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Exclusive: The impact of COVID-19 on the tech sector – Riverbed Q & A

AMEinfo has conducted a series of interviews with notable regional and international tech companies of different sizes. In this article, we speak with IT firm Riverbed Technology.

"Riverbed has seen a surge in the number of enquiries around its solutions from businesses across verticals including manufacturing, consulting, finance, healthcare, energy/oil and gas, and large accounting firms" "Purchase decisions that would have taken months or quarters are now happening in days or weeks, and customers are acting quickly" "Currently, our focus has been on enabling our customers to optimize their networks and efficiently manage the surge in the number of work-from-home employees while ensuring they are equipped to be productive"

Today, no business has been spared the backlash from the global coronavirus pandemic. Entire industries have been brought to heel – massive industries like the hospitality sector, travel sector and even the oil sector.

So, in an effort to try and assess the situation across the affected sectors and businesses, AMEinfo has conducted a series of interviews with notable regional and international tech companies of different sizes. In this article, we speak with IT firm Riverbed Technology.

Make sure to click on the #COVID19Tech tag to access all the articles in this series.

Q & A with Mena Migally, Senior Director – MENA, Riverbed Technology

Mena Migally, Senior Director – MENA, Riverbed TechnologyHow have the pandemic and remote working affected your operations?

In order to safeguard employee health and wellbeing while maintaining business continuity through this current crisis, organisations have begun to rapidly deploy work-from-home initiatives. Technology is a key enabler of these programs and as a market leader in solutions that optimise and accelerate the performance of digital applications – irrespective of where they are hosted, and what device they are accessed from – Riverbed has seen a surge in the number of enquiries around its solutions from businesses across verticals including manufacturing, consulting, finance, healthcare, energy/oil and gas, and large accounting firms. 

In response, we are offering complimentary 90-day Riverbed Client Accelerator trial licenses to all our existing customers worldwide. This solution has consistently demonstrated its ability to optimize at-home network connections to achieve up to 99% data reduction while delivering 10x faster, reliable performance of cloud, on-prem, and SaaS applications. In recent weeks, we have seen a 6x increase in web traffic to our Client Accelerator webpage in less than a month and over 200 Client Accelerator 90-day trial requests from enterprise customers during a two-week timeframe. 

Furthermore, purchase decisions that would have taken months or quarters are now happening in days or weeks and customers are acting quickly because they can roll this solution out to employees globally over the course of a weekend. Ultimately, Riverbed’s Client Accelerator solution is software-based, so no complicated hardware installation is required and also implementation can be arranged and managed remotely by the Riverbed team, so there’s no need for a physical presence.

Read: Exclusive: The impact of COVID-19 on the tech sector – Amazon.ae Q & A

What has the company’s experience with remote working been like so far?

At Riverbed, we have been closely monitoring the situation for many weeks, as the health and safety of our employees, partners and customers comes first and is of paramount importance to us.

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, we put policies in place to limit travel, allowing employees to work from home and closely monitored the situation on a daily basis, but as the coronavirus pandemic became more widespread and following the official Government regulations, Riverbed acted quickly instructing it’s entire workforce globally to work from home.

Given that as a company we have always focused on accelerating the performance and visibility for networks and applications, which includes software-based solutions that specifically optimize remote working, we are very fortunate that we can leverage our own technology so that our employees can continue to be highly productive and the performance and access to the networks and applications remains unprecedented whether in the office or working remotely.

We have been encouraging our teams across the world to increase the use of collaboration tools, with more conference calls, and particularly the use of video, so everyone can see and interact with their work colleagues regularly on screen.

What are your short to mid-term plans to address issues arising due to the global lockdown?

Currently, our focus has been on enabling our customers to optimize their networks and efficiently manage the surge in the number of work-from-home employees while ensuring they are equipped to be productive. A large part of this centres around ensuring the performance and security of digital services, even as employees move from local network access to remote network access models. 

In the long term, it is unlikely that the way people work will return to normal – in fact, Gartner has predicted that by 2030, the demand for remote work will increase by 30% due to Gen Z fully entering the workforce. As organisations adjust to this ‘new norm’, Riverbed will work to empower our partners and our customers to refocus on the future. We will do so by helping them maximise network and application performance to support all workers – anywhere, anytime, and via any delivery method. At the same time, we aim to help them reduce risk by increasing visibility into their hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Looking at a future after the pandemic, what are your essential takeaways from the crisis and how will they reshape your business/operating model going forward?

The challenges organisations have faced as they adapt to the new norm has highlighted the vital importance of network and application performance in facilitating business continuity. There is no doubt that in the long term, businesses across all verticals will double down on their IT investments to support more flexible workplace arrangements. This will make Riverbed more relevant than ever and we fully expected to extend our engagements with existing customers while simultaneously penetrating new enterprise accounts.

Read: Exclusive: The impact of COVID-19 on the tech sector – Veeam Q & A