Behind the scenes of Verizon’s new SASE solution

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Behind the scenes of Verizon’s new SASE solution

Verizon has released its own SASE (secure access service edge) solution that combines network connectivity and security services into a unified, cloud-delivered service.

The offering combines Versa SD-WAN, Zscaler threat protection, and Verizon’s own zero-trust SDP (software-defined perimeter) solutions to create the product it calls Advanced SASE.

While there has been a proliferation of SASE among providers, including Telstra, Verizon APAC product and solutions director Helen Wong explained to CRN what sets the company’s offering apart. 

“What’s unique with the service proposition with Verizon is that the SDP, the software-defined perimeter, is actually a Verizon intellectual property. We bought a company five or six years ago for that particular product.”

Wong also referred to the acquisition of Australian company Cybertrust in 2007 to highlight that Verizon has been in the game of combining network and security for some time.

“It became very obvious in the last few years, with the hybrid networking that companies are going toward, that you have to bring network and security together in order to ensure that customers are protected – it doesn't matter if they are single remote users working at home versus at a data centre cloud level or at their branch level. SASE is a term that Gartner came up with, but it is something that Verizon was offering in some form or shape over the years.”

She added that the company is also looking at other vendors that they could work with to meet specific customer needs.

“We're probably at the moment evaluating between six to ten vendors because we want to get the best of the best for our customers. We go and look at what the market is doing, and some customers are more familiar with a certain brand or have a unique requirement that a certain third-party solution is better for, and we will explore that and see what is the best combination to deliver.”

For Australia specifically, Wong said she sees Verizon’s international status as a benefit when it comes to both networks and the integration process.

“On the network side, one unique advantage of Verizon is that we know how to work with all carriers, particularly globally. Most carriers may be strong in their home country like Telstra is in Australia, but when they go outside you will always have to work with third-party providers anyway. 

“And in the Australian market, you name it – we’ve got a direct contract with NBN, we work with Telstra, Optus, TPG, Superloop. It’s coming to a point that the network, you can acquire anywhere, but for transformations, you’ve got to step up above the network layer … We are now talking to customers about connectivity, but also what applications they're running, what business drivers they’re working on.”

“If you offer multiple software (solutions), making sure that they all can work together in different combinations is something that does take up a fair bit of engineering and testing and certification.

"With the experience of having worked with multiple multinational companies and across regions, you tend to be able to see more of what works and what doesn't work and be able to get onto it and address those challenges.”

Verizon has operated in Australia for 20 years and is particularly strong in the Federal and State Government markets, including agreements with the Federal Police, the Department of Defence, and the Department of Health, as well as being a panellist on the Whole-of-Australian-Government Telecommunications Marketplace.

In the private sector, the company works locally and globally with SAP, Astellas, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), Bayer, Honeywell, and IDP Education.

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