Talari's New CEO Sees Channel Expansion


By: R. Scott Raynovich

At a time when mergers and acquisitions are changing the competitive software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) landscape. Talari Networks announced this week it has named Patrick Sweeney, formerly of SonicWALL, to be the company’s new CEO. Current company CEO Mark Masur will remain on as chairman.

Sweeney says that while competition has never been fiercer across the SD-WAN category, Talari Networks is only one of five companies that own SD-WAN intellectual property. Most companies in the category are simply repackaging wide area network optimization technologies as an SD-WAN, says Sweeney.

IHS Markit reports that the SD-WAN market opportunity is projected to reach $3.3 billion in 2021. Futuriom has its own report out predicting $1 billion in revenue by 2019. To tap into the opportunity, Sweeney says the first order of business under his leadership will be to focus the Talari sales efforts on the channel. Talari will continue to maintain its own sales force, but all deals will be routed through channel partners, says Sweeney.

“We will be a 100-percent channel company,” says Sweeney.

Much of that channel effort will leverage the channel expertise Sweeney developed during a career that spanned 16 years at SonicWALL, including both when SonicWALL was acquired by Dell and then spun out again as a private, independent company.

Sweeney claims Talari’s SD-WAN platform has been deployed over 9,000 times across 400 different customer engagements. Much of that demand is driven organizations that want an approach to SD-WANs that enables them to deploy a common overlay across both public Internet and MPLS connections, says Sweeney.

It remains to be seen if a renewed focus on the channel will enable Talari Networks to compete more effectively against much larger rivals such as Cisco (CSCO), VMware (VMW), Riverbed, Silver Peak and service providers such as Aryaka Networks and AT&T. Talari has already developed a channel program and has relationships with distributors such as Tech Data. But the one thing that is for certain is over reliance of a direct sales model has been shown time and again to limit the growth potential of most companies.

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