Verizon Teams Up With Versa Networks To Extend Security, SDN To The Branch

Telecom giant Verizon is adding SD-WAN startup Versa Networks to its growing software-defined networking roster of partners and catalog of virtualized services.

Verizon announced the new partnership on Tuesday, revealing that Versa's Cloud IP Platform will be added to the Verizon's Virtual Network Services portfolio, specifically within its new SD-Secure Branch (SD-Branch) managed service.

The SD-Secure Branch offering injected with Versa technology is immediately available through Verizon's channel partners, Shawn Hakl, vice president of business networking and security solutions for Verizon, told CRN.

[Related: SD-WAN Progress Report: Here's Who Made Headlines In 2017 Q2]

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Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Verizon's SD-Secure Branch offering includes SDN, cloud-based end user management and virtualized security services that partners and end customers can use to protect and simplify branch networking environments.

Versa's technology built into SD-Secure Branch means more tightly integrated application and path intelligence to help users reach the cloud, and centralized control across public and private connectivity options. Businesses will also benefit from simplified networking and security functionality with less equipment needed at the branch, according to Kumar Mehta (pictured), founder and chief development officer of Versa Networks.

The offering will give customers a single interface for configuring and managing security rules and network monitoring across their branch office locations, using only one appliance, Mehta said.

Verizon's SDN portfolio has primarily targeted first adopters -- typically high-end enterprise customers. But the Secure Branch offering in partnership with Versa opens up SDN to a broader audience, Hakl said.

"The offer itself is easy to use and simple to consume, so customers aren't at the mercy of a long installation process," he said. "We really see a lot of advantages for customers and for our partner community."

Verizon partners, who can start earning recurring revenue on the solution immediately, can also build their own services on top of the SD-Branch offering or bundle it into their existing products to create a full solution for their clients, Hakl said.

"For partners looking to move into the SaaS arena, this is another component that can help them secure their [customers] architecture better," he added.

Verizon, in 2016, announced a partnership with SD-WAN startup Viptela that resulted in an SD-WAN platform and managed service for Verizon partners and enterprise customers. In May, Cisco announced its intent to acquire Viptela. Verizon is still selling its Viptela-based SD-WAN offering to end customers and through channel partners.

Versa Networks is no stranger to the telecom space. The provider today is partnering with several service providers to power their SD-WAN services, including CenturyLink and Comcast.