Cloud computing and as-a-service models have taken hold in enterprise networking, and more than a few companies -- veteran players and hot start-ups alike -- are looking to make the cloud model the ultimate in networking channel services plays.
Pareto Networks is one of them, and distributed networks are firmly in its sites.
"The pain point [we] continue to see is the challenge of how complex, time consuming and costly it is to manage and operate and deploy distributed networks," said Michael Peachey, vice president of marketing and product management, in an interview with CRN this week. "And that's anything from a remote teleworker up to a more traditional branch office."
Founded in November 2007, Pareto officially launched its enterprise cloud services earlier this summer. This week, the company went live with a channel program, signing distributor Computerlinks North America, based in Austin, Texas, as its first major U.S. channel partner.
"We want to be the marquee vendor in this cloud networking space," Peachey said.
Pareto's services offering is designed to manage VoIP use, video, IP address management, authentication, Web security, SSL VPN tunneling and other features, with the intent of providing networking functions and the necessary security to branch and remote offices via the cloud. According to Pareto, enterprise network managers can control all of the functions remotely, using Pareto's cloud, which runs across 5 servers globally. The company can also store data logs.
The bundled hardware and software offerings include the BG-100 Branch Gateway, a teleworker device the size of an iPod, Peachey said. Depending on customer needs, Pareto also has the BG-200 Branch Gateway, the BG-2800 and BG-4200 high performance services gateways, a Virtual Branch Gateway for use with VMware environments, and iPhone app, Pareto Cloud Mobile, that lets users manage their networks via mobile device.
Pricing is on a subscription model: $228 per location, per year, for up to 30 users. The price includes all the necessary hardware, support and maintenance as well as feature upgrades, according to Pareto.
Pareto has also partnered with several security platforms. Its services integrate with McAfee's Web Protection security-as-a-service offering, as well as cloud-based authentication from VeriSign.
"The thing about cloud-based networking is it's much simpler and faster than traditional networking solutions," Peachey said. "We give folks a lot of central visibility and control over these communications."
Venture capital-backed, the company was founded by Carl Mower, vice president of engineering, and Matthew Palmer, CEO and the former vice president of enterprise planning and operations at Juniper. Peachey is also a former Juniper executive, and was a key member of the product team that launched Juniper's EX-series switches in 2008.
Peachey said Pareto will target VARs who play in adjacent areas, such as VoIP, and who see their potential as cloud integrators with networking services specialties. Peachey handles the channel-based marketing, but the channel chief role belongs to Mark Bennett, vice president of sales.
Pareto's channel program has two levels of partnership. Stratus, the lower level, includes discounting, basic sales, marketing and technical training around Pareto's services, and access to its partner portal. Cirrus, the higher level, adds lead generation, additional discounting and sales incentives, and a co-marketing fund, Peachey said.
Neither level has a set sales minimum, but Stratus requires solution providers to have two Pareto-trained sales reps and one trained sales engineer, and Cirrus requires three sales reps and two trained sales engineers.
All in all, Peachey said, Pareto's operating philosophy is that the as-a-service and cloud models that upended traditional CRM software in the last decade are rapidly disrupting enterprise networking, and other tech markets, in this one.
"Look at Salesforce and look at what happened in the CRM space 10 years ago," he said. "A subscription-based model is game-changing for these types of distributed networks, as opposed to paying for the necessary networking hardware."