CloudGenix Kumar Ramachandran: 2020 Is 'Year Of The Early Majority' For SD-WAN Adoption

To help partners capture the next wave of customers, CloudGenix is launching a new partner program in March, CEO Kumar Ramachandran tells CRN exclusively.

Forward-thinking customers and solution providers adopted SD-WAN early, but the market has reached an inflection point in which it's starting to catch on among the remaining 85 percent of the market that is very interested in the features SD-WAN can provide, according to CloudGenix CEO Kumar Ramachandran.

That translates to a wealth of opportunity for solution providers selling SD-WAN. To that end, 100 percent channel-focused CloudGenix is rolling out a revamped channel program in March, its G2 program, the company told CRN exclusively.

"It's very clear that 2020 is the year of the early majority when it comes to the SD-WAN market," Ramachandran said.

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[Related: CloudGenix Scores $65 Million To Continue Push Against Cisco, VMware]

Research firm Gartner said that about 20 percent of enterprises have adopted SD-WAN so far. Gartner expects about 60 percent of enterprises to deploy SD-WAN by 2024.

While early SD-WAN adopters were intrigued by the benefits of broadband versus MPLS and the cost savings, customers of today are interested in SD-WAN to help them meet new and advanced requirements, such as multi-cloud adoption and ensuring the performance of their critical business applications, like unified communications tools.

The G2 partner program includes new features, such as up-front MDF investment for partners and a structured customer reference program.

"Especially as the market is shifting from early adopters to the early majority, the up-front investment will help channel partners target that majority," Ramachandran said.

Promark Technology, a division of Ingram Micro and a CloudGenix partner, believes that CloudGenix will help partners target the next wave of customers because its solutions can help address multi-cloud and security requirements, said Jeff Brown, president and general manager of Annapolis Junction, Md.-based Promark.

"CloudGenix is able to put together all these digital transformation things—like AIOps [artificial intelligence for IT operations] and data science—which is differentiating them from even the big dogs like Cisco," Brown said.

CloudGenix also recently tripled its sales force and increased its engineering team to support partners, Brown said.

San Jose, Calif.-based CloudGenix last year substantially expanded its relationships with the agent partner community, Ramachandran said.

"If you're not selling SD-WAN in 2020, it's going to be very hard to have a comprehensive network conversation," said Adam Edwards, CEO of Telarus, a CloudGenix partner.

Telarus, a Sandy, Utah-based master agent, has agent partners that are favoring CloudGenix for its secure SD-WAN, especially across international geographies, Edwards said.

CloudGenix's channel-only approach to the market also alleviates any concerns that partners may have, Edwards said. "With their new program and the investments they are making with MDF, partners are excited because they like when someone will help them close new deals," he said.

CloudGenix also increased its presence with systems integrator and MSP partners, Ramachandran said, with more partnerships to be unveiled in 2020.

"Our goal is to continue to have the broadest partner ecosystem and a differentiated approach to engaging with the channel so it's not a one-way street, but a two-way partnership," Ramachandran said.

But the products that made partners successful in 2019 aren't necessarily the same products that will be successful in 2020, Ramachandran said. Customers are asking about security and AIOps integration, for example, he added.

"Make sure you're a part of a [partner] program that satisfies both sides of the market—the early adopters and early majority," Ramachandran said. "Demand enterprise-class engineering and resources when you bring a deal in."