lose that private core, because in most cases they’re going to some cloud-based application that sits on an Azure platform or AWS platform, and we’re interconnected with all those platforms. So in those cases they never leave the private core.

That’s a lot of words, but that global private backbone is an enormous differentiator, because basically it’s combining all the benefits and performance optimization of SD-WAN with a private network.

We’re integrated with the best-of-breed security partners. We’re integrated with Zscaler. We’re integrated with Palo Alto. Your network connectivity [is] just part of a security solution. Enterprises are going to have security considerations that go beyond their network service provider with their connectivity. And then we also include in our solution the WAN optimization, which is not included in all or even the majority of SD-WAN solutions that are out there.

We manage the whole thing. We manage it stern to stern. That’s great if you’re one of the majority of the marketplace customers that’s simply looking for this great experience. They’re looking to hand this off. Increasingly I think the market recognizes that customers are looking for a managed solution. The other side of the coin is, we’re reluctant to break our solution apart. We will only sell the business outcome and the experience because we believe that’s the reason why our NET promoter scores are so high. So I won’t break it apart and let a partner sell my customer [just] the SD-WAN software … just the WAN optimization, or “give it to me but don’t manage it.” We won’t break it apart and sell the piece parts, which a lot of our competitors will. We’re selling the business outcome, and because of that we’ve got a list of customers as long as my arm that will tell you how delighted they are.

CP: Matt Carter is really assembling a team right now. What kind of vision did you catch from him?

OS: I interviewed with Matt for the job, and I loved his vision. It’s straightforward. It’s, “We’ve got this.” We have an enormous tailwind in this space, but there have been so many entrants marketing some flavor of something they’re calling SD-WAN. And that’s a little frustrating sometimes as a solution provider. Because there are no standards. There are a lot of things you can market and call SD-WAN. And there are so many entrants into the marketplace that there’s a lot of noise.

Matt and all of us realized that we have to do an even better job of recapitalizing our different platform stages to get the word out. It’s really important to get the message out and articulate these differentiators. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last couple years, it’s that all SD-WAN providers are not created even remotely equal. Right now it’s just …

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