Technology Reseller - v23

01732 759725 36 Q&A and quicker, so businesses have to have control. They can’t wait for networks to do all the work. TR: Were there any findings that you found particularly surprising? SH: The security one was surprising in a way – not the fact that people want to look after their security, nor the fact that only 81% said that, but the fact that they are looking to SD-WAN as a solution. That’s interesting, because most of the SD-WAN provisions I have seen don’t address security particularly well, so I don’t know where they have got the idea that SD-WAN will help them solve their security posture. It should, by the way, but I don’t know where they have got that from because that is not what people have been selling. They have been selling cost savings and flexibility. It is good news for us, and we agree, but it is surprising. TR: Presumably you were developing your new SD-WAN security bundles long before the survey was done? SH: Yes. We’ve been doing managed security for 7 or 8 years and SDN networks for 19 years. For us, it was a natural collision of two product sets. We have used them together for a long time but not necessarily productised. We had a very network-centric product set and we had a security-centric product set and while it was possible to put them together, what was actually needed was a more streamlined version of the security one. The SOC service we provide is really in-depth; the edge network doesn’t need that level of security and it would be too expensive for most people to add on. There needed to be a more streamlined version, which is what we have created. We drove that from EMEA; we were the first people to put our hands up internally and say companies need a much more rigorous security posture now. A firewall isn’t going to cut it, and if you do a firewall who is going to manage it, who is going to manage the logs, who is going to look at the traffic going in and out; who is going to check if they are being hacked? Customers Technology Reseller (TR): The 2019 SD-WAN Market Trends Survey highlights the rapid take-up of SD-WAN, with organisations quickly moving from the ‘curious’ stage to the ‘actively interested’ stage. What do you think is driving this change? Steve Harrington (SH): There’s a lot of marketing around SD-WAN – and a lot of misconceptions too. There are people saying things about it that aren’t true and that creates interest. Like it’s all about saving money, when it isn’t. It’s the usual technology play: people get it; people sell it; and a lot of people sell it based purely on cost savings. That gets everyone interested, but it doesn’t help them understand what SD-WAN really is. The problem with SD- WAN is that you can ask 50 people what it means, and you will get 50 different answers. That said, a lot of CIOs and Heads of IT who were curious about SD-WAN one year ago now have a better understanding of how it can benefit their business. TR: I have to ask you, then, how you would define SD-WAN and its benefits? SH: I’m not a techie, and if you ask our CTO you’ll probably get a different answer, but for me it’s about applications performance, about actually managing your applications properly. That’s end-to-end, by the way, not just box-to-box, not just box-to-the-internet, but truly end-to-end. SD-WAN, for me, is about having far more control over your application performance than ever before. What networks used to do customers can now manage themselves. That is a big step forward. TR: That’s borne out by the findings of your survey, isn’t it? SH: Yes, it is. Businesses want more control, they want flexibility, they want to change stuff and do things at 3 in the morning, quickly and on an ad hoc basis, because business leaders are demanding much more rapid deployment of stuff than ever before – new sites, change of sites, change of people, deployments of new software, moving to the cloud. Everything going on is happening quicker and quicker Q&A With Steve Harrington, Managing Director – EMEA at Masergy Masergy, the software-defined networking (SDN) pioneer and provider of managed SD-WAN, cloud communications and managed security solutions, has been very busy of late. Building on a record year in EMEA, it has recently undertaken several initiatives designed to raise its profile, expand its partner network and develop its product offering. Highlights include publication of the 2019 SD-WAN Market Trends Survey (see Technology Reseller Issue 22 for key findings); the introduction of product bundles that combine Masergy Managed SD-WAN solutions with advanced security services for unified threat management, threat monitoring & response and managed security services; and, most recently, the launch of an Intelligent Service Control (ISC) portal that offers a unified view of clients’ SD- WAN and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) applications, with the ability to manage, secure and optimise network environments in real-time. To discuss these and other developments, Technology Reseller caught up with Managing Director Steve Harrington. Steve Harrington