Masergy's Managed SD-WAN Solution Lets Partners Address Demand For Hybrid Networking Solutions

Masergy Communications, a hybrid networking and cloud communications service provider, Tuesday unveiled the latest edition to its networking portfolio, its Managed Software-Defined WAN offering for solution providers and end customers.

The software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) market is heating up and the channel is starting to demand intelligent, hybrid networking offerings as business customers adopt applications with new bandwidth requirements and rely on public cloud services more often, according to Ian Kieninger, CEO of master agent Avant Communications, a Masergy Platinum partner.

"The timing for this technology is perfect with the growing interest in cloud applications, but there's not a lot of providers doing [SD-WAN] in an as-a-service model," he said. "I think it's really interesting that Masergy is choosing to be a managed service provider around SD-WAN, and I think because of that approach it's going to be a tremendous [opportunity] for Masergy."

[Related: Avant Launches Sales Enablement Platform Aimed At Helping Partners Sell More Connectivity, Cloud Solutions]

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The managed SD-WAN offering can support three deployment models, depending on a customer's requirement, said Chuck Ward, vice president of global channels at Masergy. These "flavors," including dedicated premise-based hardware, cloud and distributed virtualized software deployments, will be managed by Masergy.

The offering can use any combination of broadband and high-performance, private WAN connections that a business has available at its site, which will help customers cut costs while ensuring application performance is maintained. It will give businesses access to more agile networking features, such as dynamic path control, policy-based application routing, centralized policy and configuration management and traffic encryption, according to Plano, Texas-based Masergy.

Chicago-based Avant has been selling SD-WAN solutions since the start of this year, but interest is really ramping up within its VAR and agent partner community. Consequently, the master agent is now building an in-house SD-WAN practice, Kieninger said.

"We are having conversations around SD-WAN nearly every day," he said. "We are bringing the best-of-breed suppliers together and getting our engineers trained for what we think is going to be a growing area for us this coming year."

Market research firm IDC confirms Avant's perspective on the growing demand around SD-WAN. IDC expects SD-WAN revenue to increase over the next four years and exceed $6 billion in 2020.

Businesses are more often opting to consume networking services in an as-a-service model, just as they are consuming their cloud solutions, which will make Masergy's managed SD-WAN offering particularly appealing, Kieninger said.

"This offering is less about Masergy managing equipment, and more about it offering a business result," he said. "Customers want a turnkey solution, and we think they are less concerned with what equipment [SD-WAN] is based on and what's behind the curtain, as long as they get the performance and support.

In addition to price and performance demands, businesses also want to avoid vendor lock-in with offerings that won't further tax their overburdened IT staffs, said John Dumbleton, senior vice president of business development at Masergy. "Masergy works hand-in-hand with partners to understand each client's unique environment and deliver a customized, managed solution that avoids [these] constraints," he said.

The Managed SD-WAN offering joins Masergy's Managed Network global portfolio of fully managed network functions. It is expected to be generally available to end customers and solution providers in the fourth quarter.