Emerging WAN optimization specialist Ipanema Technologies is targeting what it calls the underserved SMB market for WAN optimization solutions, partnering with Ingram Micro on the launch of new, cloud-delivered services.
Ipanema said it has more than 1,000 customers and manages services for about 150,000 sites worldwide using its Autonomic Networking System (ANS). Its focus primarily has been on large enterprises and service providers but, according to Rogier van der Wal, Ipanema's vice president, cloud services, SMB customers have increasingly greater performance challenges when it comes to the applications and services they consume.
"In SMB, the performance of the products they use is really starting to get in the way," van deer Wal told CRN. Since most SMBs don't have full-time IT staffs or even much in the way of on-site IT support, they would rather have those services delivered and managed remotely, he said.
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Ipanema's new services suite, AppsWork, offers WAN governance for those small-size customers at a monthly subscription fee of less than $10. AppsWork is hosted by Rackspace and provisioned and managed using a service portal based on Salesforce.com's Force platform. It is deployed through solution providers to customers using Ingram Micro's Cloud Marketplace and is available to Ingram Micro's entire network of solution providers, integrators and MSPs.
"It's completely outsourced, so it's a very quick time to market," van der Wal explained. "If you look at other services SMBs are adopting, such as IP-PBX and UC, they are often hosted in the cloud. But if you don't have a very dependable way of managing the performance of those services, it's not going to look good for your company image."
Based in France, Ipanema began recruiting solution provider partners in North America in 2006. While much of its current channel business goes through about 20 global service providers, van der Wal said Ipanema's channel community should expand with Ingram Micro partners accessing AppsWork.
The WAN optimization space overall is dominated by Riverbed Technology, Cisco, Blue Coat and a few other major vendors but is also a magnet for start-ups targeting various forms of WAN acceleration and WAN governance.
Researcher Gartner, which placed Ipanema in the "visionaries" category of its 2012 Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers, said the company has been steady in its product releases and has a good track record of expanding into channels. The company's footprint is still 80 percent in EMEA, noted Gartner analysts Joe Skorupa and Severine Real, but its North America and Asia-Pacific region revenue has doubled in the past year.
"Despite being a privately held company with limited resources, Ipanema is profitable and has a strong vision for the long-term future of the business," Skorupa and Real wrote in January.
Gartner projects tenfold growth for the WAN optimization market over the next five years, especially as cloud-based WAN optimization and acceleration tools go mainstream. The market hit $1.9 billion in 2011, the researcher said.