In a world where leaders and dominators are determined by how fast the enterprise can gain actionable insights and make knowledge-based decisions, a hybrid network is paramount to arriving first and arriving ready. With a secure, global network, organizations can ensure the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of their data, assets, and infrastructure.
Recognizing the value of hybrid networks in achieving a successful digital transformation, Masergy, the trusted leader in global networking service and real-time analytics, has developed an agile and secure networking platform that optimizes application performance for global enterprises.
VoipReview had the chance to speak with Terry Traina, the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Masergy, to discuss their latest secure hybrid networking, cloud communications, and cyber security offerings for enterprises. Traina also offers advice on what businesses should do to ensure network agility, security, and resiliency and shares how Masergy Secure Hybrid Networking Solution helps companies enhance their operational efficiency while reducing costs.
Q: Catch us up since we last spoke. What has Masergy been up to lately?
A: We’ve had several new launches and feature releases across our three solution lines since we last spoke. Most notable are:
Secure Hybrid Networking. Integrates key features of our patented managed detection and response cybersecurity platform with our global software-defined enterprise network. Customers receive a fully-managed hardened network appliance that is pre-provisioned with SD-WAN, routing, and next-generation firewall capabilities to connect them to our Software Defined Platform using whatever access method fits the customer location's price-performance needs (i.e. broadband internet, dedicated internet access, or private MPLS). With this single secure premise device, Masergy enables customers to leverage advanced network segmentation and low-latency secure connectivity to major cloud providers such as Amazon and Microsoft while receiving the benefits of built-in security analytics that correlate and proactively warn against threats specific to the customer network.
SD-WAN Enhancements. Upgrades included sophisticated application routing and automatic path control, as well as an embedded advanced firewall and router.
Expansion of Global Bandwidth On Demand to SD-WAN. Masergy has provided the ability to rapidly scale bandwidth to meet business demands on private networks for more than a decade; with this release, customers now have the same level of control for environments that leverage SD-WAN over public connectivity.
New Productivity Enhancements. New capabilities include new user Provisioning APIs to streamline business process integration and release of a new contextual communications-driven app optimized for our highly mobile UCaaS end-users.
Interoperability with Cisco IP Endpoints. Masergy is one of the first providers to announce complete interoperability of its Global UCaaS service with Cisco 6800 and 8800 phone series. Cisco also announced Masergy as one of the only enterprise providers who could provide Global UCaaS and Cloud Contact Center offerings as part of their Cisco Elite program to all their VARs.
Integration of Cloud Security into MDR Platform. Recent launches of Managed Cloud Workload Protection and Managed Cloud Access Security Broker provide monitoring coverage and incident remediation for Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.
Addition of new security monitoring capabilities for Microsoft Office 365.
Q: Enterprise IT continues to evolve rapidly today, which is driven by a number of factors such as cloud migration, increasingly growing enterprise workloads, and the desire to drive digital transformation, among others. All this puts growing pressure on enterprise networks; thus requiring organizations to rethink their approach to enterprise networking. How and where should they start?
A: A cloud-ready and agile IT platform with a secure global network is today’s foundation for digital transformation. CIOs recognize that it’s all about their network when it comes to making IT a true revenue enhancer rather than what seems like a support cost center for their organization. As they work to design a more intelligent network, we suggest they lead their enterprise through these three phases of preparation:
Work with an agile service provider to design a secure global network with users, applications, and risk tolerance in mind.
Establish agile IT infrastructures that support global connectivity and private connections to cloud providers.
Secure customer data, intellectual property, and network connectivity and ensure everything is monitored 24/7.
The result of this journey is true digital transformation where the CIO can leverage network agility to safely experiment with emerging technologies before a big IT rollout. This is critical for every CIO and every business because of the velocity of change we’re seeing not only in IT, but in international markets due to the ongoing instability of trade, regulation, and geopolitics.
Q: What is a hybrid network and why should organizations consider deploying one?
A: A hybrid network is one that can seamlessly combine public and private connectivity to optimize costs, enhance cloud performance, and ensure resiliency for business-critical apps. A secure hybrid WAN built and managed by Masergy enables an enterprise to connect various offices using a combination of any access technology, get unlimited virtual environments, and mix layer 2 and 3 networks based on their specific software applications, office locations, performance needs, and risk tolerance.
We talked about the three steps of the digital transformation journey. Organizations should consider deploying a secure hybrid network because it is the foundational next-gen technology that drives the transformational leaps ahead needed to beat the competition.
Q: In your opinion, what are the top items enterprises must consider when thinking about leveraging hybrid networks? How can they find the right hybrid networking partner?
A: As IT executives get hyper-focused, they need platforms and partnerships to help them form the bedrock for their innovation journey. Top items enterprises should consider are:
Network Agility. Most legacy telecommunications companies have grown through acquisitions, piecing together various networks and systems. This strategy yields a nice portfolio of physical assets but fails to deliver a ubiquitous global network fabric. As a result, legacy providers must maintain large teams of technical staff to manage their enterprise solutions and innovation is often slow in comparison. By contrast, next-generation providers have built single global network platforms with interoperable components using software-defined networking principles that deliver on-demand networking environments with an enhanced level of cybersecurity. A software-defined network can provide customers with real-time analytics and control of the network end-to-end—from the premise, to the cloud, and all endpoints in between. Enterprises should only be considering network providers that can give them a managed WAN built for agility, security, and control with stringent service level agreements.
Future-Proofed Application Performance. Identify providers who not only understand your current environment but those that can help you plan for the future. A true software-defined platform should allow CIOs and their teams to spin up unlimited virtual networking environments in which they can safely experiment with emerging technologies.
Balancing Performance, Price, and Risk. With digital transformation objectives focusing more on agility, providers are giving enterprise customers the freedom to use multiple connectivity types across the WAN. You should be able to mix and match connectivity types and last-mile vendors to strike the optimal balance between performance, price, and risk tolerance. An agnostic approach to access enables network designs based on the application environment and on the location type—as opposed to a specific technology.
Identifying the right network provider really comes down to the questions you ask. Many public sector organizations are required to use a competitive bid process, such as a formal RFP, to identify and evaluate providers. The benefit of a formal approach is that enterprises get to be highly specified, identifying the solutions that are most relevant to the organization while weeding out service providers that can’t keep up. However as networks have become more complex, so have RFPs. Many organizations go through lengthy RFP questions that puts burden on the enterprise as well as the service providers. Consider a short 5 question RFP and invite the short-listed vendors to demonstrate how they can support today’s demands while also future-proofing for tomorrow.
Q: How critical is the role played by a managed service provider in the evolving network business?
A: Highly critical. The network is the power behind all business-critical applications. Before a contract is signed, CIOs have to be aware of the provider’s infrastructure, the ability to deliver real-time analytics, their service-level agreements for 24/7 end-to-end network monitoring, and the proactive notification of outages or security issues as these capabilities will directly dictate the efficacy of the IT Team and the agility of the entire business. CIOs need to pick managed service providers that are true partners that help them accelerate digital transformation.
Q: Masergy recently launched Secure Hybrid Networking for enterprises. Please tell our readers more about it. What are its highlights and who is it best for?
A: Secure Hybrid Networking is the evolution of Masergy’s award-winning hybrid network and managed security solutions. Masergy Secure Hybrid Networking lays the foundation for the next generation of digitally-enabled enterprises. With Masergy Secure Hybrid Networking, global enterprises benefit from:
Integrated security. Built-in support for advanced network segmentation and a single secure premise device providing a unified security view across the entire global enterprise. Provides holistic and correlated visibility across both network and security domains.
Enhanced simplicity and agility. Fully managed, plug and play secure device pre-provisioned with SD-WAN, routing, firewall and advanced unified threat management capabilities and supported by centralized policy management. Enables rapid and secure direct connections to cloud providers.
Lower costs. Ability to combine public and private connectivity to optimize costs, enhance application performance, and ensure resiliency. Eliminates redundant network costs by utilizing virtualized network capabilities.
Seamlessly integrated with Masergy’s comprehensive suite of fully managed detection and response (MDR) solution, clients can easily and cost-effectively add incremental managed security services including 24/7 continuous expert monitoring and incident response.
Q: What sets your solution apart from other similar offerings in the market?
A: As a pioneering leader in real-time analytics and service control for global enterprise networks, Masergy is integrating its patented security analytics and detection capabilities to create the foundation for a fully autonomous secure networking platform. Embedding advanced detection capabilities into the Masergy Software Defined Platform ensures that every Masergy networking customer will have the enhanced visibility and analytics required to help identify anomalous and suspicious activities across their entire network infrastructure. Our vision for this deep integration of security and networking is to enable effective automated threat mitigation.
In summary, a seamless secure global infrastructure, real-time analytics and control, and a fully-managed service with the industry’s best client experience sets Masergy apart from its larger tier one competitors as well as the one-trick pony start-ups in the global networking space.
Q: What rising trends or technologies in the industry are you most excited about? How is Masergy addressing these?
A: Zero Trust Networking represents one of the trends we’re most excited about. Masergy is in a unique position with holistic visibility across its global network platform and security infrastructure to enable market-leading capabilities here. Our Secure Hybrid Networking announcement represents the first step toward helping our enterprise customers design and deploy highly secure micro-segmented networks that increase rapid detection of and response to malicious activity.
Masergy, a trusted managed networking and cloud services provider, has been transforming the enterprise IT space with its cutting-edge secure hybrid networking, cloud communications, and cyber security solutions that allows businesses to streamline operations and engage customers and employees better. Established in 2000, Masergy continues to deliver customized, secure, and high-performance platforms that help businesses accelerate digital transformation across their enterprise and achieve performance beyond expectations.
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