Comcast Masergy Teams With Fortinet, Exclusive Networks To Serve Up Managed SD-WAN To VARs, MSPs
‘The fact that you can bring a customer into a managed SD-WAN environment and then unlock so much more across the security stack, these partners that are in this space can literally transformed their business overnight,’ Comcast Masergy’s VP of global channel alliances says of the new joint relationship between the service provider, Fortinet, and Exclusive Networks.
Comcast Business, alongside security specialist Fortinet and security distributor Exclusive Networks, are teaming up to bring managed SD-WAN services to more channel partners. The partnership will also unlock new security opportunities for VARs and MSPs opening the door with SD-WAN, Comcast said.
The collaboration brings the Comcast-owned Masergy Guardian Portfolio to the reseller and MSP partner channels selling managed SD-WAN and security services to the midmarket, while helping Comcast expand its managed services portfolio overseas, Bill Madison, vice president of global channel alliances for Comcast Business Masergy, told CRN.
“We wouldn’t be doing this if the demand for a managed SD-WAN environment wasn’t where it is today. It’s an incredible global boom for the need for managed solutions; managed SD-WAN,” Madison said.
The Masergy Guardian Portfolio includes networking, security and services, a great fit for partners without security operation centers (SOCs), technical expertise, or SD-WAN certifications, the company said. The joint Masergy/Comcast Business and Fortinet Secure SD-WAN offering will now be available to resellers through Exclusive Networks, a global security-focused distributor.
Fortinet is bringing its popular FortiGate Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) to the relationship, in which partners will be able to wrap Comcast Masergy’s managed services around the appliance, Madison said.
Comcast and Fortinet also have a similar, existing relationship with distribution giant Ingram Micro that it launched last year.
Exclusive Networks, thanks to its security focus, has a “sticky” following of partners, Madison said. “It very much seems like we don’t see this cross pollination between the two distributors [Ingram and Exclusive]. We see it as really a whole different kind of total addressable market,” he said.
Philadelphia-based Comcast Business, for its part, is looking to expand the pool of partners in which it has typically gone to market via agent partners. The bundled managed SD-WAN offering with Fortinet hardware will allow the companies to reach more VARs and MSPs, Madison said. On the VAR and MSP side, these partners can keep control of billing and add new services around the offering, he added.
“It’s become sort of a perfect storm in creating this environment between the three of us where we can reach a new partner set that need what we have and allows us to expand our reach and go into different geographies,” he said.
The service provider’s goal is to “move intentionally” into new areas in which managed SD-WAN and security services are in high demand, including the EMEA market, Madison said, adding that the new partnership can serve as a “gateway” to open up more opportunities for partners.
“If you peel it back, what we’re offering the partners the ability to take advantage of something that they can sell in their model, without having to lay out the capital resources to build a SOC on three different continents like we have,” he said. “The fact that you can bring a customer into a manage SD-WAN environment and then unlock so much more across the security stack, these partners that are in this space can literally transform their business overnight.”
Building onto managed SD-WAN, the service provider’s future roadmap includes adding managed firewall services and other similar services in the security space, Madison said.