Training, marketing, joint solutions are our focus: Michael Zhao, Array Networks

With Array Networks expanding in India, its global CEO, Michael Zhao reveals his plans for partner ecosystem in India and how to navigate the multi-vendor space.

In an exclusive interaction with ChannelWorld, Michael Zhao, global CEO, Array Networks tells all about his plans for the partner ecosystem in India, how he plans to tackle the multi-vendor space, and what makes Array Networks different from the plethora of companies operating in the same segment.

How do you see the India market as a ratio of your global market size and growth potential?

As of now, we are looking at around 15 percent of our business coming out of India. And I believe that will continue to change as we see our business emerging to be more successful here. I'm looking at a pretty big number. Five years down the road or shorter than that, I'm thinking India to take up a quarter of our total business.

We started China five years earlier than India. They are very similar. We think, by providing the solutions we offer, we can help the enterprises here.

Hyper convergence in networking world is real: Michael Zhao, Array Networks

You already have some major players competing in the segment. How do you plan to stand out in the game?

Competition is a good thing. We believe in our core competencies. I call that the unfair advantage.

Michael Zhao’s top 5 tech bets for 2018-19

  • Software-defined everything.
  • Hybrid cloud.
  • Security.
  • IoT.
  • Hyperconvergence.

The platform I talk about is a product with three things on it: Virtualization, a fast packet process, and a guaranteed SSL capability. Who needs these three things? Any networking applications need packet process. For any security application, you need SSL. For any applications, you need processing power.

Number one is the ability to process packets in applications. Over the years we've learned to optimize the stack in such a way that we do it super-efficiently. We could leverage that. Another thing is the docketability of the SSL processes. If you check our website and look at the specs, we are always the leader.

For us processing power is guaranteed. This is different from any other virtualization. If you talk about the virtualized server, we share all the resources, just like the road. Our way of doing virtualization is everybody has a dedicated line. There's no competition. You have your resource; I've mine. That is the uniqueness of our technology. And I believe, this uniqueness will give us an advantage in the market.

Avaya, Zebra and Brocade disappeared from the market and became part of Extreme Networks bouquet of products and services. Has it eased your competition, or made it tougher for you?

That's a very interesting question. The market is changing because certain players are crunching into other spaces. This is happening every day. One company is stretching from a networking company into a security company; another company is doing something else. This is because the market is changing. Another trend is a group of companies working together to make a bigger one. To me, it has advantages as well as disadvantages. Regarding our competitor market, I don't see it change much.

In the cloud and networking segments, currently, channel partners are looking at a multi-vendor approach. How do you plan to navigate that space?

Our approach is just matching that of the partners. Because we are vendor-neutral in a sense. We are okay with that. I'll give you an example. On our platform, anybody can run their ADCs. We have our own ADC. But we don't mind running other people's ADCs on our platform. As long as they do give benefits to our customers. We are vendor-neutral to that point. We do offer ADC, we do offer VPN, we do offer WAN, and we are proud of that.

“So long as we can deliver value, we’ll be seen as a good partner. If we cannot, we need to improve ourselves. Training, marketing, and developing joint solutions--these will be our three initiatives.”


                                          Michael Zhao,  Global CEO, Array Networks






What plans do you have for your partner ecosystem in India?

First of all, we need to market our messages. We need to make sure that the partners see the benefits of working with us. We together will give solutions. We can understand the customer requirements, and deliver the solutions to them.  

Second, we've to work out the go-to-market strategy. So long as we can deliver value, we’ll be seen as a good partner. If we cannot, we need to improve ourselves. Training, marketing, and developing joint solutions--these will be our three initiatives.