Clash Of The SD-WAN Titans: VP Dave West On Positioning Cisco To Win In The SD-WAN Market

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'Hard To Beat'

Cisco Systems Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Enterprise Networks Dave West knows what competitors are saying about the company's prospects in the red-hot market for software-defined wide-area networking, namely that SD-WAN is a grave threat to the networking giant's legacy router business.

He respectfully, very respectfully, disagrees.

"I know what the competitors are saying, and I appreciate them," West said. "They're all good, strong competitors. At the end of the day, this transition is happening in the market and I firmly believe we are best positioned to win this transition and I think we're going to be hard to beat."

Cisco acquired SD-WAN power Viptela last year for about $610 million. Just a few months later, VMware acquired top SD-WAN player VeloCloud, instantly intensifying the software-defined battle between the two tech heavyweights.

While VMware argues that the rise of SD-WAN threatens Cisco's router business, West contends that SD-WAN is an integral part of the company's vast intent-based networking play and its continued evolution toward life as an open, software-focused firm.

What follows is an edited excerpt of West's conversation with CRN.

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