Riverbed Technology


Riverbed Technology is a California-based IT company whose growth has outpaced its human capital. Seeking high-caliber talent is one of the main reasons the company opened an off-site location in Champaign-Urbana. “When it comes to having a presence in the Research Park at the University of Illinois, the value proposition is high,” said Ken Sarno, senior manager of quality assurance.

Riverbed develops technologies that optimize bandwidth and speed up wide-area networks (WAN) – and saves clients time and money. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company has offices in six states and more 30 countries.

Sarno, who has both a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in human factors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, manages the quality assurance engineers who test the company’s signature Steelhead and Steelhead Mobile products.

The company believes that scouting talent is a challenge, and the pool available from the university and the surrounding community is top-notch, Sarno says. The company’s goal was to increase its staff by 50 percent in 2011 alone.

Finding, hiring and compensating talent in the San Francisco Bay Area comes at a premium “It’s a lot less expensive here,” Sarno said. “We’ve been trying very hard to build up more of an engineering presence in Champaign because of the cost savings.”