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Cato makes senior channel hire and rolls out support accreditation

Cato aims to keep channel momentum going with addition of global partner executive and technical support programme

Cato Networks has deemed that the time is not only right to hire a fresh vice-president of global channel sales, but that it is also the moment to launch a fresh partner accreditation.

The secure access service edge (SASE) platform player has recruited former Cisco staffer Anthony D’Angelo to join as vice-president of global channel sales and business development.

He comes with a CV than spans more than two decades, with experience at Cisco as director of global SD-WAN partner sales and experience of working with partners in his role as vice-president of worldwide channel sales and distribution at Viptela. D’Angelo has also worked at Westcon, Net Optics, HP, TippingPoint and RSA.

Cato is looking for him to lead the global channel sales strategy and make sure it continues to support the existing partner base, as well as reaching out to make links with systems integrators (SIs) and managed service providers (MSPs).

“Enterprise adoption of SASE will accelerate quickly, and the market opportunity is tremendous for partners who lead the way,” he said.

“With Cato, channel partners have the unique opportunity to address the customer’s WAN edge, security, cloud and mobility needs – with one solution – and all the while taking a larger share of the $60bn managed network services market,” he added.

The vendor is pitching the appointment and the certification as further evidence of its commitment to the channel, which saw it recently sign up Nuvias as its first pan-European distribution partner. The firm has stated that indirect sales accounted for close to 90% of the business in 2020.

“Enterprise adoption of SASE will accelerate quickly, and the market opportunity is tremendous for partners who lead the way”
Anthony D’Angelo, Cato Networks

The firm is also keen to help partners stand out as SASE specialists and has introduced Cato Distinguished Support Providers (CDSP), the first channel accreditation for SASE technical support.

CDSP-Expert partners can gain the skills to be able to offer Tier 1 and Tier 2 support. Although the training is free, the plan is to keep numbers contained to a select number of partners that can earn the accreditations in each region.

Cato is hoping that partners will recognise the benefits of going through the certification process to get into a position where they can meet customer needs, which are increasing as more security and networking demands are made by users.

The CDSP programme is already available to partners, and Cato is encouraging resellers to read up on the benefits of going through the accreditation process.

Cato signed Nuvias in April, just weeks after it had been given $77m in its largest funding round so far, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, taking the total it has received to $200m.

The firm made it clear that the broad plan was to use those funds to continue to build on the momentum the business enjoyed last year, with a 220% increase in bookings, and the solid start it had made to 2020. Part of that strategy involved investing more with the channel.

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