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Channel Stalwart Frank Rauch Jumps To Cato Networks To Drive SASE Sales Through Partners: Exclusive

Gina Narcisi

The SASE specialist has nabbed Check Point’s channel chief of four years, Frank Rauch, who will lead the partner ecosystem as the company aggressively builds out its own channel team to capture more global business.

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Cato Networks, a company that’s becoming increasingly formidable in the secure access service edge (SASE) market, has brought on channel powerhouse Frank Rauch as its new global channel chief.

Rauch brings more than 30 years of leadership experience to Cato Networks. The longtime channel veteran has spent his career developing, managing, and growing global partner ecosystems for the likes of VMware, HP, and most recently, security provider Check Point.

In the global channel chief seat, Rauch will be responsible for driving Cato Networks’ channel ecosystem and helping partners profit from the enterprise shift to cloud-native networking and security, according to the Tel Aviv, Israel-based company.

For his part, Rauch said he was looking for a different kind of opportunity in the IT space with a technology that’s on the rise and popular with the channel.

“I’ve spent four great years at Check Point, but this is a little bit different. I’m really excited … we have the ability to really forward the cloud agenda and cloud revenue,” he said.

[Related: Windstream’s Cato Networks-Powered SASE An ‘Evolution’ Of SD-WAN, Managed Security Portfolio ]

Cloud-first SASE specialist Cato Networks does 100 percent of its business through the channel and is very well-known to partners, especially those that are making the connection between security and SD-WAN, Rauch said.

“There’s a lot of opportunities out there right now and partners are choosing their line cards very carefully. This is a time of choice. It was a time of choice for me, and I think it’s a time of choice for some channel partners and Cato affords them a new opportunity,” Rauch said.

Cato reaches a variety of partners, including technology agents, resale partners, and managed service providers. Rauch sees “tremendous” opportunity for growth in all three segments.

“I’m looking to come in and understand the partner base, understand the three arms of the of the program right now, and understand foundationally what we can build on and find ways to invest in to be able to maybe mature certain areas — like the resale side with the global integrators and regional integrators — people that I’ve known and have trust me for over the last 18 years in the channel,” he added.

Rauch comes to Cato Networks after spending the last four years at Check Point as the company’s head of worldwide channel sales. Prior to that, he serves as vice president of VMware’s Americas partner organization for a decade and before his time at VMware, the tech veteran spent nine years at HP in a variety of positions, including vice president of enterprise servers, storage, and networking channel sales.

In addition to bringing on Rauch, Cato is aggressively expanding its global channel leadership team. The company has brought on Robert Holley as assistant vice president for VAR, resellers, and service providers, Americas. He comes to Cato from SD-WAN competitor Versa Networks where he served as senior sales director, most recently at Versa Networks. Shane Hallen has joined Cato as director of service provider sales, Americas. Hallen previously served as strategic sales manager of service providers for Cisco Meraki. Cato Networks is adding Paolo Maestripie as director of service provider sales, EMEA. Maestripieri spent the last three years at ThousandEyes as client partner director of service providers and global systems integrator.

Lastly, Cato Networks’ own veterans Ron Hamlett and Mark Draper have been promoted from their positions as directors of channel sales. Hamlett is now assistant vice president of technology services distributors and agents, where he’ll manage those relationships across the Americas. Draper, for his part, will serve as assistant vice president for channel sales, EMEA region, the company said.

Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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