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

PARTNER HOTLINES

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

Budget 2015 Special

Budget 2015: Technology Vendors are a Happy Lot

Positive, bold, pragmatic: That’s what the Union Budget 2015 means to India’s top technology vendors.

Budget 2015: Partners Apprehensive About Smart Cities and Digital India

Channel partners feel that, in this year’s budget, the Smart Cities project was conspicuous by its absence. Will the government ensure that the Smart City project fuels the Digital India vision?

Budget 2015: By the Numbers

This year's budget has been a mixed bag for the IT industry. Here's a look at the numbers that matter to you.

Budget 2015: 3 Things I Liked and Didn't Like: Prashant Jain, JNR Management Resources

Increased domestic transfer pricing and digitally signed invoices are beneficial for channels but increased service tax rate will be a dampener, says Prashant Jain, Founder and CEO, JNR Management Resources.

An Inclusive Budget Focused on IT and Growth: Bhaskar Pramanik, Microsoft

The Chairman of Microsoft India says the budget has made technology the backbone for government processes and systems.

MAIT: The Budget Promotes Domestic Manufacturing in India

The association believes that, from an IT industry perspective, the Union Budget 2015-2016 is a mixed bag with the inverted duty structure being finally addressed with the removal of SAD on all components.

NASSCOM: The Budget’s Good for IT, But Concerns Remain

The industry body says the budget is comprehensive, but it still hasn’t addressed concerns like dual levy on software and high rate of TDS.

A Budget for Innovation and Growth: Partha Iyengar, Gartner

This is a pragmatic and growth-oriented budget which incorporates the ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ philosophy, says Partha Iyengar, Country Manager (Research)-India, Gartner.

Getting Started on GST: What CIOs Should Start Doing Now

GST could impact the way you manage IT. Here's what you can do today to get started, according to Vivek Pachisia, Partner Tax and Regulatory Services, EY.

GST Could Radically Affect the IT Department

GST is coming, so what? What effect could it have on IT and IT strategy? Plenty, says Vivek Pachisia, Partner Tax and Regulatory Services, EY.

EDITOR'S PICK

IT Leadership: Signs You're a Micromanager (And How to Stop)

Are you never quite satisfied with your team's results? Do you avoid delegating at all costs, often taking on work that's far below your experience and talent level just because you're certain no one else can do it as well as you can? Are you constantly demanding status updates, progress reports and check-ins? It's time to face the facts: You're a micromanager.

Why M&As Affect Channel Partners the Most

You might not realize it. But apart from the companies involved in an M&A, the most affected party is you.

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.

What Happens Inside Amazon When There's a Xen Vulnerability

In the past six months AWS has twice had to reboot some of its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) servers because of a Xen vulnerability.

Five Sneaky Ways Companies are Changing Employees' Security Behavior

Changing employees' behavior is no easy task. People have an innate need to socialize and share information, says Alessandro Acquisti, professor of IT and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and a member of Carnegie Mellon CyLab.

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.

SLIDESHOWS

CEO Comebacks: For Better or for Worse?

We bring to you six global CEOs who made the idea work, or not.

Datacenters in the Weirdest Places

A peek into some of the most unusual datacenter locations in the world. Here are 13 datacenters that are built in unusual locations like mines, ships, trucks and even a nuclear collidor. Taking about common wisdom, eh?

12 LinkedIn Mistakes IT Pros Make

LinkedIn is the go-to place for IT pros to market themselves, connect with co-workers, find former colleagues, and meet-up with like-minded folks. Take a few minutes now to make sure your profile showcases your accomplishments, and skills. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

ChannelWorld Survey: State of the Market 2014

Partners poll their sentiments, expectations, pain points, and challenges for the coming year.

6 Leaders Who Headed for an Abrupt Exit

The abrupt exit of top leaders of Indian and global tech companies this year, with many of them citing ambiguous reasons, surprised the technology 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.

EMC PARTNER SHOWCASE

Partnering for Profitability

Atul H. Gosar, Director, Network Techlab, shares how the company’s association with EMC has provided it with a competitive edge and a wide customer base, leading to increased profitability.

Sponsored Content

Promising Pipeline

Venkat Murthy, Prime Mover, 22by7 Solutions, shares how EMC brings in competitive edge by enabling technology, GTM and lead generation, helping 22by7 acquire new customers and retain old ones.

Sponsored Content

Powerful Performance

Deepak Jadhav, Director, VDA Infosolutions, says initiatives by EMC around training and certification have helped the company’s staff improve its performance and enhance customer experience.

Sponsored Content

Performance Booster

Rajiv Kumar, CEO, Proactive Data Systems, says that the solution provider’s association with EMC has helped expand its customer base and added value to existing offerings.

Sponsored Content

Pursuit of Profitability

Santosh Agrawal, CEO, Esconet Technologies, shares insights on how the systems integrator’s association with EMC has spelled sustained success over the years.

Sponsored Content

Non-Performance is Not an Option

Nitin Aggarwal, Director, Trifin Technologies, shares insights on how the association with EMC has helped the system integrator stand out and empowered its personnel to deliver consistent performance.

Sponsored Content

SOCIAL MEDIA @ CW India
SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Signup for our newsletter and get regular updates.

VIDEOS | FORECAST 2015

SAP Cloud Strategy Powered by HANA: Ravi Chauhan

CIOs will rapidly adopt SMAC in 2015, and SAP has innovative solutions to provide business advantage and competitive edge to India Inc., says Ravi Chauhan, MD, SAP India.

Dell to Dominate Converged Infrastructure Market in India: Alok Ohrie

From a PC manufacturer to an end-to-end solutions provider, we are gaining India market share through a strong partner ecosystem: Alok Ohrie, MD & President, Dell India.

Citrix Will Catalyze Shift From End-user to User-First: Parag Arora

Parag Arora, Area VP and India head, India Sub-continent, Citrix, talks about the company’s vision to drive a paradigm shift in enterprise IT: From an end-user approach to a user-first approach powered by mobile and cloud computing and enabled by competent channel partners.

Mobility to Boost Collaboration and Conferencing in 2015: Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Avaya

Avaya delivers great value as an end-to-end communications solutions provider across data, audio and video, says Priyadarshi Mohapatra, MD India and SAARC, Avaya

Securing Organizations Against Modern Day Threats: Sanjay Rohatgi, Symantec

We have proven that we can manage and secure an organization’s data from within and outside a network, which is a vital requirement by CISOs today, says Sanjay Rohatgi, President-Sales, India, Symantec.

We are the Apple of Network Security World: Anil Bhasin, Palo Alto Networks

Anil Bhasin, Managing Director, Palo Alto Networks India, says new threats weaken an organization’s network but advanced security tools can change that.

Software Defined Networking to Rule in 2015: Ashish Dhawan, Juniper Networks

Networking is definitely moving towards a software-defined paradigm and we continue to dominate the India market with an extensive portfolio, and well-entrenched channels, says Ashish Dhawan, MD, India and SAARC, Juniper Networks.

EMC to Dominate 3rd Platform Across India Inc.: Rajesh Janey

In the last year, EMC has refreshed its entire product line to enable customers take advantage of the 3rd platform, says Rajesh Janey, president, India and SAARC, EMC.

IoT Vital for Digital India Initiative: Debjani Ghosh, Intel

The tons of data that will be generated in the coming years will open opportunities in storage, and analytics, says Debjani Ghosh, VP, sales and marketing group, and MD-South Asia, Intel.

VDI, Flash and Hybrid Cloud to Propel Storage Market: Anil Valluri, NetApp

We are witnessing a movement from traditional data storage systems to a hybrid cloud environment says Anil Valluri, president, India and SAARC, NetApp.

SDDC is the Big Shift for 2015: Arun Parameswaran, VMware

Arun Parameswaran, MD, VMware, says that in India, unlike other countries, there is still a huge untapped opportunity to virtualize existing infrastructure in 2015.

Go Cloud for Business Advantage: Sunny Sharma, Foetron

Sunny Sharma, CEO and Founder, Foetron, speaks about the company's focused roadmap to ride the public cloud wave.

FireEye to Combat APTs Across Multiple Vectors in 2015: Ramsunder Papineni

Going into 2015, organizations need to think of security more holistically, including ways to defend end points, e-mail, Web, file, and mobile security, says Ramsunder Papineni, regional director, India and SAARC, FireEye.

Retaining IT Talent in 2015: Shirish Anjaria, Dynacons

Shirish Anjaria, CMD, Dynacons Systems & Solutions, speaks about how partner companies can enhance the talent pool of skilled IT staff.

New Style of IT to Gather Traction in 2015: Neelam Dhawan, HP

SDS, SDN and software defined infrastructure will play a key role across Indian organizations in 2015, says Neelam Dhawan, VP and GM, enterprise group, country MD India, HP.

Building Strong Vendor-Partner Relationships: Pawan Khurana, QuantM

Pawan Khurana, CEO, QuantM, on what he expects from technology vendor companies in 2015.

IoE to be Biggest Market Disruptor in 2015: Dinesh Malkani, Cisco

We continue developing innovative solutions in IoT and cloud computing and help our partner ecosystem capitalize on market opportunities, says Dinesh Malkani, president, Cisco India and SAARC.

New Technologies For New Growth: Murtuza Sutarwala, Swan Solutions & Services

Deep selling and upselling emerging technologies to customers enhances our value proposition as a competent solution provider, says Murtuza Sutarwala, Swan Solutions & Services.

Analytics is a Goldmine for Channels in 2015: Anoop Pai Dhungat, Galaxy Office Automation

Analytics, mobility, and security are the technology megatrends for us in 2015, says Anoop Pai Dhungat, CMD, Galaxy Office Automation.

Smartphone Proliferation to Impact Mobile Strategies in 2015: Vikram Sehgal, Forrester

Enhancing customer experience through mobility will be key priority for organizations in 2015, says Vikram Sehgal, VP and Research Director, Forrester.

3rd Platform to Take Off in India: Jaideep Mehta, IDC

Jaideep Mehta, MD, India and South Asia, IDC, say cloud computing and mobility will be the fastest growing 3rd platform technologies in India.

Opex Model the Way Forward for Partners in 2015: Ajay Sawant, Orient Technologies

Ajay Sawant, Orient Technologies, talks about the massive shift as traditional system integrators move towards an Opex-led business model.

Digital India is Colossal Opportunity for Channels: Akhilesh Tuteja, KPMG

Channel partners should devise a vertical strategy with the right alliances and innovative solutions, says Akhilesh Tuteja, Partner-IT Advisory, KPMG India.

Going Digital the Way Ahead for India Inc: Karthik Ananth, Zinnov

Since India is a mobile -first market, Indian organizations that are turning digital should ensure that they deliver a uniform experience for their customers, says Karthik Ananth, Director, Zinnov.