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Riverbed rock solid in SA

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Network optimisation software house Riverbed may only have had a presence in South Africa for a matter of months, but it's already making its mark with a number of significant deals – including a R30-million implementation for the Department of Justice.

Phase one and two of the DoJ project have already been completed, with Phase three about to get underway.
Riverbed's regional sales manager, Christo Briedenhann, says the company's systems are ideally-suited for countries like South Africa – and in the rest of Africa – where inherent Internet problems hamper the productivity of both "smart" and general workers. This, he says, is one of the reasons for the keen interest in the company's systems.
"We understand the difference between normal workers and smart workers – people that have to have access to information any time, anywhere – and our mission is to build high-performance systems that address the typical problems these workers face," says Briedenhann. "Systems that overcome bandwidth issues, the problem of long distances, network problems, protocol problems – we address all these issues.
"We believe that all these remote people – whether they're travelling or based in remote branch offices – should be able to work seamlessly as part of the bigger team," he adds. "There is no reason why distance should be a problem and we know that technology such as Riverbed's will allow them to work faster, smarter and increase their productivity."
Briedenhann says there are three main benefits in implementing Riverbed software.
"The first is access to key applications – the broadest range of applications, from Oracle to SAP," he says. "We have had installations where access has improved up to 100 times.
"Secondly, there is bandwidth optimisation where, again, we've helped some customers get up to 95% optimisation," he says. "Bandwidth costs are high in South Africa – so not only are cost-savings an issue, but can you imagine what you can do with the additonal bandwidth? Companies could use it for things like VoIP or applications that they couldn't previously run."
The final benefit, Briedenhann adds, is that Riverbed offers users the ability to do backup and recovery over the wide-area network (WAN).