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F5 Launches Guardian™ Fast Start Partner Training Program

New channel program from F5 delivers increased technical enablement and services revenue opportunities to partners

SEATTLE – F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) today announced Guardian Fast Start, a new global channel program focused on technical enablement and designed to empower F5 UNITY Partners to deliver advanced F5 implementations to customers. Partners who complete the program will realize increased services revenue, higher margins, and improved customer satisfaction and engagement through selling F5’s full suite of products and solutions, including post-sale professional services.

“Customers are moving beyond basic application delivery services and are taking a more advanced approach, leveraging integrated application delivery and security services to deliver their mission-critical applications both on premises and in the cloud. To support this shift, our partners need deeper technical proficiency and consulting capabilities,” said Jim Ritchings, SVP of Worldwide Channels and Alliances Organization at F5. “The Guardian Fast Start Program ultimately benefits both our customers and partners. By working with highly trained channel partners, our customers increase the adoption and deployment of F5 solutions, resulting in shorter deployment lead times and new revenue streams.”
 

Technical Development Roadmap

The Guardian Fast Start Program provides F5 UNITYPartners with a well-defined post-sales technical development roadmap focused on four key elements: training on F5 products and solutions, technical certification, professional shadowing, and delivery. In addition to the long-term value of enhanced product knowledge and revenue offered by this program, F5 provides incentives to increase the short-term return on investment for the time spent in training. This step-by-step technical enablement roadmap allows partners to deliver services for F5 advanced solutions, including: BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager™, BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager™, BIG-IP® Application Security Manager™, BIG-IP® Access Policy Manager™, and BIG-IP® Advanced Firewall Manager™.


Guardian Professional Services Consultants

While F5 has a team of highly trained professional services consultants, the company is also committed to the growth and development of F5 UNITY program participants to offer partner-delivered services that support the increased customer demand for advanced solutions. The Guardian Fast Start Program aligns with the Guardian Professional Services Program and is designed to help UNITY Partners that have established consulting and professional services practices to develop deeper strategic customer relationships. F5 Guardian Professional Services Partners are recognized by F5 as the most capable delivery partners, having invested in highly skilled technical resources that supplement the work of the F5 consulting organization.


Partner Quotes

Jim Quarantillo, Partner at Guidepoint Security, “The channel landscape is changing to include more bundled sales and services opportunities from vendors like F5. Guidepoint is committed to maintaining a high level of technical proficiency so we are able to offer implementation services that will increase services revenue and sales. We are excited to leverage the Guardian Fast Start Program to help meet the requirements needed to increase our level of technical competency and to be recognized as an F5 Guardian Professional Services Partner.”

Tim Kazsuk, Practice Manager, Data Center at Nexus, a Dimension Data company, “By building an incentive into each stage of the Guardian Fast Start Program, F5 has demonstrated that it understands the level of investment its partners must make toward training and development to become a more valued partner, not only for F5, but for our mutual customers.  Guardian Fast Start will accelerate our capability to deliver advanced F5 implementations.”

Garry Sidaway, SVP of Security Strategy and Alliances at NTT Com Security, “Our customers are demanding more robust and scalable services-led security solutions to protect against attacks on applications and infrastructure. Working with F5’s Guardian Fast Start Program will enable us to continue to develop our integrated capabilities, sell and support advanced F5 solutions, and ultimately deliver value for our joint customers.”  


Availability

The Guardian Fast Start Program is available globally to all qualifying UNITY Partners in the Gold and Platinum program tiers that are interested in advancing their technical capabilities.
 

About F5

F5 (NASDAQ: FFIV) provides solutions for an application world. F5 helps organizations seamlessly scale cloud, data center, telecommunications, and software defined networking (SDN) deployments to successfully deliver applications and services to anyone, anywhere, at any time. F5 solutions broaden the reach of IT through an open, extensible framework and a rich partner ecosystem of leading technology and orchestration vendors. This approach lets customers pursue the infrastructure model that best fits their needs over time. The world’s largest businesses, service providers, government entities, and consumer brands rely on F5 to stay ahead of cloud, security, and mobility trends. For more information, go to f5.com.

You can also follow @f5networks on Twitter or visit us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more information about F5, its partners, and technologies.

F5, BIG-IP, Local Traffic Manager, Guardian, UNITY, Global Traffic Manager, Application Security Manager, Access Policy Manager, and Advanced Firewall Manager are trademarks or service marks of F5 Networks, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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This press release may contain forward looking statements relating to future events or future financial performance that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," or "continue," or the negative of such terms or comparable terms. These statements are only predictions and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements based upon a number of factors including those identified in the company's filings with the SEC.

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