Riverbed Rebrands Product Portfolio, Looks To Broaden Reach Beyond WAN Op


Riverbed Technology Monday said it's rebranding its end-to-end product portfolio, as it looks to sell more integrated network solutions and broaden its reach beyond the WAN optimization market.

"We are beginning to reintroduce Riverbed much more as a platform company," said Riverbed Chief Marketing Officer Kate Hutchison. "And when you take our five product lines and put them all together, and look at the adjacent markets that those products open up for us, it is a much bigger opportunity."

Hutchison said the rebranding also comes as Riverbed looks to extend its reach outside of the WAN optimization market, where the San Francisco-based vendor has more than 50 percent market share and, for the past seven years, has been dubbed a "Leader" in Gartner's WAN Optimization Magic Quadrant.

[Related: Riverbed: New Partner Program Driving 'Fundamental Shift' In Channel Engagement]

"When the world sees you as one thing in a market that's about a billion [dollars], and you are getting close to reaching a billion, they don’t understand the runway you have as a company," Hutchison said. "So this is a really important message to get out to both the financial analysts, as well as our customers, our prospects and the world at large."

Under the rebranding, Riverbed's entire product portfolio will take on the "Steel" brand used for years by its flagship SteelHead WAN optimization solution.

The changes include Riverbed's Granite branch converged infrastructure solution now being called SteelFusion; its Stingray virtualization application delivery controller now being called SteelApp; its Whitewater cloud storage appliance now called SteelStore; its Cascade and OPNET performance management suites now known as SteelCentral; and its developer tool FlyScript now being called SteelScript.

Hutchison said the aim is to sell these five product families as a single, integrated platform, called the Riverbed Application Performance Platform. The idea, she said, is that this bundled solution will allow businesses to host, manage and monitor applications across a variety of locations, including the data center, the branch or the cloud.

"We want customers to understand the much broader value proposition they can get," Hutchison said.

To incent partners to sell across the Riverbed portfolio, Riverbed in January rolled out a new partner program that will segment partners as Authorized, Premier or Elite based on the number of new Riverbed technical and sales certifications they have, rather than their Riverbed sales volumes, as was done in the past. Out of the gate, Riverbed announced four certifications: WAN Optimization, Storage Delivery, Application Delivery and Performance Management.

Riverbed told CRN that its revamped channel program is driving "very favorable" results, with more than 1,000 of its roughly 2,200 worldwide channel partners having already achieved Premier or higher status.

"It really shows, year-over-year, how partners are trending in the way they are actually selling across the [Riverbed] product platform," said Michele Hayes, senior director, Global Channel Programs and Strategy at Riverbed. "We are seeing a huge increase year-over-year in the same partners getting multiple competencies and selling multiple products between this time last year and now. That is a very, very positive movement [toward] a lot more solution- and platform-selling."

Riverbed's rebranding comes as the company continues to face pressure from investor Elliott Management to pursue a sale. Riverbed in February rejected a $3.36 billion takeover bid from Elliott, saying the price was too low.

PUBLISHED MAY 12, 2014