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Riverbed: Unified observability strategy will benefit partners

Networking player ushers in a fresh approach as it reacts to a changing world where customers are demanding more insights into their IT systems

Riverbed has announced a strategic and branding shift to establish itself as the leading force in the unified observability market.

Known worldwide for its wide area network (WAN) optimisation expertise, the firm has noted the shift to a hybrid world and customers’ rising need to gain more visibility of networks that are being stretched well beyond previously established parameters.

The unified observability market is worth an estimated $19bn and Riverbed will be working to a strategy that brings together data, insights and actions across IT and will also revise its identity, including Alluvio by Riverbed as its branding.

The firm has described the move as positive for its channel partners, providing an opportunity to pitch a topical solution, and a chance to attract more partners that will want to add unified observability to their portfolio of options.

“This launch of Alluvio, as well as the rebranding of Riverbed, is really taking our 20 years of experience in the networking industry, where we really understand the flows of what’s going on in an organisation, and taking that to the next level with this idea of unified observability,” said Alex Thurber, recently appointed svp global channels at Riverbed

Thurber said customers had been asking for visibility that went beyond just parsing log files, and gave a bigger picture of what was going on across the network.

“We are able to take all of our understanding of flow, pulling it together with all the different collectors that we have access to,” he said. “Then, over time, adding an AI and machine learning can really give you the customer a perspective on not only what is going on, but why is it happening in today’s world with more and more complex networks.”

Thurber said the strategy would give its channel a larger customer base to target because more insights into networks were something most customers were keen to gain.

“Riverbed, of course, is very focused at the enterprise,” he said. “With 97 of the Fortune 100, we have a vast majority of the Fortune 500 and the global 500. But one of these areas that this whole move around observability and true user experience monitoring does lend itself to is a much broader [customer] base. One of the things that I’m doing in my new role is helping expand our partner community and our partner tools, so that there is more opportunity, probably primarily around an MSP play, because it’s pretty sophisticated, pretty fast or pretty complex.”

That broader customer base means more opportunities for existing channel partners and should make the vendor more attractive to some of the MSPs that have not engaged with it so far.

“It’s a great opportunity for our channel partners to get closer to their customers and become more profitable as well,” said Kirsten MacGregor, head of alliance and channel sales UK&I at Riverbed.

She said the firm’s current channel had already recognised the way the market was evolving and had started to move in the same direction as the vendor.

“I’ve already started seeing that, from the start of this year,” she said. “It’s been refreshing seeing some of our traditional partners, who have that networking background, actually transitioning to this observability kind of market with us. They are seeing the growth that we are seeing, and they want to come on that journey with us.

“But in the same breath, we are looking at partners that we wouldn’t really have typically worked with in the past. Already we are able to build out managed desktop services with them and touch so many more customers, just because of their reach.”

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