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LiveAction Names Datto, Navisite Veteran Brooks Borcherding President for SD-WAN Partner Push

LiveAction CEO Brooks Borcherding
Brooks Borcherding

LiveAction has hired former Datto and NaviSite executive Brooks Borcherding as president, reporting to CEO Walter Scott. LiveAction develops a network performance analytics platform for enterprises and service providers. The company in recent months has been gearing up to work more closely with service providers in the SD-WAN market.

Both Scott and Borcherding have extensive experience in the MSP market. Scott previously was CEO of GFI Software and LogicNow, which SolarWinds MSP acquired in June 2016.

Walter Scott

Borcherding, meanwhile, played a key role in Datto's recent growth in the backup, recovery and business continuity market for MSPs. Vista Equity Partners acquired Datto in October 2017 and merged it with Autotask. Borcherding exited shortly thereafter. Earlier, he was CEO at NaviSite, a midmarket MSP that's well-known for its enterprise-class services.

Scott, in a prepared statement about hiring Borcherding, said:

“Brooks joins LiveAction at a critical point in the company’s evolution, building on our recent expansion in Europe through the acquisition of LivingObjects technology and our latest product releases designed to accelerate the value that businesses get from enterprise networking technology. Brooks’ appointment represents an opportunity for growth and development of our existing team complemented by new talent that brings the wisdom of past experiences to the company.”

Q&A: LiveAction President Brooks Borcherding

In a Q&A with ChannelE2E, Borcherding provided more details about his career move. Here's what we covered...

ChannelE2E: What attracted you to the company?

Borcherding: I’ve been extremely fortunate throughout my career to participate in several disruptive market transitions such as off-shoring call centers at Avaya, the convergence of voice and data at Cisco, and the emergence of cloud computing at NaviSite. I believe SD-WAN is equally disruptive and destined to transform the way enterprises deploy and manage their wide-area network architectures today. LiveAction is at the center of this market transition; delivering the only next-generation network management platform that provides enterprises the ability to manage SD-WAN and traditional WANs seamlessly through a single-pane-of-glass. The potential for LiveAction is tremendous, and I’m thankful to Walter and the Insight Team for giving me the opportunity to help lead the company forward. It’s a remarkable growth opportunity for the entire LiveAction team.

ChannelE2E: Did you know Walter Scott before this opportunity surfaced? How/when did you connect?

Borcherding: I think everyone in the managed services industry knows Walter through his reputation as a brilliant leader and track record of success at a sequence of companies. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Walter and learn from his success.

ChannelE2E: Where will you personally focus your efforts for the first 60 to 90 days?

Borcherding: My initial focus will be the go-to-market functions at LiveAction including Sales, Marketing and our Strategic Partnerships. I bring to LiveAction more than 25 years of enterprise sales experience including several years at Cisco working with many of the world’s largest VARs which is an essential ecosystem for LiveAction. We are a Cisco Preferred Solution Provider, available on the Cisco GPL, and formally work with many of the leading channel partners, which grants us a tremendous addressable market opportunity.

ChannelE2E: Where will you personally focus your efforts longer term – say, the first year?

Borcherding: 2018 represents an opportunity for dramatic growth for LiveAction based on the accelerating adoption of SD-WAN coupled with Cisco’s strategic acquisition of Viptela to create the foundation of the Cisco SD-WAN architecture. LiveAction already has in place an exceptionally strong integration with Viptela making us the only provider of a seamless Viptela, Cisco iWAN, Meraki SD-WAN, and traditional Cisco WAN integrated network management offerings. Additionally, our support and integration with other key technologies in the intent-based networking architecture, such as SD-Access and DNA Center, mean that LiveAction has a unique opportunity to address multi-vendor network environments.

LiveAction and Service Providers

ChannelE2E: LiveSP recently launched. I believe it’s based on the LivingObjects acquisition. How will Service Providers benefit?

Borcherding: The LivingObjects acquisition is a game changer for LiveAction and immediately multiplies our addressable market opportunity. I had the opportunity to spend a few days with Bertrand and the LiveSP team at the Cisco Live event in Barcelona last week and could not be more impressed by both the people and the amazing solution they have built for Service Providers. In many ways the LiveSP offering mirrors the LiveNX solution and delivers the same SD-WAN benefits to the SP market. Solution Provider can now deploy a next-generation, cloud-first, multi-tenant network management platform for hybrid SD-WAN and traditional WAN infrastructures which enables SPs to capture share in the emerging managed SD-WAN market.

ChannelE2E: In terms of service providers, are you targeting enterprise, midmarket or SMB service providers? Sounds like enterprise-scale stuff to me.

Borcherding: Yes, the LiveNX solution targets larger, more complex networks that require a better network management solution to enable their digital transformation, lower operating costs, proactively address potential network issues, and deliver superior user experiences. However, we are working on packaging the LiveNX solution to bring these same benefits down market to the mid-market.

ChannelE2E: Anything else we should keep our eyes on?

Borcherding: Watch this space! The LiveAction development team is working on some real kick-ass solutions that we’ll be rolling out throughout 2018.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.