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In this episode, I speak with Craig Patterson from Aryaka, who’s the Senior Vice President of Global Channel Sales.
Craig’s an interesting, high-energy, great guy, hockey dad and technologist. He runs his own podcast called Dreamers and Doers. The fact that he’s a pod show host should give you a little bit of perspective on this guy’s personality. We’ll get back to that in a minute.
The Great Resignation and Tech Layoffs
He joined Aryaka during the pandemic, and he said he is the “great resignation”. I won’t want to steal his thunder about why he did it and what he was doing; he talks about that in the pod.
Maybe you were part of the great resignation or you were swept up in some of the Fall of 22 tech layoffs. Craig’s been very successful in this industry so great insights for everyone.
How the Pandemic Changed Aryaka
Aryaka is a global SD-WAN provider, the winner of Gartner’s voice at the customer award multiple times, they generate about 90% of their revenue through partners like Bridgepointe. During our conversation, I asked him how his business changed during the pandemic, and he quickly answered “fundamentally”.
As an SD-WAN provider, Aryaka was, in his words, in the business of connecting big, shiny buildings. They found they had to adjust the product, so they quickly added VPN as a service offering and integrated it into the same network fabric.
Ultimately, that became a security and application optimization fabric, and, really became the trappings of what would become a SASE service for them. We talked a lot of this sort of conversion, even on the network and data center side.
As you’ve heard from some of our recent guests around having to change their entire strategy to be around applications during the pandemic. A big selling point for them is that they’ve optimized something like 3,500 applications for delivery, allowing their customers to decide what’s important and what’s not in terms of delivering access down to their end users.
Craig’s belief, one that I hold as well, is that the pandemic accelerated technology projects that didn’t have an impending event, like tearing down traditional WANs in favor of next-generation networking or shutting down local data centers and applications in favor of the cloud. It’s not like there was a lot of question that these applications or these conversions or these digital transformations made sense. It was just that there wasn’t a good reason to just start doing it at that moment, and frankly, the pandemic brought that along.
Aryaka is betting on businesses leaving people at home and unifying that experience with the office. Their belief is that 29% of businesses are deploying SASE today while another 50% will do so in the next 12 to 24 months.
Craig doubled down on this in the shameless predictions sections. Again, his words, not mine: “legacy networks are dead”.
Plus, we also talked about how business travel is back, Oktoberfest, Apple music, eighties hair bands, and beer league hockey. You can listen in on my conversation with Craig Patterson from Aryaka now.
Craig Patterson is an award-winning, results-driven, and motivational sales leader, currently serving as Aryaka’s SVP of Global Channels. In this role, Patterson is responsible for Aryaka’s global Channel Strategy, market growth, and mobilization of channel sales and marketing teams across North America, EMEA and APAC. He is credited with launching Aryaka’s Accelerate Channel Partner Program which earned the prestigious 5-STAR CRN Award in 2022.
Patterson is also a recipient of the 2022 CRN Channel Chief Award and 2022 Channel Futures: Circle of Excellence Award for dedication, industry stature and accomplishments as a channel advocate. Prior to joining Aryaka, Patterson was the West Division Vice President for Lumen’s indirect channel, where he led the global sales and revenue strategy for a $ 1 billion organization within the Lumen Channel Partner Program. Patterson is a passionate supporter and contributor to philanthropic efforts and currently serves on the board of the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA). He resides in Colorado with his family.