Silver Peak Launches New Global Partner Program Aimed At Spurring SD-WAN Sales

Bob Bruce

WAN specialist Silver Peak is launching a new Global Channel Partner Program with plans to be the leader in the emerging software-defined WAN market.

Tailored around SD-WAN to accelerate sales, the program includes a new partner portal, training, certifications and a Partner Program Mobile App -- which gives partners mobile access to tools and lets them register deals on the go.

"They've absolutely hit the nail on the head with this," said Robert Reilly, vice president of sales for Rocky Hill, Conn.-based solution provider IGX, which partners with Silver Peak. "This app is making everything from the channel program accessible to your field reps who are on the go, on the fly, so that obviously accelerates deals or potential revenue in the pipeline."

[Related: Silver Peak Forms Alliance With Nutanix, Infoblox, Zacaler To Expand SD-WAN]

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The new partner program is designed to attract, educate and enable partners to capitalize on the SD-WAN market opportunity and is fundamental to the company's global go-to-market strategy, said Bob Bruce, senior vice president of worldwide channel sales at Silver Peak.

"I didn't see the ability for partners to wrap a lot of services around [WAN optimization], but I see the opposite with SD-WAN," said Bruce, in an interview with CRN. "For the first time, I see partners coming to me, my phone is ringing off the hook -- and that I enjoy, because this is a very, very big market opportunity. … We’re already winning six-figure opportunities in SD-WAN."

The program's mobile app -- available on both Android and iOS devices -- allows partners to access Silver Peak information such as sales tools, pricing and training videos, and gives them the ability to register deals on their mobile devices. It also allows access to Silver Peak's new partner portal.

"It's a mobile partner portal on the go," said Bruce.

The company's brand new partner portal, Basecamp, is designed to cut down on partner onboarding time. The platform provides a single, on-demand portal for training and enablement, where partners can quickly access sales and marketing tools, according to Bruce.

"Before, it was cumbersome to do a registration -- now, it's pretty darn slick," said Bruce. "We've built a whole new partner portal and moved it all over to Salesforce communities."

The program also offers new online SD-WAN certification training for sales professionals as well as an SD-WAN certification program for system engineers. Partners say they're already embracing SD-WAN and jumping at the chance to receive training and certifications.

"We're embracing this new SD-WAN approach and the training needs to be a part of that," said Tobi Sicklesteel, director of sales for Ann Arbor, Mich.-based solution provider and Silver Peak partner AmeriNet. "With these better tools and resources available to our team, it will increase activity and sales."

Silver Peak's new partner program has three partnership levels -- Summit, Ascent and Registered, compared with its previous partner program, which was made up of Platinum, Gold and Authorized partners.

Gartner says SD-WAN offers several benefits compared with traditional, router-based WANs, including cost savings, increased agility and simplification. By 2018, 10 percent of enterprises will have replaced their WAN routing with SD-WAN, up from less than 1 percent in 2015, according to a recent Gartner report.

"We launched this whole new partner program because of SD-WAN. … It's not a matter of 'if' SD-WAN will take off, it's a matter of 'when,' and we're providing these new tools to empower our partner community," said Bruce.

Through Silver Peak, Bruce said, solution providers are seeking a way into the SD-WAN market. "It's existing partners addressing the concerns of their installed base, new partners addressing a certain segment of the market, and the managed service provider community," said Bruce of the market's potential.

Silver Peak recently released its Unity EdgeConnect overlay solution, which it says allows enterprises to significantly reduce the cost and complexity of building a WAN by leveraging broadband to connect users to applications. Bruce said his SD-WAN EdgeConnect product allows partners and their customers to rapidly and non-disruptively augment or replace their MPLS networks with any form of broadband connectivity.

"The go-to-market strategy with their SD-WAN product is definitely prevalent in the market," said Reilly. "People are used to having hardware on all sites, so the fact that we're going to be able to provide licenses, lower costs, stay away from the hardware CapEx and maintenance that goes along with it -- it's really where the market is going. … The new program just seems to be very channel-focused to making the ease of use, the availability, the flexibility of SD-WAN easy for partners."