The F5 Networks (FFIV) executive team will step into the spotlight this week at the company's partner summit in New Orleans. It's the perfect setting to get a feel for F5's short- and long-term go-to-market strategy.
Back in January, I openly wondered if F5 Networks could become the networking industry’s next $1 billion company. I will have a chance to ask IT consultants that very question during the partner event. And I'll also listen to F5 CEO John McAdam’s keynote.
This is a critical time for F5 Networks and the broader networking industry. At first glance, Cisco (CSCO) is burying numerous rivals; Juniper (JNPR), Avaya and 3Com (COMS) have changed executive leadership; Brocade (BRCD) recently acquired Foundry Networks (FDRY) for $3 billion; and open source companies like Digium are disrupting the VoIP industry.
Meanwhile, F5 Networks is quietly on track to become the networking industry’s next $1 billion company. Sure, F5’s most recent quarterly profits didn’t impress investors. But year-over-year quarterly revenue grew 25 percent. Not a bad showing in
And most importantly: F5 is the rare networking company that actually has a strong applications-focused strategy. The company’s technology bolsters the performance of big Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL) and SAP (SAP) applications, among others.
So, what do partners think of F5? And what’s the mood within F5? I will poke around in a quest to answer those questions. Yesterday’s speaker lineup at the conference included:
- Steve Hale, VP of F5’s North American Partner Organization
- John McAdam, President and CEO of F5
- Andy Reinland, Senior VP and CFO of F5
- And several other members of the executive team
And today, I will be sitting down with several of F5’s key partners to see how they’re feeling about the company, the economy and their overall business prospects.