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SMB SD-WAN Platform Versa Titan Gets SASE Injection

‘If you’re just solving a networking problem, you’re really not adding much value to the game. [Vendors] have to be able to consolidate these functions together to create a valuable solution for partners to bring to the market,’ one Versa partner tells CRN about the updated Versa Titan offering.

Versa Networks is making secure access service edge (SASE) more accessible by inserting SASE functions into its popular SD-WAN offering for smaller customers, Versa Titan, the company unveiled on Tuesday.

Versa Titan, the company’s cloud-managed security and SD-WAN offering for midmarket and small business customers, was introduced in 2019. Right away, Versa Titan “took on a life of its own,” with high demand from SMBs and channel partners for a “digestible, secure SD-WAN product, the company told CRN at the time.

Until now, Versa Titan offered full-featured SD-WAN, networking, and application and network analytics with full-stack security capabilities for lean IT organizations. Starting today, the platform now includes Secure Web Gateway (SWG) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), which have been added to Titan’s existing SD-WAN, routing, Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), IDS/IPS, Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware, Role-Based Access Control, and User and Entity Behaviour Analytics, according to the company.

“Many [vendors] are doing SD-WAN, but being able to do the remote access piece, as well as the security, and put it together in a single pane is a game-changer,” said Jayesh Dave, CTO for Ripple IT, an Atlanta-based MSP and Versa partner.

[Related: Versa Networks’ First Global Partner Program Sets Sights On Soaring SASE Sales]

Ripple IT is in the process of moving existing customers over to Versa for their security and SD-WAN needs as their contracts run out with other SD-WAN vendors, Dave said. Versa’s Titan, a consolidated cloud-based networking and security platform, is appealing to Ripple’s base of small and midmarket businesses with multiple locations, he added.

Ripple IT has been separately managing security, networking, and analytics for their end customers prior to SASE being integrated into Versa Titan; a complex process that led to “IT Sprawl,” said Dave. ”We had to put other solutions in place for reporting, or make sure all the security policies matched up -- it was a little daunting,” he said.

Versa Titan, now with SASE functions, is an easy-to-manage packaged offering for lean IT organizations or channel partners managing networking and security on behalf of their end customers. Businesses and channel partners can use Titan to quickly configure networking and security policies, spin up branch sites, secure access, and stop threats, according to Versa.

By integrating SASE functions into the Versa Titan platform, the vendor is making SASE more obtainable for smaller customers, Dave said. “It makes it more obtainable, and it unifies a lot of things we’ve seen since [COVID-19] occurred, like remote access management,” he said. ”If you’re just solving a networking problem, you’re really not adding much value to the game. [Vendors] have to be able to consolidate these functions together to create a valuable solution for partners to bring to the market.”

Now was the time to bake SASE services into Versa Titan because lean IT organizations have been asking for a simple, cloud-first way to enable security, performance, and visibility for the increased number of employees and contractors working from anywhere, Michael Wood, Versa’s chief marketing officer, told CRN.

“Enabling Versa SASE services such as ZTNA, Versa Secure Access, and SWG as part of Versa Titan now gives them the ability to maintain business continuity, improve the security posture of the business, and increase productivity for a remote workforce immediately,” Wood said.

San Jose, Calif.-based Versa jumped from the visionary category in research firm Gartner’s annual Magic Quadrant report for WAN Edge Infrastructure to the leader quadrant in 2020 thanks to its approach that combines SD-WAN with other branch networking functions. The privately-held company does nearly 100 percent of its business today through the channel.

Versa Networks in January unveiled its first-ever formal channel partner program to address the unprecedented demand the company is seeing for SD-WAN and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions, called the Versa ACE -- Accelerate, Captivate, Engage -- Partner Program on Tuesday for VARs, MSPs, and service providers.

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