Cisco, Orange Business Services Team Up To Tackle SD-LAN

Orange Business Services, one of Cisco's largest partners, is teaming up with the tech giant to develop SD-LAN solutions in a co-innovation program.

Orange Business Services teamed up with Cisco on their joint SD-WAN co-innovation program, and now the two companies are coming together again to take on SD-LAN.

The French telecom company, one of the largest Cisco Global Certified Gold Partners, has launched a new co-innovation program aimed at developing SD-LAN solutions alongside Cisco. The program will help enterprises software-define their existing local area networks (LANs) to handle next-generation applications, such as IoT, said Laurent Perrin, director of product management, application-driven networks for Orange Business Services.

The two companies will work with customers in Orange's Open Labs program to develop SD-LAN solutions that are customized to address specific customers’ needs, especially as LAN management changes, Perrin said.

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"Customers are seeing a big transformation in their LANs," Perrin said. "They are also connecting more machines and IoT on the LAN, and the need to have the flexibility to integrate these new applications within the network on a secure manner."

The partnership will allow enterprises to pair Cisco's technology, specifically, its switches and access points, with Orange's global network and connectivity services.

Jason Gallo, Cisco's global senior director of Enterprise Networking, Global Partner Organization, told CRN in an email that Cisco partners can work alongside customers to help them transform to a software-defined networking future.

"Yet, partners must also provide guidance to customers around the best implementation approach, whether that be a do-it-yourself model building a holistic software-defined network architecture, or to tap the managed services capabilities that service providers like Orange will offer," Gallo said.

Orange's Open Labs environment offers both physical and virtual resources that customers can use for development. It lets companies test drive connectivity solutions and performance possibilities in a secured, proof of concept environment, and it also lets customers bake network automation, analytics and security into their solutions. These solutions can then be rolled into a pilot test for further evaluation, according to Orange.

Orange's Perrin said that the company is building these Open Labs all over the world.

Orange Business Services had a similar partnership with Cisco on its co-innovation program around its Flexible SD-WAN offering.

"We want to work very closely with the Cisco engineering team, but also, very closely with our customers, Perrin said. "The idea for us is really to hone in our what our customers expect and customize the right solution to meet their requirements."