A10's New Global Sales VP Aims To Drive 'Top-Notch Partner Support'


A10 Networks on Monday appointed its first-ever vice president for worldwide sales, in a move the San Jose-based company said will help fuel the "rapid growth" it's seen in the application delivery controller (ADC) market and up its investments in the channel.

The new vice president of worldwide sales role at A10 is being filled by Ray Smets, a former McAfee and Cisco executive, and, most recently, vice president of field operations, sales and international development for VoIP and hosted business services player Metaswitch Networks.

Smets will report directly to A10 founder and CEO Lee Chen, and he will be responsible for managing and growing A10's global sales organization.

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In an interview with CRN, Smets said one of his goals as A10's new head of global sales will be to invest in the A10 channel.

"I will have a very significant focus on partnership development, and the key word there is 'partner.' The beauty here is that A10's DNA from the very beginning has been very partner-friendly and very channel-friendly," Smets said. "My intention here is to continue to foster all those partnerships."

A10 sells 100 percent through the channel in North America, where it has over 100 solution provider partners. The company's flagship products include its AX series and, more recently, its Thunder Series ADCs.

A10, founded in 2004, has revamped its partner program and compensation structures over the past two years, offering partners new spiffs and other incremental incentives.

"[I want] to have an organization that's very easy to work with, an organization that can be trusted when the going gets tough, so top-notch operations and top-notch partner support," Smets said.

Smets added that's he excited to join the A10 team during such a pivotal time in the networking industry, given the shifts being driven by technologies like the cloud and software-defined networking.

"We're in a very interesting point of time here in the networking domain," Smets said. "We are going through significant disruption from the way things have been done for the last 20 years in IP networking, and customers are really preparing for a significant shift."

In addition, Smets said his new global sales role will help fuel A10's transition from a startup to a "large, successful company within the Silicon Valley domain."

"Companies go through different phases of development," Smets said. "A10 has been fine-tuning and developing its technology now since 2004, so it's at that stage where the products that are in the marketplace are getting so well adopted that the business is really growing fast."

Smets didn't disclose financial figures, but said A10's revenue is in the $100 million-plus revenue range.

PUBLISHED AUG. 26, 2013