Q&A with Mark Weiner, Chief Marketing Officer at Versa Networks
Fortinet spoke with Fabric-Ready Partner, Versa Networks to learn what’s top of mind for its customers, the key IT challenges they are facing and how Versa Networks’ approach to integrated security is helping drive business and customer success.
1. Tell us a bit about Versa Networks' business and the types of customers that you serve.
Versa Networks provides software-based networking solutions for both managed service providers (telcos, cable operators and others) and large enterprises. The most popular use case is software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). Versa’s solution is unique in that it’s designed from the ground up for service providers and very large enterprises – examples include being purely software-based (using the advanced principles of network function virtualization or NFV) and being fully multi-tenant (central controller, management and even branch deployments) for maximizing provider/enterprise service agility and much lower capital + operational costs.
2. What is the top IT challenge or concern that your customers face today?
There are multiple. First, it’s the high cost and very slow deployment times for traditional private WAN circuits (i.e. MPLS) – these do not support the ongoing “digital transformation” initiatives of modern business (like video, facial recognition, etc). Second, IT resources and applications are continuing to move from the data center to the cloud, which traditional branch-to-data center WAN architectures do not support well – they force traffic to the data center and then to cloud, making the user experience slow and the costs high. Finally, security at the branch office is important (especially with increasing cloud and mobile access), but branch security investments are often postponed.
3. Versa Networks recently joined Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Partner Program. Can you share a bit about your history of working with Fortinet and why being an alliance partner in our program is important for your business and customers?
Versa joined Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Partner Program specifically because we have joint customers asking us to work together to solve the above challenges of WAN/branch transformation and branch security. Both the branch network and security need a major evolution to keep businesses competitive and safe.
4. Are you seeing a shift in IT or cybersecurity buying criteria from your customers for solutions that are by nature more open, automated and able to interoperate with their existing infrastructure?
We are seeing a shift in overall IT, including networking and security, to be more open and automated. Certainly our service provider customers are requiring that as they work to create more advanced yet efficient managed services, and enterprises are too (following on from their data center automation). And new investments must always integrate with existing infrastructure, particularly as depreciation cycles or CapEx preservation for networking and security are often extended.
5. In an industry where continued technology innovation is a business driver imperative, how do coopetition and open collaboration across multi-vendor ecosystems, like Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Program, give you a leg up to deliver what your customers demand today and into the future?
By enabling Versa and Fortinet technical experts to work closely with each other on behalf of joint customers, it’s a win-win-win. Customers most importantly get to meet their IT and business goals with their chosen vendors (Fortinet and Versa), while both vendors get to understand each other’s solution and are able to intelligently and proactively recommend our combined solution to future customers.