Verizon, Viptela Join Forces For Channel-Friendly SD-WAN Service

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Telecom giant Verizon is bolstering its hybrid networking capabilities. The carrier has partnered with software-defined-WAN startup Viptela and the two have developed a new SD-WAN platform and managed service for Verizon partners and enterprise customers.

The new SD-WAN Verizon service, powered by Viptela and announced Thursday, will allow enterprise customers and channel partners to use both private and public connections, such as MPLS, wireless LTE, and broadband for their applications.

SD-WAN is becoming more interesting to businesses because it allows different connections to be used based on the bandwidth requirements, geographic location, or even performance and reliability expectations of a latency-sensitive application. SD-WAN can save a business money if an application can be dynamically rerouted to a cheaper connection.

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Kingcom, a Portland, Ore.-based national Verizon platinum partner who exclusively sells Verizon products and services, just began selling SD-WAN solutions a few months ago. The provider is already seeing high interest from its own partners in selling these solutions, said Michael Wolfington, vice president of West partner sales for Kingcom.

"SD-WAN is a key strategic focus for us in 2016 and beyond. It's the next evolution of MPLS," Wolfington said. Kingcom is in the process of training its own channel partners to build awareness around these offerings.

According to Wolfington, the partnership between Verizon and Viptela shows that Verizon is focusing on heavily building out its hybrid WAN portfolio.

"Verizon is betting on [SD-WAN] and believes it will really be a game-changer for the next year," he said.

The SD-WAN service will give partners a centralized platform they can use to provision and customize specific services for their end customers. Partners can also choose to let Verizon manage these customers on the same platform, said Viraj Parekh, managing director of product innovation and managed services for Verizon.

"In addition to cost, what SD-WAN really offers is agility … over the traditional networking model with very fixed assets where you have to plan for changes or new applications for months, which becomes [time-consuming] and expensive," Parekh said. 

Verizon is already seeing a great deal of interest from its channel partners for SD-WAN capabilities. The partnership will also give Viptela access to Verizon's large channel of partners, he said.

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