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Verizon Teams With Riverbed to Optimize Apps

Verizon Enterprise Solutions is beefing up its Managed WAN Optimization Services by offering Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD) wide-area networking capabilities as a managed service and providing professional consulting services around its managed WAN optimization services as well.

Verizon announced the Riverged deal today, saying it's adding Riverbed both for its industry leadership in WAN optimization and because Riverbed adds capabilities that Verizon didn't offer, says Steve Capozzi, senior product marketing manager for Verizon Business.

"Riverbed offers key technical things as well, such as application layer acceleration for key applications such as [Microsoft] Exchange, EMC Disaster Recovery, and LotusNotes," Capozzi says.

The partnership allows Verizon to hone its ongoing efforts to make application performance as deliverable -- and proven -- to its business customers as transport services, according to Capozzi.

To that end, Verizon has built a team of professional consultants that will assess the current state of a business's technology performance and offer alternatives for boosting performance of key applications. One of those alternatives is a test drive of WAN Optimization Services hardware on-premises, using the conditions and applications specific to that business.

"This is not a hypothetical -- it's a test drive that can show them exactly what [WAN Optimization] can do for them," Capozzi says.

Those assessments would let a company look at all of the applications running in its network, eliminate those that are not business-related or authorized, and optimize the rest to make the best use of the network, Capozzi asserts. Verizon would assume responsibility for the day-to-day network management and application optimization.

The focus on application performance recognizes that as businesses become more global and workers more mobile, the need to ensure that applications perform effectively and cost-efficiently while reaching every needed location has become a business priority, says Apurva Dave, vice president of product marketing for Riverbed. Businesses now put critical apps such as sales force management, human resources, and accounting functions into IP-based online platforms that must be networked efficiently.

"The chattiness of the TCP protocol and the distance between data centers can lead to delays," Dave says. "That's not what businesses and their employees want -- they want to click their mouse and see their Web page pop up quicker."

Applications that don't perform effectively lead to lost productivity or non-productive work-arounds, Dave notes: "If you are told you have to use an order management system, and it takes you 20 minutes to input an order, you aren't going to be very productive, and you are going to have to find a way around that, like finding someone at headquarters who can do it for you. All that kind of stuff leads to dramatic inefficiencies in the way businesses operate."

By teaming up with Verizon, Riverbed is allowing its WAN Optimization hardware to be used in a managed service that is a "pay as you grow" option, with the cost of hardware factored into the operating expense and not charged as an upfront capital expense. That model is a more attractive one to today's enterprises, says Capozzi.

The service is available in 142 countries where Verizon Business operates.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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