Corbo believes the security push will be a successful differentiator for Blue Coat in the WAN optimization market, primarily because any other approach would simply fall flat against powerful market incumbents.
"Their approach from the security side is a better, stronger play for them rather than trying to go head-to-head in Riverbed's game," Corbo says. "That's really a difficult play for anybody, just in terms of the way Riverbed has cemented their position there."
According to a 2011 market study conducted by TheInfoPro, Blue Coat sits behind Silver Peak, Cisco and Riverbed in the WAN optimization market. Daniel Kennedy, the firm's research director for Information Security, says "something macro would have to happen to upset this balance going into 2013."
Blue Coat's new strategy is one of many developments to take shape in the WAN optimization market in 2012. Riverbed has announced a partnership with Akamai to help improve application performance for its Steelhead WAN optimization customers, while Silver Peak has released free, downloadable trial versions of its own products.
As IDC predicted earlier this year, the WAN optimization market is experiencing some significant changes as revenue comes pouring in. By the end of this year, the WAN application delivery sector will reach $1.3 billion in revenues, helping to drive 8.7% overall growth in the network equipment market, IDC says.
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