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Cato Networks Just Made SD-WAN Management Simpler

The Israeli company has unveiled a new partner portal and a fully-managed SD-WAN option for partners and customers, especially as more solution providers become MSPs.

Cloud networking specialist Cato Networks wants to make SD-WAN management as zero-touch as possible. The company on Tuesday introduced Hands-free Management for Cato Cloud, its managed SD-WAN service.

Cato Hands-free Management lets businesses offload network and security configuration and change management to Cato or their solution provider partner.

Nick Fan, Cato's vice president of sales, Americas, said that offering a fully-managed option gives customers more flexibility in how they want to use and deploy SD-WAN, and it also helps partners who are getting started in managed services because Cato can work alongside partners.

"If you want us to help with deployment, we will. If you want ongoing management, we can do that too," Fan said. "We'll fit into any channel model that exists out there."

[Related: Partner-Fueled Cato Networks Lands $55 Million In Funding]

The Hands-free Management option lives on the same Cato platform that also still offers a self-service offering for customers that want to configure and troubleshoot their own networks, as well as a co-management option for customers that want to retain some control but also be able to rely on their channel partner or Cato for backup.  

Tel Aviv, Israel-based Cato Networks, which does 100 percent of its business through partners, grew its channel business by nearly 500 percent year-over-year in 2018. The company pivoted in channel strategy slightly in 2017 when it started putting more of a focus on master agents and telecom agent partners who are becoming MSPs.

The company has built a new, self-service partner portal that includes an education track, deal registration, and support. The portal also includes a "pipeline" feature that lets partners see how many opportunities they've brought in, where they are in the sales stage, and how much revenue the deals will ultimately generate.

"It's not just an educational tool or university. These are tangible tools we want partners to be able to come to with regularity and we want to automate more processes for partners," Fan said.

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