Cloud networking specialist Cato Networks has brought on its first channel chief and is giving partners the chance to highlight their technical prowess for secure access service edge (SASE), an evolution of SD-WAN.
Cato Networks, which does 100 percent of its business through partners, in November launched a global program for master agents, subagents, VARs, and MSPs. Now, former Cisco Director of Global SD-WAN Partner Sales, Anthony D'Angelo, will be leading Cato's channel efforts.
D'Angelo is both a SD-WAN and channel veteran, having worked at Cisco for two years and before that, serving as vice president of worldwide channel sales and distribution for Viptela for two years until the firm was acquired by Cisco. D'Angelo also served as vice president of global partner management and emerging technologies for solution provider giant Westcon for two years.
In his new role as vice president of global channel sales and business development at Cato, D'Angelo will be responsible for the continued success of the firm's global master agents, VARs, and distributors while developing partnerships with leading system integrators and MSPs, according to the Israel-based company.
D'Angelo said that his first set of priorities include building global awareness of Cato Networks and its SASE platform and strengthening the company’s existing channel partners through enablement and increased investment in the program.
D'Angelo will work closely with Cato's regional vice presidents -- including Nick Fan, vice president of sales, Americas, for Cato -- who manage sales teams in the field and who have historically been the primary sponsors for channel partnerships in their regions, D'Angelo said.
"We have a great program designed to support strong partnerships,” he said in an email to CRN USA. "We will continue to make improvements, and, in the coming months, partners can expect to see a more robust deal registration program, simplification of partner tiering, and an additional focus on solution providers and MSPs that want to lead with SASE."
Cato Networks is also introducing a brand new SASE technical support accreditation for partners to earn that are offering technical support services. The SASE accreditation will identify certified partners that can offer Cato SASE tier-1 support and Expert-level partners will be able to deliver tier-1 and tier-2 support. The new training is free to partners but will only be available to select partners meeting specific training and support requirements in each region, Cato said.
The new accreditations join the Cato Distinguished Support Provider (CDSP) accreditation program, which is already available to partners, the company said.
SASE is as critical to businesses as the internet in a post-COVID-19 world, D'Angelo said.
"The one thing COVID taught us is that we can’t know what will arise to challenge our networks tomorrow," he said. "Cato’s SASE platform answers this challenge by creating one network for the complete enterprise. Enterprises can buy Cato SASE for one use case, such as MPLS replacement, but instantly activate new capabilities to address unforeseen circumstances." These new capabilities can include a move to the cloud or enabling more remote workers in minutes, D'Angelo added.
Cato Networks in April announced its largest round of financing equaling $77 million, which brought its total funding to date to more than $200 million. The latest founding round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with the participation of Aspect Ventures, Greylock Partners, Singtel Innov8, U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), and Shlomo Kramer.