Fastly CEO Todd Nightingale: New Partner-Focused CDN Strategy Is ‘First Of Its Kind’
The company is looking to become the first major vendor so far to make content delivery technology into a channel-friendly offering, Nightingale tells CRN in an exclusive interview.
CDN’s Channel Moment?
Web content delivery technology may be decades old at this point, but it’s never represented a major opportunity for the channel in the past, according to Fastly CEO Todd Nightingale. With a new partner-focused strategy for its content delivery network (CDN) technology, however, Fastly is aiming to change that. Fastly will now incentivize partners to package its content delivery network (CDN) technology into their offerings for customers, a move that will be the “first of its kind” in the market, Nightingale told CRN.
Within the CDN space, “there hasn’t been a major vendor that’s really partner-focused, and driving a partner focus across their go-to-market,” he said. However, given the growing priority on digital experiences, “there’s a real need in the market.”
Other notable players in CDN — a key technology for ensuring strong web content performance — include Akamai and Cloudflare. Research firm MarketsandMarkets pegged the CDN market at $19.2 billion in 2022, rising to $34.5 billion by 2027. Going forward, “digital experiences will define the success and failure of most organizations,” Nightingale said. And that is “driving a need for sophisticated partners to work with those end customers and drive real digital experiences, real outcomes, that matter,” he said.
In exclusive interviews with CRN, Nightingale and Emily Friedberg, group vice president of global partnerships at Fastly, said that the vendor is doubling down on the channel in a number of ways in connection with the revamp of its partner program. Announced Monday, the updates include making Fastly’s full portfolio of web application security products and network services, such as CDN, available to partners. Previously, many Fastly partners were only authorized to sell the company’s next-generation web application firewall (WAF) technology, which originally arrived from Fastly’s acquisition of Signal Sciences in 2020.
A Cisco Systems veteran who joined Fastly as CEO last August, Nightingale said he brought with him a conviction that partners could be pivotal to helping the company achieve its goal of accelerated growth. A publicly traded vendor that was founded in 2011, Fastly saw revenue for the full-year 2022 rise 22 percent to reach $432.7 million, with sales in its fourth quarter growing at the same pace.
Along with discussing the company’s new partner moves around its content delivery technology, Nightingale also spoke with CRN about where Fastly is looking to go next with its security capabilities and why he’s focusing so heavily on partners in the company’s growth strategy.
What follows is an edited portion of CRN’s interview with Nightingale.