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F5 Agility Forum 2012: F5 roadmap to focus on telco, channel, security, mid-market

Application delivery networking (ADN) company, F5 Networks, will spend its next six to 12 months focusing on telecommunications rollouts, channel partnerships, security, and the mid-market, Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) managing director, Kurt Hansen, said at the vendor's Agility Forum 2012.

F5 hosted its annual Agility Forum from October 29 to 31 at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Over 240 partners and customers attended the event.

According to Hansen, the focus of the event is to tackle application delivery, end user experience, alongside company objectives, something he feels that not many vendors do.

Hansen said that, as a result of its recent acquisition of Traffix, F5 has been able to develop a strong telecommunications business in the local market, and will therefore be investing heavily in that space.

"Our acquisition of Traffic a few months ago means that we have opportunities with the six mobile carriers in A/NZ," he said. "That really involves helping them with the core fundamentals of the LTE/4G rollout."

Additionally, when questioned on the NBN, he said that it is a potential customer as it enables further consumerisation of IT, allows greater deployments of IT, and creates demand. As a result, F5 has been having security discussions with NBN Co.

Moving forward, F5 will be giving further attention to managed service providers (MSPs) and Cloud providers. Hansen said that the vendor will pay particular attention to the inter-relation between Cloud providers and enterprise customers like banks as some are outsourcing, thus bringing F5 to work with both ends of the equation.

The company is also re-assessing its existing partnerships to determine future investments.

"There will be a lot more focus on the channel in terms of slimming down the larger players we are working with moving into the next 12 months," Hansen said. "We have sort-of revalidated our top gold partners and we really want to work with them."

At the same time, F5 is on a recruitment drive for security-specific partners to accompany its move into the security space.

Thus far, the company has seen interest among the smaller organisations rather than the big players.

"Obviously with companies like DiData, IBM, and HP, we work with them on security, of course, but it's in that second tier of partners, Netsolutions; people like that tend to spring to mind," Hansen said.

"Our message to the partner community is that if you have got a security practice, we would love to talk to you."

Rounding off the F5 roadmap, Hansen said that the company has been and will continue to dedicate resources in tackling the mid-market and commercial. This involves a separate segmented workforce dedicated to the verticals. Thus far, headcount has been added inside sales, and the vendor's go-to-market has been organised to spread its value proposition to the lower tier without distracting its larger business.


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