F5 Networks: VDI is our focus area at the datacenter | Christian Hentschel | Senior VP — Sales, Asia Pacific & Japan, F5 Networks | Interviews | ChannelWorld.in

F5 Networks: VDI is our focus area at the datacenter

Interviewed on May 23, 2012 by Shantheri Mallaya
Christian Hentschel
Christian Hentschel , Senior VP — Sales, Asia Pacific & Japan, F5 Networks VDI is a great opportunity for us. It is, at some level, an application that becomes a browser. We need to have underlying intelligence in the data center; that is where F5 comes in.

Interview Questions

Full Interview with Christian Hentschel

CW : The F5 journey from ADN to a security infrastructure player has been quite interesting. Also, with focus on data center-oriented tie-ups, has F5 really sunk its teeth into virtualization and cloud?

Hentschel: Indeed, the journey and the transition have been quite challenging and interesting. Going forward, few key trends present a huge opportunity for us. Mobility and IP traffic are driving enterprise application and network layers across voice, data and video. F5 is striving to enhance and excel its competencies in application delivery to meet these trends, secure networks and make them flexible and reliable. We are helping customers and partners to leverage and monetize capabilities at the data center, on the cloud. We deliver security solutions that help customers to protect applications. Our DDoS (distributed denial of service) solutions are a manifestation of this mandate. We have tons of opportunities to look into, and we are working towards optimizing these.

CW : Industry watchers believe that Cisco and Citrix have a strong pact in VDI, while F5 may not have too many VDI capabilities. This makes data center-VDI a tough game for F5, doesn’t it?

Hentschel: VDI is a great opportunity for us. It is, at some level, an application that becomes a browser. We need to have underlying intelligence in the data center; that is where F5 comes into the picture. F5 has a standing strong partnership with VMware for data center customers, with VMware standardizing their solutions on ours. We have a number of customers across APAC, who look at us to layer upon their existing Citrix VDI solutions. Whether it is Citrix or VMware, we are open to partnerships, because VDI is a focus area at the data center. It will not only drive the data center business but will also drive the security focus for us.

CW : F5 Networks has gone ahead and crossed its aspiration mark of being a billion-dollar organization worldwide. How significant has the APAC and Japan business been?

Hentschel: The last few quarters have been very good to the company as a whole and have been viewed very positively by analysts. F5 closed last quarter with US$339 million, which was a 22.4 percent YoY growth and a 5.3 percent growth quarter-on-quarter. APAC and Japan have the highest growth rates, with Japan at 45 percent and APAC at 24 percent, YoY growth, while the Americas clocked 21 percent and EMEA at 19 percent YoY. In the last couple of quarters, the business from APAC and Japancontributes to around 21 percent of the overall revenues of F5 worldwide, which is quite significant.

CW : F5’s recent acquisition of Traffix Systems happened despite the fact the company has its own telecom products. Why was this done, and will this acquisition really help to push the telecom agenda further?

Hentschel: Absolutely, the recent acquisition will push the telecom as far as it needs to. Telecom is a chief contributor to F5 top-lines. Previously, in 2G and 3G deployments, the main attribute was the radius, while 4G goes on to the diameter. Traffix has a diameter solution and we were looking at a specialist player in the 4G space whose portfolio would enhance and integrate our existing 4G solutions and our service provider focus. We have more than 35 service providers and that is a huge opportunity to build on to the next level.

CW : Partners in India feel that the level of channel engagement between them and F5 is quite poor. Some have tried to engage with you in the recent years, acquire skill sets, but nothing went beyond a certain level. However, they are unanimous in saying your products are world class. Why this disconnect?

Hentschel: I wouldn’t say that there is disconnect as such nor can I comment on specific partner observations. We have started to rebuild our India engagements in the last 18 months or so. We have a team in place. It is at a challenging phase and we quite look forward to the changes. All partners across the world, including partners in India, have access to information depending on their certifications and specializations. Dev Central, a portal with access to customers and partners, is a community platform for application developers with about 1 Lakh unique users. Some of the solutions that we have deployed in India (in the service provider and the financial services) are quite sophisticated. Hence, the interaction is self-explanatory. From a channel perspective, 95 percent of our business comes from the channel. From a go-to-market standpoint, we have done everything within our control to ensure partners get the maximum benefit of all the resources we have. We are keen to continue to invest in India.

CW : Analysts feel that much of F5’s success can be attributed chiefly to its newer products, including higher-than-expected demand for Viprion 2400, F5’s midrange chassis. How true is this from an APAC and India viewpoint, and won’t the emphasis stagnate your growth?

Hentschel: Yes, we are still not there from a high-end standpoint. We have observed that in the emerging markets, much of the business and interest that is evinced ranges in the low- and mid-range products. But, in the last year or so, in APAC, much of the growth that we are seeing is due to the change in customer perspective in understanding the value of high-end solutions. There has definitely been a quarter-on-quarter increase in the implementation of high-end platforms. From an India perspective, most of the customers are already using high-end platforms; these are larger deals. Given these changes, we are surely going to witness accelerated growth.

CW : So, is it effectively only the Global System Integrators (GSIs) who currently have the bandwidth to execute your high-end projects in India?

Hentschel: I wouldn’t say that. At the end of the day, business is between people, and we will not restrict engagements on the basis of global or local; it is about competencies. We are engaging with players other than GSIs across all our business geographies and I see no reason for India to be an exception.

Other Latest Interviews

ChannelWorld Research

Why Channels Have Changed Their Go-to-Market Strategy in Six Months

According to our SOTM Mid-Year Survey, a majority of Indian channels said their top go-to-market strategy was to offer services in a recurring revenue model—not introducing new technologies, like SMAC, which was their top GTM strategy six months ago.

SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015: Your Roadmap for the Next 6 Months

According to the survey, the next six months of the year are going to be eventful. Here are the challenges, emerging technologies and trends that will shape the rest of the year for you.

Big Data, Mobility Top Partners’ Wish List: SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015

According to the ChannelWorld's State of the Mart Mid-Year Survey (SOTM) 2015, big data is the way to go for the enterprise channels for the second half of this year, with 34 percent partners planning to invest in it.

Private Cloud Still Remains a ‘Safe Bet’ for Partners: SOTM Survey 2015

According to the STOM 2015 survey, channel partners who are into cloud computing feel that 42 percent of their business will be generated by private cloud.

Partners Pin Hope on Government, Expects IT Spend to Grow: SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015

According to the ChannelWorld's State of the Mart Mid-Year survey (SOTM) 2015, 30 percent of the channel partners believe that IT spend in the government sector is likely to increase in next six months.

No More Baby Steps, Partners Ready to ‘Risk’ Gambling with Disruptive Tech: SOTM Survey 2015

According to ChannelWorld’s State of the Mart Survey (SOTM) 2015, 43 percent of channel partners say their business will have a ‘high risk appetite’ in the second half of this year.

Channels’ 3 Great Expectations from Tech OEMs

Introduced as an individual category under ‘Expectations from tech OEMs’ list in SOTM Mid –Year Survey, ‘transparent deal registration’ emerged as the biggest concern for channel companies in India.

Latest Videos

Why We Believe in Servicing a Single Vertical: Satish Pendse, Highbar Technologies

The biggest pro of taking a vertical approach is that you put all your efforts into one thing and this excessive focus helps you succeed, says Satish Pendse, President, Highbar Technologies.

Fortinet Geared to Enhance Visibility: Rajesh Maurya

Fortinet will engage in intense dialogue with customers and partners through events, roadshows, POCs and various other initiatives, says Rajesh Maurya, Country Manager- India & SAARC, Fortinet

Hybrid SDN is a Big Opportunity for Channels: Subhasish Gupta, Allied Telesis

Subhasish Gupta, Country Manager India & SAARC, Allied Telesis, says hybrid SDN and surveillance solutions can open new doors for channel partners in India.

EDITOR'S PICK

Why Channels Have Changed Their Go-to-Market Strategy in Six Months

According to our SOTM Mid-Year Survey, a majority of Indian channels said their top go-to-market strategy was to offer services in a recurring revenue model—not introducing new technologies, like SMAC, which was their top GTM strategy six months ago.

SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015: Your Roadmap for the Next 6 Months

According to the survey, the next six months of the year are going to be eventful. Here are the challenges, emerging technologies and trends that will shape the rest of the year for you.

Big Data, Mobility Top Partners’ Wish List: SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015

According to the ChannelWorld's State of the Mart Mid-Year Survey (SOTM) 2015, big data is the way to go for the enterprise channels for the second half of this year, with 34 percent partners planning to invest in it.

Private Cloud Still Remains a ‘Safe Bet’ for Partners: SOTM Survey 2015

According to the STOM 2015 survey, channel partners who are into cloud computing feel that 42 percent of their business will be generated by private cloud.

Partners Pin Hope on Government, Expects IT Spend to Grow: SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015

According to the ChannelWorld's State of the Mart Mid-Year survey (SOTM) 2015, 30 percent of the channel partners believe that IT spend in the government sector is likely to increase in next six months.

No More Baby Steps, Partners Ready to ‘Risk’ Gambling with Disruptive Tech: SOTM Survey 2015

According to ChannelWorld’s State of the Mart Survey (SOTM) 2015, 43 percent of channel partners say their business will have a ‘high risk appetite’ in the second half of this year.

Channels’ 3 Great Expectations from Tech OEMs

Introduced as an individual category under ‘Expectations from tech OEMs’ list in SOTM Mid –Year Survey, ‘transparent deal registration’ emerged as the biggest concern for channel companies in India.

SLIDESHOWS

7 Apps By The Indian Government You Need to Use

There are over hundreds of government initiated apps for Android, Apple and Windows devices. With Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative, the government has released several new feature-rich smartphone applications.

SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015: Your Roadmap for the Next 6 Months

According to the survey, the next six months of the year are going to be eventful. Here are the challenges, emerging technologies and trends that will shape the rest of the year for you.

The State of the Internet

Akamai's Q1 2015 state of the internet report provides insights into key global statistics including connection speeds, broadband adoption (fixed and mobile networks), and IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 implementation.

India Software Market on an Upswing

According to IDC, the Indian software market has witnessed consistent growth of 10 percent since the second half of 2014, showing signs of growth and revival. 

7 Jobs Technology Has Replaced

Albert Einstein said once that it has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. With every invention of technology some poor soul becomes vulnerable to losing his or her job in some corner of the world. Here are few jobs that will cease to exist soon.

India's Leading VADs

Why Channels Want to Partner With Inflow Technologies

Inflow Technologies’ tie up with 39 vendor companies, an extensive tech portfolio, and a services play, are great value propositions for enterprise channels, says its President and CEO, Byju Pillai.

iValue Creates Real Value for Channels in India

Focused on niche vendor alliances around data, network and app management backed by a robust channel ecosystem marked iValue's success in 2014. What clicked for the seven-year-old VAD?

RAH Infotech Shows Channels the Way Ahead

Mutual trust and long lasting bond with vendor companies and channel partners helps VADs to evolve and succeed in today’s aggressively competitive market. Leveraging competent channel partners and forge niche vendor alliances marks RAH Infotech’s success in 2014.

How Satcom Infotech is Adapting to New Security Landscape

As a leading value added distributor, Satcom Infotech is emerging as an end-to-end security player, helping both customers and partners grow.

How ComGuard Shields Channel Partners

As emerging technologies introduce new threats to the enterprise landscape, they are making channel partners anxious. But VADs like ComGuard are putting their worries to rest. Here's how.

Tech Chat

Collaborating To Outcome Based World: Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Avaya

Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Managing Director, India and SAARC, Avaya, on how IT is transitioning from a keep-the-lights-on role to one that enables customers to deliver results.

The Dawn of the Digital Age: Akhilesh Tuteja, KPMG

The development of digital infrastructure will be a key growth driver for technology and solution providers. 

Paradigm Shift from End-Users to User-First : Parag Arora,Citrix

Parag Arora, Area Vice President and India Head, India Sub-continent, Citrix, says new technologies will force organizations to take a user-first approach in 2015.

Mobile and Cloud Are Gamechangers of the Future: Karan Bajwa, Microsoft

Karan Bajwa, Managing Director, Microsoft India, says, in  2015, organizations will adopt a mobile-first and cloud-first strategy to get ahead of competition.

A Network for the Internet of Everything : Dinesh Malkani,Cisco

Dinesh Malkani, President, India and SAARC, Cisco, talks about IoT and the significant technology transitions in the networking world.

Moving to the Third Platform: Jaideep Mehta, IDC

Cloud and mobility are the two technologies that will fuel the rapid adoption of the third platform in India.

Envisaging a Holistic Security Strategy For 2015: Sanjay Rohatgi,Symantec

Sanjay Rohatgi, President–Sales, Symantec India, says the company has a set of holistic solutions in place to secure organizations from security threats. 

Beating the Bad Guys: Sivarama Krishnan, PwC

Organizations will need to turn inwards to establish robust information security strategies.

Building Capabilities for a Digital Tomorrow: Alok Ohrie,Dell

Alok Ohrie, President and Managing Director, Dell India, on the company’s investments to build end-to-end solutions and delivery capabilities for a digital world.

FAST TRACK

Kamtron Systems

Transitioning towards a service-oriented company will boost our growth, believes Kavita Singhal, director, Kamtron Systems.

TIM Infratech

Delivering ‘best of breed’ technologies to enterprises is key to success, says Monish Chhabria, MD, TIM Infratech

Mudra Electronics

A vendor-agnostic strategy helped us sustain business, says Bharat Shetty, CMD, Mudra Electronics.

Systematix Technologies

Our USP is a customer-friendly approach backed by services, says Akhilesh Khandelwal, Director, Systematix Technologies.

CorporateServe Solutions

Our ability to turnaround complex ERP projects in record time is what gets us customer referral, says Vinay Vohra, Founder & CEO, CorporateServe Solutions.

KernelSphere Technologies

We are emerging as an end-to-end systems integrator, says Vinod Kumar, MD, KernelSphere Technologies.

Uniware Systems

We constantly validate emerging technologies for first-mover advantage, says Vergis K.R., CEO, Uniware Systems.

Astek Networking & Solutions

An innovative approach helps us stay successful, says Ashish Agarwal, CEO, Astek Networking & Solutions.

CSM Technologies

Our approach is backed by innovation and simplicity, says Priyadarshi Nanu Pany, CEO, CSM Technologies.

SOCIAL MEDIA @ CW India
SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Signup for our newsletter and get regular updates.