Riverbed sees strong African growth potential
IT performance and WAN optimisation specialist Riverbed says its African customer base and partner network is growing as companies seek more efficient IT solutions.
Riverbed regional vice president Paul Coates, and Christo Briedenhann, Riverbed regional director for South Africa, told Biztechafrica in an interview that the company was seeing strong growth in interest as large enterprises look to expand across the continent.
Coates says as companies expand and roll out remote branch offices, their biggest challenges are connecting with their head offices, running advanced infrastructure at remote sites, and sourcing high end skills to run their IT infrastructures.
Riverbed is seeing strong interest in its WAN optimisation solutions as a result, he says. “We have been operating across Africa for over seven years, and have over 600 customers and a growing team and partner network,” he says. “We see Africa as a potentially strong market and will continue investing in growing it.”
Coates explains: “There are several ways companies can improve the performance of their IT infrastructure. Consolidating data centres is not always effective, as increased distance often reduces the speed at which applications can access data in the data centre, leading to slower experiences for distant users. This challenge and higher traffic across networks can be addressed through the use of WAN optimisation to gain visibility to intelligently consolidated infrastructure, reduce cost and complexity, and deliver high-performance IT to end-users, regardless of their location.
“This technique of performance improvement also enables satellite-connected sites to use available bandwidth more effectively and overcome high latency. For Africa, this is highly beneficial with our vast geographical landscape and remote areas. Mining companies, for example, can secure sensitive mineralogical and geological data generated at its remote sites and bring the data back safely to analyse and make faster business decisions.”
Briedenhann says consolidation and WAN optimisation allows for significant cost savings, in addition to enhanced operations and customer support. He cites as an example Riverbed customer MediClinic Southern Africa, which has realised a 3x increase in bandwidth utilisation and an 80% improvement in file download speeds, which has increased productivity.
Briedenhann notes that Riverbed’s Steelhead Mobile functionality is also generating strong interest in the highly mobile African market.
Riverbed also recently extended its Steelhead wide WAN optimisation product family with the addition of a new hardware appliance and upgrades to its Steelhead software. Steelhead WAN optimisation solutions can now accelerate a broader range of enterprise infrastructures while expanding IT control and ease of management, including smaller branch offices, cloud infrastructures, SAAS applications, and locations served by hybrid networks.