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30 Most Attractive Companies of the Year 2018

Transforming the Network: San Mateo-based Aryaka, an SD-WAN as a Service provider, Plans to to Explore New markets

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“We are on our way to becoming one of the SD-WAN connectivity providers that stand apart from the rest with a clear solution for large global enterprises,” - Matt Carter said.

Traditional MPLS (Multi protocol Label Switching), used to manage branch connectivity and network traffic, isn’t cutting it any more. In its place, major enterprises are implementing SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Networks) as a means of dealing with growing network traffic, triggered by the migration of bandwidth-intensive applications and datacenters to Cloud; the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the increasing demand for global collaboration.

Aryaka provides global enterprises with a viable SD-WAN delivered as a managed service that provides significantly better performance for cloud and on-premises applications — voice, video and data — for enterprise datacenters, branch offices and remote/mobile employees anywhere in the world.

Unlike legacy network technology, such as MPLS, that takes months to deploy, Aryaka’s SD-WAN as a Service can be deployed within hours. And since it is delivered as a service, IT organizations can consume global networking in the same way they consume cloud and SaaS services like Salesforce, AWS, and Azure.

Matt Carter & Ashwath Nagaraj, Aryaka Leadership, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Rewind: Starting Off on the Right Foot

Aryaka was founded in 2009 by Ajit Gupta, Ashwath Nagaraj, and Rajeev Bharadhwaj. Ajit brought expertise in CDN, Rajeev in applications, and Ashwath brought the knowledge on networking and security. Between the three of them, Aryaka’s disruptive new service was born.

At the time of inception, on-premises applications and resources were already giving way to SaaS models, thus enterprises were beginning to migrate and consume cloud resources rather than building out their applications and data on site.

The three of them believed current wide area networks that had to be constructed over time, using technology such as MPLS, would give way to a SaaS-like model. They set out to build a new enterprise private network that could be deployed with the flexibility of the Internet, the consistency and reliability of MPLS with the optimization techniques found in devices placed at the edge, and could also be consumed in the same way businesses consumed their cloud and SaaS services.

“I see Aryaka being recognized not just as a leader in the SD-WAN space, but also amongst providers delivering cloud-based networking-as-a-service. While there has been much consolidation in the SD-WAN market, there are a number of companies out there offering their own version of the technology with a different spin. It should be very clear to enterprises and telcos alike what value we provide to global networking and the problems we solve to our customers around the world,” Ashwath Nagaraj said.

Facing Up to Challenges: Taking the Bull by the Horns

Initally, the solution Aryaka provided was so unique, there was no other service like it on the market.

The primary challenge Aryaka faced was illustrating for CIOs how transitioning their network to a consumption model with the required performance enhancements was possible. “Going to a potential customer and proposing a new radical way of deploying or handling their wide area network was challenging,” Matt Carter said.

Eventually, other forces and drivers began to establish in the marketplace. MPLS started seeing competition from edge SD-WANs and other managed services. “Our solution became more mainstream, and what we have been doing for global enterprises over the past few years was more understood and accepted in the marketplace,” said Mr. Carter.

“The most important aspect we learned from this phase of growth is the ability to simplify the message to the customer so they don’t look at our service as a wholesale change, but more as a step-up or advancement in the way they operate today,” Mr. Carter added.

Managing Customer Satisfaction: A Terrific Feat

Aryaka has dedicated itself to building industry-leading customer support, and that’s one of the reasons why it achieved a Net Promoter Score of 65, which is higher than the telecommunications average of 12.1. It’s inspiring to see Aryaka’s customers deliver it high scores based on its implementation and on boarding experience, to ease of use, and further more its customer support.“It’s clear that our focus on the customer is paying off; we’re making a difference being light-years ahead of the major Telcos in this area,” said Ashwath Nagaraj.

“Customer satisfaction is the primary driver of everything we do at Aryaka,” said Mr. Nagaraj.

Future Arrangements: Sky’s the Limit

Aryaka is on its way to becoming one of the SD-WAN providers that stand apart from the rest with a clear solution for large global enterprises.

“I expect there to be more consolidation in the SD-WAN area as it becomes more of a feature for enterprise networking, rather than a stand alone solution,” Matt Carter said.

Leadership | Aryaka

Matt Carter, CEO: Matt is a cloud and technology industry veteran, leading Aryaka’s long-term market strategy and day-to-day operations while guiding the company’s vision for an increasingly connected world.

Mr. Carter earned his master’s degree in general management from the Harvard Business School and his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.

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Ashwath Nagaraj, CTO: As part of the founding team, Ashwath has been responsible for building Aryaka’s vision and technology since its inception in 2009.

He holds 17 patents in storage, security, architecture and networking.

Mr. Nagaraj received his undergraduate degree in electronics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

“Aryaka’s SD-WAN is a global fast lane for all our applications. We now deliver data and applications to every end user as if it lived in the local datacenter.” — Glenn Hensley, IT Infrastructure Manager, Makino