Building cost effective, software defined, WANs
Middle East IT organisations are still using WAN solutions and the migration to software defined WANs or SD-WANs has been slow. With the increasing costs of dedicated MPLS connections and the ongoing reduction of corporate IT budgets, there is now interest in SD-WAN connectivity solutions. Critical market verticals that need robust and wide spread networking, including banks, and oil and gas, as well as consumer segments like retail, are taking interest in SD-WAN connectivity solutions.
Says Bhaskar Peruri, Regional Sales Manager Middle East, Silver Peak Systems, “Our product is one for all. The software remains the same, but the pricing model changes and there are some features that change.”
In the current depressed regional markets, where IT budgets are being reduced or under pressure to do more for same or less, the first internal cost head to be relooked at is the recurring cost of networking, points out Peruri. This brings into play the merits of the total cost of ownership of SD-WAN connectivity solutions. The networking cost to benefit ratio also comes into play as enterprises add more staff, and more locations onto the network, through business expansion. This increases the requirement of bandwidth and associated cost and brings SD-WAN connectivity solutions into the forefront.
In other instances, enterprises are bringing in additional devices onto the network like surveillance cameras, security access points, biometrics, and need better management of their network bandwidth, without increasing the cost head of networking.
Silver Peak’s SD-WAN solutions sits inside the customer’s network, whether it is a datacentre or branch office. “The medium does not really matter but what we do is really what matters. So, whatever goes out or whatever comes inside the branch office we optimise it,” says Peruri.
In comparison to other WAN management vendor solutions, Silver Peak solutions sit in the network. “We are looking at the overall picture, irrespective of the applications and the bandwidth. We can optimise video, voice, data, they can only do application,” he mentions.
Silver Peak operates across the Middle East with vendor partners Dell EMC and Hitachi. Channel reseller partners include K Logix, Alpha Data, GBM, Emircom, Oregon Systems, Infotech, amongst others. FVC is the value added regional distributor for Middle East and Africa. For Qatar, Qatar Datamation Systems is the in-country distributor and for UAE it is Gulf IT. Other key channel partners included Oregon Systems in Bahrain, Sultan and MHD Infotech in Oman, Gerab System Solutions in UAE.
“There are three types of partner levels in the Silver Peak partner programme including Summit, Ascent and Registered”
“Silver Peak’s SD-WAN solutions sits inside the customer’s network whether it is a datacentre or branch office”
What is Peruri’s wish list for on-boarding reseller channel partners? Tier-two channel partners need to have good skills in networking, storage and security, all key fundamentals built into Silver Peak’s SD-WAN connectivity solutions. “We play a big role in data replication, datacentre to datacentre and datacentre to disaster recovery.” Channel partners of Dell EMC and Hitachi, work well with Silver Peak solutions.
Even for tier-one distribution partners, Peruri expects them to be technically capable and have first-hand technical expertise. He points out that a few years ago, Silver Peak distribution partners used to arrange less than six proof of concept demonstrations and walk-throughs. Today they are setting up above 20 proof of concepts, an indication of the increasing demand from end users, being consolidated through tier-two channel partners.
There are three types of partner levels in the Silver Peak partner programme including Summit, Ascent, and Registered. As partners invest in Silver Peak and achieve specific milestones, they advance through the programme and receive additional Silver Peak support and benefits.
Silver Peak has a new SD-WAN certification training programme for sales professionals and will complement it with an SD-WAN certification programme for system engineers. These online certifications enable partners and acknowledge them for their expertise in Silver Peak solutions.
The Partner Programme Mobile Application allows partners to easily find Silver Peak information on the go. Partners can view new sales tools, watch training videos and register a deal on their mobile devices.
Basecamp is Silver Peak’s new easy-to-use partner portal that is designed to cut down partner on-boarding time while providing a single, on-demand destination for training and enablement. With Basecamp, partners can quickly access the sales and marketing tools and support they need to help customers build an SD-WAN.
Bhaskar Peruri at Silver Peak gives an overview of the opportunities for regional channel partners and partner programme.