New solutions come as enterprises plan for more employees to work remotely even after pandemic passes
Masergy is bringing its software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) capabilities to a suddenly – and for many, permanently – remote workforce.
The Lowdown: The company on Tuesday unveiled its SD-WAN Work From Anywhere solutions as a way to extend its Managed SD-WAN Secure offering to employees who were forced to work from home or elsewhere when the coronavirus outbreak hit.
The Details: The new offerings deliver the same benefits that Dallas-based Masergy’s SD-WAN has brought to branch offices and similar sites, including built-in security, dual-link redundancy, load balancing, and the ability to dynamically steer traffic. As more applications and data are created and available via the cloud or the edge, SD-WAN ensures reliable performance and access.
The Work From Anywhere solutions include:
> SD-WAN Secure Home: Aimed at executives and power users, the offering includes a Fortinet Secure SD-WAN device for fast connectivity and application performance via a home Internet connection, a built-in next-generation firewall and routing, direct connection to cloud services, and secure access service edge (SASE) cybersecurity features.
> SD-WAN On the Go: For mobile users, the solution is a multiplatform software client and VPN that uses IPsec tunnels and endpoint protection to ensure secure access to the corporate network and SASE-based secure connectivity from anywhere.
Features include zero-touch provisioning for quick setup; a unified client portal for simplified management for IT administrators; and product bundles with unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS), Wi-Fi-enabled video phones, and security services.
The Impact: SD-WAN for several years has been the fastest growing segment of the larger software-defined networking (SDN) space and addresses the growing need for secure connectivity at a time when so much of the workforce is working outside of the office. According to a report by ZK Research, 58% of IT professionals said SD-WAN made the transition to remote work easier and 46% said the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated their plans to deploy SD-WAN.
A study by Nemertes Research found that 74.8% of companies that are increasing their budget due to the public health crisis are directing the spending to connectivity, including Internet and WAN services.
The need for such capabilities won’t lift when the pandemic passes. Many executives have said that a portion of their workers will continue to work from home either part-time or fulltime, as illustrated by decisions by Microsoft, Google, Twitter, and other companies. Masergy’s new solutions give channel partners another tool to bring to end customers as they plan for a more permanently distributed workforce.
The Buzz: “Masergy’s Work From Anywhere solutions serve as just the latest example of how we are leveraging our cloud and network platform to serve businesses and employees regardless of their location. When resources must be available anywhere and data must be secured everywhere, Masergy is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of multicloud, work-from-home companies,” Masergy Chief Technology Officer Terry Traina said.
“As many initially temporary work-from-home arrangements are made permanent, the shift to the cloud is broadening and accelerating. Enterprises need scalable, distributed access from anywhere, to anywhere, with great performance. This new WAN backbone centers on SD-WAN and leverages its advantages everywhere,” said John Burke, principal research analyst and CIO at Nemertes Research. “With 61% of organizations deploying SD-WAN today and another 14% planning to in the next 18 months, IT leaders clearly consider it critical to sustaining success in the hybrid multicloud and work-from-home world.”
“We believe SD-WAN should be able to be deployed anywhere, whether at home, branch, campus or multicloud, to enable today’s increasingly mobile workforce,” said John Maddison, executive vice president of products and chief marketing officer at Fortinet. “Masergy and Fortinet have partnered together to deliver Work From Anywhere solutions that take a security-driven networking approach – combining networking and security into a single solution to enable the remote workforce. Through our differentiated solutions, we can deliver flexible, anytime, anywhere security for emerging SASE use cases.”