APM, Channel chiefs, Channel partner events, Channel partner programs, MSP

Riverbed Launches MSP Partner Program Track

Karl Meulema
Karl Meulema

Riverbed Technology has expanded its Performance Partner Program to include a managed services provider (MSP) track. The effort includes an MSP pilot program that boasts subscription-based licensing and pricing.

Riverbed, which specializes in application performance acceleration, is the latest in a growing list of "traditional" IT companies that are adjusting for the managed services wave.

Additional examples include Barracuda Networks bundling hardware with its Intronis MSP Solutions, and HP Inc. introducing Device as a Service (DaaS) for its endpoint hardware. Lenders and financial services firms that work closely with channel partners also are adjusting their models. GreatAmerica, for instance, has been promoting Hardware as a Rental -- a new twist on the old Hardware as a Service model.

Still, Riverbed isn't betting the house on MSPs. Instead, the company's partner program continues engage numerous partner types. Among the additional changes: The company is planing refinements for its value-added distributor program. And an Authorized Consulting Partner track -- featuring franchise professional services -- also is under development, according to Senior VP of Global Channels Karl Meulema.

Jerry Kennelly

That blended approach -- serving a range of partners -- is likely a wise one. Although the "as a service" market continues to grow, it's a safe bet that some customers will seek to rebalance their IT spending between OpEx and CapEx -- especially amid runaway OpEx costs tied to the cloud.

So how are Riverbed and its channel partners performing in the market? That's difficult to say. Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm, acquired Riverbed in 2015 and the company's stock is no longer publicly traded. But overall it sounds like the business is performing well, based on CEO Jerry Kennelly's recent comments to CNBC.

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.