Emerging Vendors 2017: Networking And VoIP Startups You Need To Know

The Next Generation Of Networking/VoIP Leaders

Looking over the networking and VoIP startup landscape this year, it's clear that software is front and center when it comes to innovation.

The vast majority of the startups highlighted here crafted solutions around software-as-a-service, networking monitoring and performance, and software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) – all with the goal of making networking easier to manage and consume. Many of the executive leaders of these startups hail from the likes of Cisco, VMware, Arista Networks and Google.

As part of CRN's 2017 Emerging Vendors list, here are 23 hot networking and VoIP startups, all founded in 2011 or later, that solution providers should be aware of.

128 Technology

Founded: 2014

Top Executive: Andrew Ory, Founder, CEO

128 Technology is an advanced secure networking company on a mission to fix the internet. The 128T Networking Platform natively provides network-based security, control and insight across data centers, wide-area networks and edge locations for enterprises, service providers and cloud companies alike.


Founded: 2013

Top Executive: Barry O'Sullivan, Co-Founder, CEO

The startup offers a cloud-based customer engagement platform that combines predictive analytics with voice, video, email and smart messaging for businesses. The Altocloud Journey Analytics platform connects the dots with live analytics and reporting to discover, analyze and understand customer behavior patterns.


Founded: 2014

Top Executive: Mansour Karam, Founder, CEO

Apstra pioneered intent-based networking to enable a self-operating network -- a network that configures itself, fixes itself and defends itself. The Apstra Operating System transforms data center network operations and is a vendor-agnostic, intent-based, closed-loop "command and control" system delivering agility and massive total cost of ownership savings.

Aviatrix Systems

Founded: 2015

Top Executive: Steven Mih, CEO

Led by a team of former top executives from Cisco, Huawei, VMware and Paypal, Aviatrix said its network software is aimed at simplifying connectivity to the cloud in a more secure and scalable way. Aviatrix for Hybrid Cloud reduces cloud networking setup time from weeks to minutes and simplifies management by automating and orchestrating cloud network operations.

Barefoot Networks

Founded: 2014

Top Executive: Craig Barratt, CEO

Barefoot Networks unveiled its high-speed programmable Ethernet switch chip last year, touting it as the world's fastest and most programmable series of switches with up to 6.5 Tbps. Barefoot's programmable chip enables customers to code how packets are processed rather than having those functions prescribed on an application-specific integrated circuit.

CafeX Communications

Founded: 2013

Top Executive: Rami Musallam, Co-Founder, President, CEO

CafeX is a provider of one-click collaboration offerings to help enterprises enhance team productivity and customer engagement within digital channels. Trusted by top global banks and other leading brands, CafeX empowers employees and guests to work together securely without friction from anywhere using their preferred devices and existing systems.

Cato Networks

Founded: 2015

Top Executive: Shlomo Kramer, Co-Founder, CEO

Cato Networks provides organizations with a software-defined and cloud-based secure enterprise network. The Cato Cloud reduces MPLS connectivity costs, eliminates branch appliances, provides direct, secure internet access everywhere, and seamlessly extends the enterprise network to mobile users, cloud data centers, and cloud applications.


Founded: 2014

Top Executive: Andrea Calcagno, Co-Founder, CEO

Advanced guest Wi-Fi specialist Cloud4Wi wants to make solution providers profitable selling guest Wi-Fi and services, launching its first partner program last year. Its Volare platform is purpose-built for advanced guest Wi-Fi capabilities. The over-the-top architecture leverages existing Wi-Fi networks to enable brands to standardize each customer's mobile experience across all locations, regardless of the underlying Wi-Fi.


Founded: 2013

Top Executive: Kumar Ramachandran, CEO

SD-WAN startup CloudGenix offers its Instant-On Networks (ION) family of products that delivers an application-defined fabric which eliminates the need for hardware routers. In contrast to traditional hybrid-WAN alternatives, ION delivers the cloud without compromising remote offices or the need to rip and replace infrastructure.

Console Connect

Founded: 2011

Top Executive: Jef Graham, CEO

Console's CloudNexus is an automated cloud-to-cloud direct connection platform enabling connectivity between any clouds including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, or private and hybrid clouds, with the capability to shift workloads between them at will. The offering creates a private Community Of Interest Network within each client's private routing domain.


Founded: 2014

Top Executive: Avi Freedman, Co-Founder, CEO

Kentik Detect leverages big data for network visibility, performance monitoring, DDoS protection and real-time analytics to protect applications and service performance. The big data SaaS platform is purpose-built to turn network data into intelligent insight for digital operations through ad-hoc analytics and anomaly detection. The startup up launched its first Global Partner Program in August.

Mist Systems

Founded: 2014

Top Executive: Sujai Hajela, Co-Founder, CEO

Mist's artificial intelligence-driven wireless platform was designed specifically for the smart device era. The Mist Learning Wireless LAN makes Wi-Fi predictable, reliable and measurable by providing visibility into the user experience and replacing time-consuming manual IT tasks with proactive automation.


Founded: 2013

Top Executive: Stefano Gridelli, Co-Founder, CEO

NetBeez provides network engineers with real-time and historical performance data from the user layer to quickly detect and solve issues on wired and wireless networks. The startup has dedicated sensors called Beez that simulate end users and enable proactive identification and troubleshooting of complex network issues, helping to significantly reduce IT teams' time to resolution.


Founded: 2011

Top Executive: Eric Chen, Founder, CTO

Relay2's cloud-managed Wi-Fi Services platform aims to transform the way businesses utilize their networks to provide real-time services and high-performance connectivity over Wi-Fi. Its Service Ready Access Points incorporate processing, solid-state storage, and caching technology to push service delivery to the network edge, minimizing network latency and enabling location-based applications and services.


Founded: 2013

Top Executive: Boris Rozenvasser, CEO

Saisei's FlowCommand is a flow-policy control, analytics and security offering that doubles the usable bandwidth in deployed networks, while guaranteeing no link or user session will ever crash. The startup's Network Performance Enforcement offering makes network links higher performing, more secure, scalable, ordered and more predictable than traditional packet-based routed IP networks.


Founded: 2015

Top Executive: Jason Forrester, Founder, CEO

SnapRoute offers a fully programmable, open-source software stack for enterprises, dubbed FlexSwitch, aiming to help companies manage their cloud systems. FlexSwitch enables every component of the network stack to be fully visible, accessible for APIs, and completely modular so operators can continuously install or update only what is necessary for the infrastructure to run without impact or risk to the business.

Tallac Networks

Founded: 2012

Top Executive: Bill Johnson, President

Tallac's Converged Cloud LAN is a complete branch office and SMB solution with fully automated zero- touch installation, low-costhardware, gateways, virtual network functions, policy automation, remote diagnostics and extensive third-party integrations. The startup's subscription-based cloud-managed platform is geared toward MSPs.

Tempered Networks

Founded: 2014

Top Executive: Jeff Hussey, CEO

Tempered Networks is a pioneer in identity-defined networking (IDN) with its architecture unifying networking and security to overcome complex and vulnerable networks. The startup's IDN offerings -- ranging from hardware to virtual appliances -- offer secure and elastic networking for connectivity anywhere, even for previously nonroutable endpoints.


Founded: 2012

Top Executive: Sanjay Uppal, Co-Founder, CEO

VeloCloud's Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN offering provides assured application performance, secure and available hybrid networks, and zero-touch WAN automation. It includes a choice of public, private or hybrid cloud for enterprise-grade connection to cloud and enterprise applications, branch office and data center appliances, automation and virtual services delivery.

Veriflow Systems

Founded: 2013

Top Executive: James Brear, President, CEO

Veriflow's ability to predict outages and breaches provides rich SaaS revenue opportunities for the channel. The startup's technology can proactively predict what's going to happen on a network before it happens by using a mathematical verification, which can also reduce downtime affiliated with configuration changes for campus, data center and WAN.

Versa Networks

Founded: 2012

Top Executive: Kelly Ahuja, CEO

The Versa Cloud IP Platform is cloud-native, multitenant, multiservice software for a software-defined network. The innovative software integrates networking and security functions. It is built on cloud principles to provide the flexibility and elasticity for easy, highly scalable and secure deployments. Its three components include Director, FlexVNF and Analytics.


Founded: 2011

Top Executive: Tom Erik Lia, Co-Founder, CEO

The startup offers voice, video, centralized management and reporting, with no restriction on how each user joins a meeting room. Its newest offering, Videxio Live, enables any virtual meeting room with live streaming and recording functionality, letting users create self-service scheduled or ad hoc streaming, along with a large range of options to how to publish and share contacts.


Founded: 2011

Top Executive: Eric S. Yuan, Co-Founder, CEO

The web and video conferencing startup offers enterprise communications solutions with a secure, simple cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, messaging, and webinars across mobile, desktop and room systems. Zoom's CEO is a video legend who helped develop generations of technology at WebEx before it was acquired by Cisco in 2007 for $3.2 billion.