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Clash Of The SD-WAN Titans: VeloCloud Founder Uppal On Huge Customer Savings And Why Legacy Router Vendors Should Feel Threatened

Sanjay Uppal tells CRN the pace at which enterprises are deploying SD-WAN is unprecedented in the history of the market, and is rivaled only by the cost savings driving the rapid adoption.

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Does that make it more complicated for Cisco to get into SD-WAN than it is for VMware?

Yes. In general, router vendors look at this as both a defensive and offensive strategy. From an offensive point, router vendors and anyone selling complicated, custom hardware that goes on the premises of an enterprise has got to be concerned because the revenue stream they have right now is threatened. It's the same thing we saw in other areas as well. When Amazon moved a lot of compute to the cloud, complicated, high-end hardware on the premises is what got threatened. Anyone doing complicated, custom hardware for wide-area network services, those are the ones that are going to be threatened. Any router vendor would be looking at this saying, 'wait a minute, if I deploy SD-WAN, a lot of my custom hardware business is going to get threatened.' But they cannot afford to not do it, so they're caught in the usual innovator's dilemma, which is the more they push SD-WAN, the more they're going to impact their legacy business. As far as VMware is concerned, we have no such issue. There is no conflict there. I call it conflict-free go-to-market. There is no product within VMware that gets threatened when we put SD-WAN in. It's even a benefit. As we put SD-WAN in, the network is getting virtualized, and you can put more virtual services on top and you can sell more VMware.

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