Talari Co-founder and CMO Talks SD-WAN, Cloud & More

January 21, 2019

By Maurice Nagle, Web Editor

A few months back, Talari touted the milestone of 10 years shipping its Failsafe software. Not long after that celebration started to subside, the SD-WAN vendor made mega news revealing cloud titan Oracle (News - Alert) reached an agreement to acquire Talari Networks for an undisclosed amount. Needless to say 2018 was an exceptional year for SD-WAN and Talari, and as we embark on 2019 SD-WAN Expo is right around the corner.

Talari CMO and Co-founder Andy Gottlieb is set to participate in two primetime panels at the upcoming SD-WAN Expo – “The State of SD-WAN – A View From the C-Suite” & “Soo… What’s Next for SD-WAN” – and in advance of the event, Gottlieb sat down with us to offer some insight on the year that was, and what we may expect from the newly acquired Talari in 2019.

TMC (News - Alert): Please tell us a bit about the latest news at your company.

Andy Gottlieb: Late in 2018, Oracle announced it was acquiring Talari.  We’re tremendously excited about extending our reach globally as part of Oracle, and being able to expand R&D, sales and marketing at a rate that wouldn’t have been possible as a standalone company. Oracle is now the only cloud computing vendor with a leading SD-WAN solution. And of course Talari’s is one of the only failsafe SD-WAN solutions delivering the MPLS-class reliability and predictable QoE that enterprises have come to expect for their WANs.

TMC: What pains are you taking away for customers?

AG: Our failsafe SD-WAN solution addresses multiple pains simultaneously. The obvious one is the cost of private WAN bandwidth, when MPLS bits cost ~100x more than Internet bits.  This addresses both cost and bandwidth pains (which almost all SD-WAN solutions enable).  But that’s not enough I you don’t also deliver MPLS-class high availability and high predictable Quality of Experience (QoE); that’s what only failsafe SD-WAN technology delivers [and there is only a tiny handful of SD-WAN vendors that even come close to our technology on this].

And with that failsafe SD-WAN technology, we also enable reliable, high QoE access to SaaS (News - Alert) and cloud services.  And reduce not only network management and configuration costs, but radically reduce troubleshooting costs. And enable safely running real-time and interactive applications over unreliable Internet links. And give enterprises leverage over their telecom carriers for really the first time ever.

TMC: How is cloud acceptance changing how your customers or you company operates?

AG: Having a great cloud access solution, and not merely vision and statements of intent, is now essential for SD-WAN adoption. Fully supporting centralized, distributed and cloud-based network security architectures is critical, but by itself is not enough. Customers are demanding the same reliability and QoE they’ve come to expect from their MPLS WANs, but most don’t want the hassle of having to stand up WAN infrastructure in the cloud. Our recently announced Talari Cloud Connect platform was designed to address these customer demands as their interesting in migrating applications to the cloud continues to grow.

TMC: What are the most important recent communications technology innovations in your industry?

AG: Enterprises are rapidly embracing public cloud computing, SaaS, hybrid IT and multi-cloud postures in pursuit of their digital-transformation objectives.  This pursuit is compelling them to overhaul their WAN architectures and management models to reliably, securely, and cost-effectively deliver cloud-based applications and services.

While most SD-WAN offerings provide some value in providing access to cloud services and SaaS, almost all previous approaches have significant challenges in meeting enterprise requirements. Talari Cloud Connect technology delivers all the benefits of Talari’s failsafe SD-WAN extended to cloud/SaaS access, without the enterprise hassle.

TMC: Is SD-WAN changing the way you and/or your customers operate?  How?

AG: Yes, SD-WAN is now at the beginning of the land-grab and being part of Oracle (the Communications Group within Oracle, more specifically) with its deep pockets and broad reach instantly changed our market position into a huge global strength.  Partners and customers are poised to take full advantage of Oracle’s increased market presence. For example, contact center customers are able to have higher reliability and call quality, with flat or lower WAN spend even as they are adding high-bandwidth and interactive cloud-based applications for their contact center operators.

TMC: What is your perception of the The Future of Work and how new tech is changing the face of communications?

AG: As it relates to IT, CEOs and CIOs are worried about two things first and foremost: security in the modern globally connected era, and the overall pace of change.

Together, Oracle and Talari are ideally positioned to help enterprises accelerate digital transformation and cloud adoption integral to the Future of Work, taming the chaos as applications move to the cloud, delivering a secure, reliable end-to-end Quality of Experience across their enterprise networks.

TMC: What is the greatest opportunity facing your industry?

AG: The greatest opportunity is around the twin migrations a) away from complete dependency on expensive, private MPLS WANs, and b) toward using the cloud and SaaS for an ever-great number of applications.  Enterprise IT is looking for a long-term method of scaling the WAN, addressing access to cloud and SaaS, and making it easier to manage and troubleshoot the WAN.  With a failsafe SD-WAN, customers don’t have to compromise (and take two steps forward but one step back) on WAN availability and application QoE when using Internet links to augment or replace their expensive MPLS WAN, nor do they have to compromise on network availability or predictable QoE when they migrate applications to the cloud. 

Failsafe SD-WAN technology offers enterprise WAN Managers and VPs of IT infrastructure the chance to be heroes with their Application counterparts, CIOs and even CEOs by providing the “missing link” in enabling enterprises to safely migrate applications to the cloud at the pace the business desires.

TMC: What is the greatest challenge?

AG: Customers are counting on their networks to deliver added reliability and QoE for mission-critical and/or real-time applications.  Contact centers and EMS / 911 are one example here.  Banks and credit unions looking to deploy higher bandwidth applications, including video, at branch offices are another. Global law firms looking to deploy videoconferencing or use Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is another.  In all of these cases, cost savings are a side benefit; the biggest driver and challenge is delivering more reliability and/or adding the ability to run next-generation or real-time applications that could not be successfully deployed previously. SD-WAN solutions that don’t deliver at least MPLS-class high availability and predictable QoE will cause customers to stop or slow their cloud migrations

TMC: What do you hope to achieve at the event?

AG: Our goal is to educate potential customers and partners around the SD-WAN Market developed from networking startups founded to disrupt the traditional MPLS WAN status quo and where larger carriers (and some SD-WAN vendors) are looking to embrace-and-extend strategies incorporating SD-WAN into core services, for the purpose of locking vendors in with the carrier. Helping customers understand the difference in focus among SD-WAN vendors and the differences in technology, as the market is now in a high-growth phase but one that can be confusing with so many vendors out there.

TMC: Why should people come to ITEXPO and collocated #SuperShow events to meet with your company?

AG: #1 understanding the benefits that SD-WAN technology and solutions offer for every enterprise.  #2, to start to understand that no all SD-WAN technology has been created equally, and that few SD-WAN vendors out there deliver the kind of failsafe SD-WAN that most customers want and expect.

For the typical attendee, the time-to-breakeven for replacing costly MPLS WAN connections, or avoiding a private WAN bandwidth upgrade, is between 6 and 12 months.  8 or 9 months is typical; the more global the WAN, the faster the typical payback.  This refers to hard WAN cost savings; factoring in the lower administrative costs of an SD-WAN solution, and the far lower troubleshooting costs of a failsafe SD-WAN solution, can make the payback quicker still.  And if the failsafe SD-WAN is what enables the ability to move applications to the cloud and SaaS, the effective payback time is even better.

TMC: Why should your session be on the list of must-attend sessions at this year’s conference?

AG: My two sessions, The State of SD-WAN and Sooo… What’s Next for SD-WAN, offer attendees helpful insights into the differences between SD-WAN technologies, as well as covering the key issues and difference in how SaaS and cloud services access work in an SD-WAN environment.  The reality is that enterprises are almost all going to be multicloud in terms of where they get their services, and it’s important to have an SD-WAN solution that delivers reliability and high QoE for all applications and with any cloud. 

TMC: Please make an interesting prediction about tech in 2019?

AG: SD-WAN will hit the gas pedal in 2019, and 2019 will be the year that the details of how SD-WAN solutions connect to the cloud will start to matter.  Accelerating digital transformation and cloud adoption requires providing companies with complete enterprise network solutions that deliver reliable real-time communications and performance of mission-critical applications over any network; doing the only for an expensive, private MPLS WAN will no longer be sufficient. 

Talari’s Cloud Connect platform, together with our ecosystem partners, addresses reliable, high QoE access to SaaS and cloud services with an approach that leapfrogs the SD-WAN competition. Cloud Connect offers enterprises simple, failsafe cloud/SaaS access, delivering reliable, high QoE when accessing the cloud without the enterprise hassle of deploying and managing cloud-based infrastructure – but also without requiring enterprises to do a forklift upgrade to an entirely cloud-based managed service.  The best way to predict the future is to invent it. And when it offers revolutionary capabilities supporting an evolutionary approach, adoption is that much easier.

We’ll see you in sunny South Florida!

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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