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Based in Cupertino, Calif., Talari's story has drawn interest in the channel, and it already has caught on well in the investment community. Menlo Ventures led a $6.2 million round of funding in January 2009, and Talari secured another $10 million from a group led by Silver Creek Ventures in August 2010.
On the channel side, Talari sees at least 95 percent of the company's business going through partners. It expects to add training and certifications to its emerging channel program, which right now offers Gold and Silver levels of partnership.
"The sweet spot for this is the top end of medium-sized business," said Andy Gottlieb, Talari's CEO. "The value proposition is strong enough, and that ends up being a huge advantage for the channel partner."
"This is hard-dollar ROI: we'll save you money within the first year," added Morris. "Our single biggest challenge is getting people to try out our solutions. That's where the channel partners are becoming increasingly more valuable."
Talari ostensibly competes with established WAN optimization and acceleration players like Riverbed, Blue Coat and Cisco, but is also a complement, Talari executives note, because APN can work with existing data center and WAN environments from all of those vendors.
While the company had few channel victories to show for itself a year ago, it caught the attention of several partners in 2010 thanks to good buzz and strong channel leadership.
Tom Pettigrew, the former F5 Networks vice president of global channels and emerging markets, joined Talari in November 2009 as vice president of worldwide sales. It was Pettigrew's involvement that spurred him to investigate Talari further, said Nexum's Lesser, and he liked what he saw.
"Tom's giving it his backing, and coming from a company as visionary as F5, that's important," he said. "They're in the very nascent phases with their appliances, but this is still very intriguing."
Lesser said he liked what he'd seen so far from Talari's program, and that the company's attitude toward solution providers would help it earn greater notices this year.
"They need to continue to focus on the program itself, but there are some nice discounts, and Tom's taken in what he learned from F5 and started to apply that," Lesser said. "Their sales are not that much yet, but they're acting like a big boy."
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