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50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2019

Building Networks for the Future: CloudGenix

thesiliconreview-kumar-ramachandran-co-founder-ceo-cloudgenix-19A reimagined network is necessary for enterprises to succeed in today’s Cloud era. Organizations no longer rely on data centers alone, but use Cloud, SaaS and Unified Communications-as-a-Service to deliver applications to their end users. CloudGenix makes the Cloud-delivered Branch possible by providing an Autonomous SD-WANTM and the Cloud-BladesTM platform. Enterprises gain cloud-scale economics for the branch with the freedom to use any WAN, any cloud, and any best-of-breed infrastructure service.

CloudGenix Autonomous SD-WAN uses global intelligence to deliver performance and security SLAs for all applications over any WAN-type. By providing app-policies aligned to business intent, direct access to multi-cloud and dev-ops frameworks, the Autonomous WAN delivers unparalleled productivity gains and cost-savings compared to gen-1 SDWAN alternatives.

Cloud-Blades enables the secure delivery of best-of-breed infrastructure services to the branch from the cloud. Infrastructure services including network, security, voice, cloud backbone integration, and operational tools can now be provisioned without the need for additional hardware or software.

With CloudGenix, the enterprise WAN is unconstrained, highly reliable, and enables the secure delivery of cloud infrastructure services. For the very first time, the entire branch can be delivered as a cloud-service with cloud-scale economics and agility.

A conversation with CloudGenix CEO, Kumar Ramachandran

What was the inspiration to select this industry and structure your company’s offerings?

We were founded in 2013 by a team that has delivered industry-leading products in networking, SDN, cloud, security and web-scale applications. CloudGenix saw an opportunity to introduce an Autonomous SD-WAN by introducing a deep understanding of applications and using data-science to auto-correct the network. Much like autonomous cars, CloudGenix has automated networks with its “Layer 3-7” approach.

CloudGenix alters the economics of remote office networks by reducing costs by 70% by taking making inexpensive broadband connections enterprise-class and automating the management of the network.

How has CloudGenix expanded as a company over the years?

In April we announced $65 million in new funding to fuel global sales and go to market expansion and to continue to build award-winning products. This brings the total investment raised by CloudGenix through Series C close to $100 million. Existing investors including Bain Capital Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Mayfield Fund, and Intel Capital and new investors including ClearSky participated in the latest investments. Cisco is the primary incumbent in this space, and we have had a very strong win rate against them. In fact, it’s around 90%.

We are leading a revolution in the networking industry, and we have 300% annual revenue growth due to large companies moving to the cloud in banking, retail, manufacturing, health care, and technology industries. We will continue to invest in two big areas: US go-to-market and global expansion. We are focused on being the best SD-WAN provider and serving as a platform for other services to the branch.

What was the first project for your company?

CloudGenix had a very clear vision of the market segments we wanted to serve from day one. We initially focused on the Fortune 1000 and after succeeding with customers there, we have targeted the rest of the market.

What were the initial challenges that your company faced?

The biggest challenge for an enterprise company in the formative years is cutting through the empty marketing claims from the incumbent. We ran a “Pepsi-vs-Coke” style challenge across the country, demonstrating the superiority of our product in real-life testing. We embraced the channel and demonstrated that we serve customers better by a factor or two compared to the incumbent Cisco. This allowed us to get our message in front of the customer, and disrupt the status quo of the industry.

How does your company contribute to the global IT platform at large?

CloudGenix democratizes the network for business and IT organizations of all sizes – from the most elite Fortune 1000 organization to small and medium businesses – they all are able to gain the benefits of dramatic cost savings and enablement of new business capabilities. We are “putting sand on the feet” of IT administrators every day by eliminating the complexity of managing a network and enabling them to spend time on a beach with their loved ones.

Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

CloudGenix is a breakout, standalone company in the network category. We are grateful to our customers for fueling 300%+ year on year growth and look forward to continuing to serve them and adding new customers.

Our App Fabric has helped countless household name brand companies modernize their network to be an enabler of agility and digital transformation. By aligning business goals with the implementation of WAN policy, we help global businesses integrate the cloud, optimize WAN cost efficiency and management, and automate their infrastructure in ways that were not possible before.

What do you feel are the major contributing factors for your company’s consistent growth?

As enterprises continue moving to the cloud and adopting a multi-cloud strategy, we help them make these deployments better while lowering both operating expenses and capital expenses. We focus on application-level awareness of WAN traffic to improve the performance of apps such as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). We recently won a deal with a large retailer headquartered in Atlanta to deploy technology at 2,000 locations using SD-WAN to improve Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).

With our Cloud-Blades platform, companies no longer need to compromise by using legacy hardware routers hosting mediocre infrastructure services. For the very first time, the entire branch can be delivered as a cloud-service with cloud-scale economics and agility.

What is your vision for CloudGenix?

CloudGenix’s vision is to automate the Wide Area Network, reduce costs by over 70%, and enable Cloud applications and Cloud infrastructure delivery to the branch office.

According to IDC, the SD-WAN market is expected to expand at a 40% compound annual growth rate to $4.5 billion by 2022. CloudGenix makes the Cloud-delivered Branch possible by providing an Autonomous SD-WAN and the Cloud-Blades platform. Enterprises gain cloud-scale economics for the branch with the freedom to use any WAN, any cloud, and any best-of-breed infrastructure service.

We are delivering autonomous WANs to our customers, enabling them to specify application policies aligned to their business and have the infrastructure choreograph itself. We will continue to grow significantly faster than the market. We are singularly focused on SD-WAN and will be the breakout private company in this space.

Meet the stalwart behind CloudGenix’s meteoric rise, Kumar Ramachandran

Kumar Ramachandran is the Co-founder of CloudGenix and serves as its CEO. Prior to founding CloudGenix, Kumar held leadership roles in Product Management and Marketing for the multi-billion dollar branch routing business at Cisco. Prior to Cisco, he managed applications and infrastructure for large companies such as Citibank and Providian Financial. Kumar holds an MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and a Master’s in Computer Science from the University of Bombay.

"Our mission is to deliver an Autonomous WAN that brings cloud-scale economics to the enterprise.”