AT&T NetBond Helps Partners Get Customers To The Cloud, Adds Oracle And AWS On-Ramps

AT&T's NetBond ecosystem is flourishing as the carrier keeps adding secure connections to popular cloud providers. Meanwhile, solution providers are using the offering to provide secure, guaranteed links to large public clouds so customers can move to the cloud with confidence.

The NetBond platform lets users connect to third-party cloud platforms securely via their AT&T VPNs, bypassing the public internet. AT&T this week announced that it added access to Oracle cloud services to its NetBond ecosystem, a highly requested cloud connection from both its business customer and partner communities, Andy Daudelin, vice president of cloud for AT&T told CRN.

NetBond, which is accessible in more than 190 countries, was first introduced in 2014 and was made available to channel partners in 2016. Today, AT&T's NetBond for Cloud platform has 20 companies providing secure, direct access to 25 leading cloud services, including IaaS, colocation, CRM, and video conferencing and collaboration services.

[Related: AT&T Opens Up Secure Cloud Connectivity Solution, NetBond, To Solution Providers]

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Sue Galvanek, vice president of marketing, pricing and product solutions for AT&T Partner Exchange said that partners are becoming "more engaged" with NetBond as they help their customers transition to the cloud.

"We’re excited about what AT&T NetBond enables for the channel. NetBond gives solution providers access to the tools they need to help their business customers confidently connect to cloud applications and platforms," Galvanek said.

Adding Oracle Cloud to its growing list of NetBond Cloud members hits on a "sweet spot" for many AT&T enterprise customers, many of whom use Oracle's database services, Daudelin said.

In June, Dallas-based AT&T announced it was giving NetBond users access to more than 100 additional cloud software and service providers that are hosted on the AWS Marketplace, including Symantec, Cisco CloudLock and Splunk. At the same time, AT&T also said that AWS software and solution providers looking to attract new customers can join the AT&T NetBond for Cloud Solution Provider program.

TenFour, formally known as Alliant Technologies, a Morristown, N.J.-based solution provider and AT&T Premier partner was the first AT&T partner to sell and turn up NetBond for one of its business clients. Since then, demand for NetBond is on the rise, according to Patrick Lee, business development executive for TenFour.

Right now, TenFour is seeing the most demand for NetBond by customers who want to connect to AWS and AWS cloud solution providers in the AWS Marketplace following AT&T's announcement last month, Lee said.

"That [announcement] was huge, and further elevated the desire and demand for AWS," he said.

With so many clients relying on cloud applications today, more than 50 percent of TenFour's clients stand to benefit from NetBond, Lee said. "We can't wait to sell more of it because we think AT&T is spot-on with the solution. Customers love [NetBond] once they are up on it," he said.

Most enterprise customers today have a hybrid IT environment, with private and public cloud platforms and applications and mobile users. With the help of its partners, AT&T's NetBond strategy is to simplify the IT landscape for businesses and ensure performance and security along the way, AT&T's Daudelin said.

To do this, AT&T is partnering with the cloud providers that customers want to use today, and coupling those services with its networking services to offer a complete solution, he said.

"What we bring to the table is our data center assets so we can offer co-location for private environments, network assets to extend it to customer locations and mobile users global, and content distribution services to help deliver content across the network, and an ecosystem of partners that bring best of breed cloud solutions," Daudelin said. "This really takes the complexity out of the picture for our customers."