Riverbed Set To Acquire Aternity, Broadening Its Portfolio To Help Partners Sell To Line-Of-Business

Riverbed Technology is making its second acquisition in six months in an effort to broaden its portfolio and allow channel partners to better sell to line-of-business buyers. The San Francisco-based application performance specialist Thursday said it plans to acquire Aternity, a provider of end-user experience and application performance monitoring solutions.

"For the longest time, Riverbed was stagnant and following a little bit behind, but with these new acquisitions and offerings -- they've got a lot going on now," said Pat Grillo, president and CEO of Atrion, a Branchburg, N.J.-based solution provider and longtime Riverbed partner. "They're trying to find new ways for us to make money and drumming up more things that we can wrap our services around."

Westborough, Mass.-based Aternity owns a technology set to enhance Riverbed's SteelCentral performance monitoring solutions and enables partners to sell an end-to-end visibility solution spanning network, application and end-user experience performance management.

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Financial terms of the Aternity deal were not disclosed.

Solution providers are increasingly selling to line-of-business buyers, who are looking for more visibility and a flawless end-user experience, said Riverbed's channel chief, Karl Meulema. Buying Aternity – which currently monitors more than 1.7 million mobile, virtual and desktop workforce endpoints – is giving Riverbed partners new visibility and end-user experience tools while also enabling net new services, he said.

"End-user experience is more valuable than ever and the services around it are extremely important for our partner community," said Meulema, senior vice president of global channels, in an interview with CRN. "It is another great step for us to further expand our target market, and thereby expand our target market for our channel partners."

Meulema said Riverbed is shifting its entire investment and acquisition strategy toward selling to line-of-business buyers. "We've become a lot more aggressive [in] who we are and who we want to be," he said.

In January, Riverbed acquired software-defined networking specialist Ocedo in order to build a new SD-WAN solution.

In May, Riverbed rolled out its first product for the SD-WAN space: SteelConnect. The platform enables businesses to orchestrate application delivery across hybrid WANs, LANs and cloud networks such as Microsoft's Azure and Amazon Web Services.

Grillo said Riverbed's broadening of its portfolio is giving Atrion new reasons to go after deals they previous lost to competitors.

"Part of the reason we lost [a recent deal] to F5 [Networks] was because Riverbed couldn't do some things and [npw] we can go back and say, 'We can do it better now,'" said Grillo. "We're very impressed at what they've been doing."

Aternity's technology helps enterprises view the entire end-user experience for any application running on any device -- providing a user-centric application performance experience unique to the market, according to Meulema. By transforming every device into a self-monitoring platform that is user-experience-aware, enterprises gain proactive management capabilities that reduce business disruptions and increase workforce productivity, he said.

Riverbed expects to close the Aternity deal in August.