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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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What should partners know about how you'll approach the channel as CEO?

The big thing that's happening around the planet is the middle man is under lots of pressure to provide value. Pretty much all of our business is done through the channel. We've got a brand-new channel strategy called Rise, which is doing extraordinarily well. I wanted to change what I built with Cisco completely the other way around. I built the specializations the way they needed to be at Cisco at the time because there was no capability in the market. That's not the logic anymore. The logic is: Don’t get me held down by a massive spend in specialization because whatever you sell me as a partner, I'm going to use it in my own services to customers. Don't bog me down, give me an agile, fast way of building a business with you. We're looking for partners who want to embed our tech in their service offer rather than the classic resell. We still want the resell, but that's getting thinner and thinner relative to margin. Embedded services, cloud services, SaaS services is the way to go, and we've got some great technology for doing that.

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