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Riverbed Makes It Official with Microsoft

The folks at Riverbed Technology had a problem. The company, which makes WAN optimization solutions and shipped its first product in 2004, has always had a particular focus in dealing with Microsoft applications.

It's been a good relationship and a key in helping Riverbed grow its customer base, which is now up to about 4,500. And Riverbed, which is competing against the likes of Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks, is holding its own, as evidenced by the 51 percent jump in second-quarter revenues over the previous Q2 last year. The problem was that Riverbed never had any official relationship with Microsoft. John Martin, Riverbed's vice president of product management, said businesses looking for a WAN optimization solution for their many Microsoft applications often want some proof of an official relationship with the software giant, something that companies like Cisco already have.

"The relationship has always been somewhat formal," Martin said.

Things have changed now. As of July 24, Riverbed is now part of the Microsoft Protocol Optimization Licensing Program, which means it now has greater access to Microsoft IP and technology. Riverbed now can not only improve its expertise in such Microsoft applications as SharePoint, Systems Center Configuration Manager Server and Data Protection Manager, but also the company can show it has an official relationship with the software vendor, something it can now take on customer calls.

"It levels the playing field for us," Martin said.

Microsoft may be having troubles figuring out how to address the cloud computing space and how to compete with the likes of Google, but for companies like Riverbed, an official relationship can go a long way in driving business.