Aryaka and Riverbed, The New Partnership

Akamai and Cisco formed a partnership in October 2013, to integrate Akamai functionality into the Cisco branch routers, thus extending the Akamai CDN to the last mile & first mile. It’s a very innovative project. However, Aryaka beat them to the punch a while back, with its business model. The Akamai-Cisco partnership only validates that Aryaka is on the right path to success.

A whitepaper describes the partnership in detail. Let me recap it though, reading thru a 6 page document full of marketing and technical jargon in one sitting is brutal: “Current WAN infrastructure, like MPLS, is facing tremendous bandwidth limitations, as traditional business applications (Oracle ERP, SAP) must run side-by-side to cloud based applications (Salesforce). Instead of forcing all traffic back (Oracle ERP / Salesforce) from the branch, via slow WAN links, to the HQ hub, the Akamai-Cisco solution enables companies to use a hybrid combo of WAN and Internet connectivity, at the branch level, to improve performance and make workers more productive. In other words, Cisco gets to sell more products and Akamai gets a bigger piece of the pie.”

Aryaka & Riverbed Partnership
The ongoing feud between Aryaka & Riverbed is both educational & entertaining. However, there is more synergy in a partnership than feud. These two companies need to make up, and form a strategic partnership. Riverbed needs to incorporate Aryaka functionality into its hardware, and offer a whole slate of services around the new offering. Riverbed needs this partnership as much as Aryaka, if stock price is any indication. And Aryaka needs this partnership, to quadruple its penetration into new accounts.

Let’s not forget that Aryaka and Riverbed are hungrier than Cisco-Akamai, due to their smaller size. I know Riverbed doesn’t offer branch routers, but it has a large account base of appliance customers. A new partnership will prove Aristotle right, in that the whole is greater than the sum of parts. I understand Riverbed has a partnership with Akamai, but it is likely a one side partnership, that probably generates Riverbed very little. What is the upside of a Aryaka-Riverbed partnership? Maybe it could double it’s market cap.