1. What are the core services that the company offers to its customers in the KSA markets?
We are a purely WAN optimisation company – all our products are centred on this core service. WAN requirements are evolving rapidly as enterprises grow increasingly frustrated with the high cost and complexity of MPLS networking. There just hasn’t been a solution, until now, that can conveniently leverage lower-cost Internet in a secure, controlled and optimised manner. This is where Silver Peak comes in. With KSA, bandwidth is not necessarily very expensive, but they do suffer from bad connectivity, which we can alleviate. Saudi Arabia is a big market, with big enterprises and with lots of branches, willing to invest in technology and the need for a capable solution. Sometimes, with customers from Saudi Arabia, we do have to put in a little more groundwork to ensure customers are familiar and comfortable with WAN optimisation services, as it is not considered as a necessity until requirement kicks in.
2. What are the most important strategic partnerships that the company has established, and which had great impact on the company’s growth?
Key global partners such as Dell, EMC Corporation and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) have largely influenced Silver Peak’s growth; in fact, Silver Peak is a Dell-preferred global WAN optimisation partner, and Dell is one of Silver Peak’s largest partners globally. We are integrating Silver Peak real-time network optimisation techniques into Dell data centre switching, campus networking, server and storage products, through which enterprises can cost-effectively increase network capacity, optimise network quality and ensure maximum performance over distance – all while reducing on-going IT operating costs. In the Middle East, our interaction with them is limited, but it is growing with time. We are also working closely with EMC and developing that relationship.
One of our main objectives in the Middle East is to add on more dedicated partners to our foothold; we are looking to increase our partners in all locations in within the region.
3. What are the most recent solutions and services that the company launched in 2015?
So far, 2015 has seen Silver Peak introduce SD-WAN and Unity to the market. SD-WAN is more of a concept that has emerged; Silver Peak is looking to deliver the best possible, or at the very least, similar, performance on an Internet link, when compared to an MPLS link. Because of how expensive MPLS is, a lot of companies are migrating to the Internet, but whilst an Internet link is cheaper, it is not a dedicated link thereby mitigating performance. With SD-WAN you’re looking at similar performance as with an MPLS link, but at a reasonable cost. Silver Peak can give you the same quality, securely, and with the best possible delivery of applications on an Internet Link. Highly influential industry analyst firm Gartner has actually named Silver Peak ‘leader’ in their magic quadrant for WAN optimisation because we are the only company who have started providing SD-WAN solutions.
We’ve launched Unity as well in 2015. Although the product is not ready yet, it will be, come June. Unity is a management platform: when a network is characterised by global, multiple connectivity, Unity will decide which route to take. It’s a little like Google Maps for applications: it’ll tell you where to go, which way to take to get there and where the traffic is. It provides IT departments with unprecedented visibility, and allows them to pre-define the rules for sending data efficiently.
4. What strategies has the company adopted to satisfy its partners and maintain long-term relations with them?
Well, as we grow, our need for technical expertise also grows; we’re providing a lot of free training sessions, certified ones, to our customers and our partners. We’re also providing them with demo units, to facilitate them to carry out seamless demonstrations when required. And we’re helping them with lead generations; we’re doing multiple events, road shows and Internet campaigns, which have garnered strong interest so far.
5. How does the company support the development of its customers’ business to ensure their ability to provide the required services to the KSA markets?
For Silver Peak services in Dubai, we have a next business-day delivery system in place. We are trying to push for the same system in KSA, but right now delivery takes between 48 to 72 hours. So that’s one of the things that allows our customers to seamlessly provide their services to the KSA market. We are also looking at including more dedicated partners to provide level-one support, and in the meanwhile, are providing our partners and customers with training, which has received a positive response in KSA. Right now, we have only a few partners in KSA but are looking for strong solution systems integrators who can take Silver Peak to KSA enterprise customers.
6. How do you anticipate the growth of the Middle East distribution channels in 2015?
No vendors distribute themselves; they either have to go through a distributor or a tier-one partner. All our business is via distribution. As businesses grow – and this is definitely a period of expansion for businesses in the Middle East – they draw more partners, more customers and ultimately more distributors to translate concepts, services and products into implementations for customers. In 2015, we are looking to develop partners and awareness in the market. Once we have dedicated partners in place and as business grows, we will further expand in the region by hiring engineers and by channel development. As of now, Gulf IT is supporting us in developing partners, customers and proof of concepts.
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