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New Riverbed CEO Mountford On Turning The Page On A Cisco-Style Channel Strategy And The Huge Opportunity For Partners In Software And Services Revolution

Paul Mountford, a former Cisco channel chief, says SD-WAN will be a pivotal part of Riverbed's strategy as he leads the company's evolution from WAN optimization power to software platform provider focused squarely on the user experience.

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You spent 16 years at Cisco, and now you're competing head to head with them, especially in SD-WAN. How do you feel about that?

I had a great time there and learned a lot and developed tremendously as an executive. The thing with Cisco is it's so big that it can't move as quickly. We can move quickly, we're agile and we're very concentrated. Cisco's SD-WAN is very much based on routers, and we've always been an app layer business. We think customers really want the app expertise, not the router expertise. In the future, routers may be something that isn't even in the network.

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