Verizon: Lessons Learned from Managed SD WAN Deployments
As cloud and mobile services become more widespread, your organizations need to keep up and support better application performance even in remote locations. Doing this quickly, reliably, securely and cost effectively is the key when you decide on any new network infrastructure solutions. Typically this means adding bandwidth isn’t just an option, you need to transform your network to create a single intelligent platform that responds to your applications’ needs and helps you make changes quickly. Verizon’s Managed SD WAN allows you to do just that. Viptela and Verizon bring this fully integrated and customizable hybrid networking solution, and help you implement and manage it to fit your specific business needs.
In this on-demand webinar, our strategic partner Verizon joins us to discuss our Managed SD WAN solution. This session will explain how Managed SD WAN can help increase bandwidth, agility and reliability while maintaining security through real life use cases and in-field deployment scenarios.
Kate Brown: Thank you, good morning, good afternoon everyone, thank you so much for choosing to join us today. As we discussed the Lessons Learned from Managed SD WAN Deployments. We have a lot of great information for you today, so let’s just jump right in. We’ll be taking questions through the chat and after the presentation, we’ll also have a live Q & A session. Let me introduce you to our speakers, we have Ramesh Prabagaran from Viptela. Ramesh is Vice President of Product Management and Partnerships. And from Verizon we have Scot Allen, who is the Director of Managed and Professional Services. So Ramesh, Scot welcome and Scot I’m going to turn it over to you.
Scot Allen: Thank you for that, Kate I appreciate it. As Kate mentioned, this is Scot Allen I’m responsible for Product innovation and Marketing for our Manage Service Portfolio. We also have a great opportunity to get out with our customers using design thinking methodology to both share prototypes and talk to our clients about how software defined wide area networking impacts their lives and their applications. So we’re going to talk today about some of those lessons learned from both a business perspective, as well as the perspective of the operational lessons learned. This is a great opportunity for us, we’ve been hosting a few webinars throughout the year, so thank you all for joining. Well over 400, almost 500 registrants to this presentation today, so by all means, and by Verizon’s standards a pretty successful turnout for the event.
This is on par with the opportunity that I got to present at ONUG this year out in the fall, excuse me, out in the spring, out in California with Amir from Viptela. Also part of the speaking series for Enterprise Connect and RSA that have been participating in, so huge opportunity. I’m very thankful to be able to talk about our experiences around software defined wide area networking. Please, as you see up here, we posted our corporate, as well as our individual Twitter handle, so please feel free to tweet me, a pretty active conversation going on any given day with respect to our Twitter handles. And also if there are some follow-up questions, or information you want, please feel free to connect on LinkedIn.
What I’m going to do, like I said, I’m joined by Ramesh, we’re going to break it up into a little discussion around the business impact of software defined wide area networking. Hand off to Ramesh to talk a little bit about some of the Viptela engagements, he’s subbing in for Amir today, who’s out with a customer. Both Viptela and Verizon have a customer first policy, so thank you very much, Ramesh for jumping in here and the second in command over there of Viptela behind Amir, the CEO. So thankful to have you. Let me get in a little bit from a content perspective and talk about the journey in the Lessons Learned from business driver’s perspective. You know over the past 16 years of my experience here at Verizon, we’ve seen networking move from a [unintelligible 00:03:24] based frame relay and private line connectivity model into internet-based IPBPN, all the way through in 2003, 2004 kind of widespread enterprise adoption for MPLS.
SD WAN is on par with that level of change and magnitude in the way that will be disruptively less … you know redesigning our networks and taking a look at the applications. You can think about the impact at MPLS had on QOS and the full mesh architecture from a redundancy in an efficiency perspective. Software defined wide area networking is touching our customers in that same way. And although you probably can’t see grey hair or anything on the webex here, I used to consider myself a digital native. Nowadays millenials would certainly remind me that the changes that occur on the right-hand side, the now side of this slide are far greater, far faster and require customers, our customers and enterprises everywhere to rapidly focus on the application and less around the transport.
A couple data points that I love to throw out there, factual stuff that you probably all are familiar with, you know the iPhone’s only been around since 2007. At the bottom of this tablet, SmartPhones, the iPad being around since 2010, and at the top the public cloud space. Companies like software, excuse me, Salesforce.com really didn’t hit IPO in 2004. The data models, the data center models and the application, the hosting models, have all changed, but many of the networking concepts for the customers that we work with every day, are still leveraging those … the 2003 MPLS concepts. So software defined wide area networking allows us to catapult in and change the network architecture and change the network performance consistent with our business behavior.
If you look at using this as an example right, I was pretty adamant … I really wanted to have video on this webinar. In most of the webinars I still attend are audio only, right, it’s a talking voice and slides moving. Customers today, me personally as a user, I’m using video 40 to 60 percent of the time in everything that I do, from a in-house to an external conference and discussion. I think it’s much more connected, much more real to have a discussion over video and really look eye to eye with the partners and the internal parties that work with every day. And I’m expecting this … you probably are experiencing that as well. So when you look at the demands of the network and the center part, I see this every day and I wanted to share a quick little story around that as it relates to the IP communication and the video that I just spoke of.
I was with a customer very recently and it really rang true for me that software defined wide area networking, like some of the other features and the technology, it’s not a solution looking for an answer. We find that our customers have challenges like the one I’m about to share with you every day. Was recently out with a customer and about two quarters ago they were having an investor call. I honestly don’t remember whether or not it was webex or it was an IP audio conferencing session, but 20 minutes into that presentation, the chief marketing officer, all of a sudden, became very pixilated with his voice and probably sounded something a little bit like a Max Headroom or having a Skype session with your grandmother that gets a bad connection.
And it was only for about 15 seconds, but really became a memory maker for the IT department that the network was not stable at the moment they needed it to be reliable. What had happened, kind of in the postmortem, was about 200 people had accessed some sort of YouTube video. I don’t know if it was a dancing cat or some person with a Pokemon Go experience out in Manhattan, but this went viral for about 200 people in the office. And I think about the simplicity of software defined wide area networking and the ability for it to take a policy that says, that investor call, right, is a publicly traded company, investors on from all over the globe, hanging on the words from a trading and investment perspective with the CFO, and yet this YouTube video exposed the vulnerability of not having a policy and an application to where network and environment. So it was only 15 seconds, made it through unscathed.
I talk to people and they’re like, “Hey, you know there’s an answer for that. Right? We just get dedicated circuits and we don’t have to worry about that kind of thing.” And that is the true answer, but that’s not the real efficiency in the policy-driven application strategy that most of our customers that we’re talking to and seeing across the table from a software defined wide area networking perspective are thinking about the future. Right? Throwing more bandwidth at the problem isn’t always the answer. So if I move forward a little bit and talk about some of the scenarios our customers find themselves in, one of the things that we look at is; it really falls into these four categories from a Lessons Learned perspective. And we try to … I try to open with this because I was speaking to a sales leader within our organization recently and he said, “We really need to make sure the software defined wide area networking doesn’t sound like another capability or another vendor pitch. Right?”
We look at the Lessons Learned and I’m going to talk a little bit like I said about the business valuable Lessons Learned and then later Ramesh is going to go through the case study. I’ll touch on a case study and then we’ll talk about some of the operational Lessons Learned. Prioritization around these applications in the top left are really what’s driving the activity today. So I was out with an agent partner in New York City just last week. If you follow me on Twitter you can probably figure out who that was, was a fairly active discussion and dialogue, great partner for Verizon. But you know they were very focused on Office 365 as how they helped their customers change the efficiency and change the dynamics of the cloud and how they leveraged the cloud.
And they really understood that Office 365 or applications like Salesforce or Workday, these are applications that warrant a software defined policy that says, if I’m involved in a hybrid networking environment, with a public access circuit and a private access circuit, software defined wide area networking guarantees me the ability to control a business application like email, a business application like voice or video over that platform and really becomes a critical element of their sales strategy. Additionally speaking to a customer recently, an auto manufacturing customer, we talked about rapidly deploying new applications … you know he shared with me a challenge that he had faced recently, where they had put out an application for a pilot audience. The executives at this particular company had demanded, “Hey we want to pilot this technology, we want to pilot this software.”
And he said what was supposed to start out as like a 30-person executive pilot, rapidly got into a three and 400-person deployment because people started passing around the credentials and accessing this application to the point where it really impacted the IT organization in a way they weren’t prepared for. It started as a pilot, rapidly got out of hand, number hundreds of users, all of a sudden, using this application and testing it. You look at the segmentation and the policy capabilities of software defined wide area networking and it’s a perfect placement in terms of the Lessons Learned and how understanding the application environment and the user population allows you to write a policy that becomes kind of an isolationism opportunity. So that you can test and demo and try out new applications without fear of other people accessing them.
From an enhanced digital experience, I think it takes no more than a walk through a mall or an airport these days … you know airports are almost like shopping malls, or even the shopping districts in many of the cities to see that there’s a massive content push, an interaction push, for the customer experience, which is driving the need for policy-driven and application aware networks. Additionally, the second bullet in, whether or not customers are using Wi-Fi for beacons and marketing or, I like to say, bring your own disease policy, whereby the [line] of business insists that they need to have all the tablets and all the SmartPhones on the corporate Wi-Fi system.
This presents an opportunity, software defined wide area networking, for customers to force those users into a DMZ or a scrubbing zone before allowing them to access the application. So a critical consideration when you look at the holistic opportunity of software defined wide area networking and very surging IT challenges like BYOD and Wi-Fi. Business unit acquisition divestiture from a Lessons Learned perspective, this is one of my favorite, I’m going to talk, in my case study, further about this, so I’ll be brief. I did a little research out there, there’s about four point three trillion with a T, mergers and acquisitions that happen in 2015. In one sector alone it was 13,000 companies that had gone through one of these activities. I really had no concept of the magnitude of mergers and acquisitions and how it impacts the IT landscape.
I spoke to a customer just a couple months ago in a design thinking session and they had a site out in Costa Rica, they had ordered some NPLS from Verizon and the lead time was more than they could bear as it relates to the acquisition and the turn up of that location. So they kept their order in with us on MPLS, but immediately went in and got a local internet circuit for 10 meg, deployed software defined wide area networking and added the MPLS circuit to that to create a hybrid environment, so that they were able to immediately adjust and immediately have access at that site, meet their acquisition deadline and scale into a software defined wide area networking solution, which we’ll talk about a little bit later, it’s very easy to do with Viptela. And last, from a financial services perspective, customers are looking for alternative options at the BU level.
What can I do to add to the network modernization? Most of the conversations around network modernization are really understanding what the kit and capability is for software defined wide area networking. What is zero touch provisioning? What is the ability or excuse me, how does this give us the ability to leverage LTE or some of the other more dynamic cloud-based deployment models? So that is the Lessons Learned from a business perspective that I wanted to impart with you today as we move through this. From Verizon’s perspective, this fits perfectly into where we are. Our role at Verizon is taking people and things on the left-hand side of this, connecting them to applications and software, like I mentioned before, you can either look at the [unintelligible 00:15:01] service offerings that we have in the middle. Data center, hosting, contact center, tagging that traffic, making the policies aware to improve that experience [unintelligible 00:15:11] has.
Unified communication hosted, these are all important things that we use software defined wide area networking to improve that simple, secure and reliable experience for our enterprise and even remote users. And then on the right, I mentioned already before, tagging the Amazon or the workloads that are over there in AWUS for a customer or tagging the Office 365 experience for our customers through our secure cloud interconnection is a critical use case for most of our customers. Because, again, our manage service platform is what makes this simple for our customers. And as you can see, up top there, imbedding the Viptela vSmart controller into our network fabric and our managed service fabric is a critical Capability for us in working with an extremely leading edge technology partner, like Viptela.
Go quickly into the reasons why Verizon/Viptela and then I’m going to hand the baton over to Ramesh here. From our perspective, at Verizon I mentioned before that my role has to do with innovation, managed service and marketing. The innovation allows us to look at a lot of different partners, so certainly at Verizon we have almost everybody looking to partner with us from a technology perspective. And so when we look at who are the enterprise-ready, the best of breed, the partners that can go out there and scale to 1,000 or 10,000 locations immediately, right now, Viptela immediately came to the top of that list. They really create a cloud-based offering, not a gooey stuck in a portal that’s … this is a very purpose built cloud offering.
Additionally I would offer that one of the things that I really like about Viptela and the way that they push the organization and the customers is, this is a purpose built solution Viptela has created. Right? So the old adage, do one thing and do it well, that’s what Viptela does and helps Verizon in a peer play model look at the art of the possible. What’s next coming? How do we build off of this? So when you take the enterprise capabilities coupled with innovation, it’s really a perfect partnership for Verizon. As we go out and manage customers and talk to customers to create a roadmap that says, hey look, you chose Verizon because of our capabilities to be secure, and reliable, provide you a wealth of options, Viptela’s the perfect partner for us to partner, or excuse me, to position with our clients.
So, with that, Ramesh, I know you’re out there I’m going to switch the slide, I’m going to switch the video and you’re going to talk a little bit about some situations and scenarios out there. Right?
Ramesh : Certainly, thank you Scot. And it’s really exciting times for the networking industry and for SD WAN in particular. To actually quote our customers that said, “Hey I’ve seen this technology transform from its real infancy to adult within actually a matter of months.” And there’s actually no better proof point than talking about actual deployments. And I’m happy to share our experiences here working with a really leading edge of customers that have very specific pinpoints that cause them to look at SD WAN. And then start to realize the full benefit that the overall Verizon and Viptela partnership can actually bring to the table. And in sort of actually going through each of the bubbles that you see here, I actually want to narrate the story. So one of the large energy and manufacturing companies, one of the largest in the U.S. had a very specific problem that started them to look at the SD WAN solution.
And it was really around international sites. They had really poor user experience for people connecting in from those locations, they had business continuity issues to deal with and they said, “Okay I’m going to look at a solution for this portion of the network.” That’s not how they started. And then way quickly, after they dabbled around with the technology, and saw in action, they quickly realized that hey I have a far reaching set of problems here; all the way from acquiring companies that need to fit into my portfolio. And at the same time, I need to access cloud-based applications. And one thing in particular going back to what Scot was talking about earlier, really around Office 365.
And for those of you that are wondering Office 365 somewhere on the far left here, why they are somewhere on the far right here, what’s really the connection? And the connection is really simple, if you are a user trying to access your email, file share, whatnot from a remote site or other branch with a skinny pipe that has long latency, guess what happens; you see the spinning wheel. And we all, none of us like that spinning wheel. And so that really brings the attention back to the wide area because now the WAN is essential area to focus on in order to optimize on that user experience. And then there’s one application, an application going to the cloud. We have seen in the retail space again, a whole lot more as well, that I’ll talk about in just a bit.
But now going back to this manufacturing use scale, they mainly expanded the scope of the effort from just fixing my international sites, to looking at the overall footprint that they had. They were acquiring roughly about three of four companies a year and trying to merge their backend IT infrastructure altogether and also [unintelligible 00:00:21:10] infrastructure was proving to be really, really challenging. And so we embarked on this journey where they said, “Let me figure out a transport strategy here,” so they said, “I want to use a combination of MPLS circuit, augment that with broadband circuits that I can get for our DSL or cable standpoint and then attach LDE as the circuit of last resort. And so that becomes the transport strategy. Now you can go up one level and say, okay now what do I need to do about offering cure as an application SLA’s and so forth.
They said I want to bucket-ize the overall transport into three or four different buckets. One is a really low intensity, high SLA bucket, another one is a high bandwidth, I really don’t care about the cost there type of bucket. One was a zero loss type of bucket and so forth. And they went back to their business units and the portfolio companies and said, “Here’s a portfolio, you have an application, you figure out which one of these buckets, now this belongs into. And so they were able to map that really quickly and then roll it out initially across a pilot set of sites and then right now we’re working together on a really large scale here being tons of sites type of deployment as well. And so the challenges are really around how do I get high bandwidth to my sties? How do I improve on the user experience? How do I segment the next work and so on and so forth?
So that was really appealing for the manufacturing customer in particular. Now switching gears a slight bit to the top right of the picture here for the pharma company we all know pharma companies tend to be on the conservative side, as far as innovation is concerned. But this company, in particular, had a specific or two specific staying points, one, was really around security as it relates to [artists] and segmentation. And the other one was extranet, as in business partners, and suppliers, and other ecosystem partners that need to connect into the infrastructure. So they embarked on a journey whereby they said they have a few sites out in India, a few sites out in the U.S. let me try to build their SD1 solution to connect my business partners together first.
And so they quickly realized the value that SD1 brings to the table, whereby it’s the same underlying transport infrastructure. They were able to bring their business partners in without having to build … dedicate their transport infrastructures for each of those business partners. And at the same time, they will be able to enforce a policy very quickly that says no two business partners can talk to each other through me, because that’s a huge liability for a pharma company. And at the same time, I want to be able to prioritize my business, impacting critical applications compared to the others. And within that they said, I have three different types of business partners, one that really needs access to a whole bunch of my backend IP systems. One that really needs only select application access and one that really needs a single application access.
So through a centralized quality-based mechanism they were very quickly able to provide that infrastructure back to their business partners, and hence were able to solve that external problem that they had in a really, really simple way. So once again, you can see that the manufacturing new scale was completely different, the pharma news scale was again, completely different, but they all rely on the same underlying technology and also the overall ecosystem around it as well. I’ll talk in detail about the financial services use case because that’s a textbook example of where SD WAN can add value. I’ll cover that in the next slide, but switching gears to the bottom left part of the picture, we have also top three credit card company that embarked on this journey.
They had a dual MPLS strategy and went down this path very quickly, realized that their bandwidth needs were growing because of a new line of business asking for a high bandwidth based application, an analytics group asking for more bandwidth. And at the same time, trying to optimize on the internet exit points because they were subscribing to a whole lot of cloud-based applications. So now security for credit card transaction company becomes really, really important and so they were looking for the ability to, again, have a common underlying transport infrastructure that defines well defined internet exit points, so that they can access content and they can access cloud-based applications, as well.
And so very simply, we were able to say, okay here are your three different types of internet exit points, all you have to do is take the list of applications that you have, start to move a few applications to one type of exit, a few to the other type of exit and the third category, as well. And all of this actually was done in a matter of a day. And so the whole process of analyzing our designing and architecting the overall solution on a white board was fairly trivial. And rolling this out through, again, the management portal is fairly simple, as well. So as you can see, the use cases are quite diverse and the underlying value that’s being provided here is not just a network-based SLA.
So we are moved away or moved beyond just providing for lanes of availability for my private circuit and maybe my broadband maybe has 95 percent availability of that sort to an application-based model, where I can say this particular video conference and this particular transactional traffic needs to have a near zero loss, less than a hundred millisecond latency. I don’t care where it is in the network, but as long as I have a path available, I want to be able to take that. And so they’re moving the conversation from network-based SLA to application-based SLA. You’re moving the conversation from, I need to talk about how do I access applications inside my data center to where is my user, where is my application and what is the network going to do to provide security, to provide application levels visible at the end, so forth.
So the [unintelligible 00:28:39] cases again are quite diverse. And I want to talk in detail about one more use case, especially as it relates to retail. So Scot if you can move to the next slide.
Scot Allen: Yeah I think there’s a humorous social media tile we can put together with the spinning wheel or the cat video, so we’ll … I’ll get cracking on that. Quick question as you move forward. Do you find that customers understand their application environment? Like they understand most of it? Or they understand the painful ones? Do they understand all of it? Like what’s your experience? I mean you talked about very specific applications and instances.
Ramesh: So I think the ones that they know about are the ones that the business could’ve killed because somebody told them, you need to protect this traffic. So those are your CLM, ERP and other transactional traffic that are critical to their business. So that they understand well. They also understand Office 365 email because it affects everybody and then they understand unified communication, real-time communications type traffic. Beyond that what we have noticed is customers really are looking for guidance from their favorite service provider to say, “Hey you tell me how applications behave well. I really don t know if I’m in the middle of China, versus in Turkey, versus with the U.S. How is this application going to behave over my circuit?
And so they’re actually looking for guidance and that’s actually an assessment service that goes well with the customer. So you take an inventory of … I mean very simply you put one of the devices, let it run for some time, you get application visibility into all the applications that they’re using and you go through an exercise with them, sitting with them whereby you say, “Okay is this important, is this important, is this important?” And then start to bucket phase them into various blocks. It’s a very interesting exercise to go through because A, it’s quite revealing for the customer themselves on … hey my next work is getting [choked] as a sort of [unintelligible 00:30:49] deals and are not really my transactional traffic.
And so that naturally lends itself to a model where you can say, okay I’m going to put policies in place in a hierarchical order so that my business critical applications, if all else fails and I have nothing but a single circuit available, and I want this to be protected and that could be over the [LTE]. And so they’re able to gain … get again into talking the business language to the customer whereby this is your interesting and critical application protected. These are the next tier of applications. If something is available then protect that. And then you’re able to go down that hierarchy as well.
Scot Allen: Thanks for that.
Ramesh: Excellent. So I want to talk a little bit about the [branch] experience here, especially as it led to a large bank. And the bank, as you can imagine, a large bank with thousands of sites, closer to 3,000 sites actually has a wide variety of challenges. They offer consumer banking, retail banking, investment banking and so forth and all of them are different lines of business. So segmentation comes automatically built into the DNA of that solution. They also have challenges around opening stores or bank branches in metro areas, in urban, suburban areas and also in some of the rural areas. They were also embarking on an infrastructure to open ATM’s and Kiosks in some very strategic locations, as well.
And also enhancing the overall experience for consumers and customers walking into a retail branch by providing video-based teller services, video-based advisory services and so forth. So naturally you can imagine that on a one point [unintelligible 00:32:48] pushing a high def video is almost a square in a round hole. And so they were looking for options there and said, “Hey I’m able to do face time, and Xbox, and high def, and watch Netflix and whatnot at my home, why can’t I do this at my bank branch?” And so the CIO there said, “Okay, can we figure something out whereby we’re able to use a combination of really high SLA circuits and a combination of high bandwidth local circuits so that I can start to make these policy decisions around which application goes where and so forth?”
And interestingly, the same customers said, “Hey I have applications that my [seven] test teams are building on AWSN as [yours], a combination of those two public clouds and so I need to be able to selectively build an application and role it into a few of the bank branches. I want people in those branches, customers in those branches, to experience it, learn from it, develop more and then I start to build my infrastructure as well.” So it was a really good set of problems and, as you can imagine, the larger the customer, the more the number of challenges that they have to go through. And so it was all the way from video-based applications driving bandwidth, to the need to open up new sites in a really quick fashion to cloud interconnects and so forth. And not to mention, they had a completely independent network for guest Wi-Fi as well.
As you can imagine, people walking into a bank branch want … if they have their kids running around, they want to be able to make them sit in one place, give them an iPad and say, “Hey, here watch this video.” And we need Wi-Fi for that, and so guest Wi-Fi was becoming interesting topic of conversation, and it’s one of those things where everybody wants to offer guest Wi-Fi but nobody wants to pay for it. And so they’re looking for ways to get that traffic off their corporate network in the quickest way possible without having to burden their infrastructure teams, but building a completely independent infrastructure. So the combination of all these problems that cause them to start looking at their wide area.
And so we went in there, first suggested, hey here’s what your transport strategy looks like, similar to the previous example that I provided. It’s a combination of MPLS, dual broadband and a 4G LTE. And this 4G LTE is interesting because it gives them a circuit of last resort, as well. So if all else fails, then I have something that I can spin off really quickly and kind of came to my infrastructure and I want to make sure my critical applications are protected in that fashion. So long story short; we were able to go and provide them with an architectural end stage proposal. They said, “Let’s try this across a few sites.”
And then low and behold, now it’s blossomed into one of the largest SD WAN networks, I would say, the largest SD WAN network out there with 2,500-plus branches, 6,000-plus end points, all connecting in very interesting ways to deliver on the value that the customer was looking for. So in addition to, I would say, the table takes us, you need to be able to reduce the overall cost of the solution. And so we were able to, certainly, demonstrate that together. The other interesting thing was they wanted to bring up certain sites, just over the weekend, so they have an event that happens over the weekend, it’s a football event, it’s a baseball event, whatnot; they actually get mobile ATM machines on a truck close to those events and they wanted to spin things up and spin things down, just as you’re … similarly with … and the … in the cloud-based world.
And so very simply with a combination of the 4G LTE capabilities and also other mechanisms, we were able to spin up those mobile ATMs for that particular customer really quickly. And then show that they can actually deploy this fairly quickly as well. So ultimately the name of the game is not just around cost, it’s about time to capability, it’s about how do I architect my network to be cloud ready, and at the same time, how do I be more agile. And that is kind of an overuse, abused word, it’s really around how quickly can I do some f the things that I wanted to do in my network, as well? So once again as you can see the set of use cases, a set of industries that are embarking on this journey are quite diverse, we have some retail banking, to retailers, to manufacturing, to pharma companies, to credit card companies and so forth.
And they’re realizing the value that this combined offering can bring to the table. Certainly Verizon offers more than just the SD WAN piece of it, a combination of the unified communications as a service, some of the network performance monitoring, all of the application visibility that you get, not just for the WAN piece of it, but extending out to the periphery of the network as well. All of those things are increasingly providing value back to those customers, as well. So I know Scot you have a couple of interesting things that you’re going through, so I’ll turn this over to you.
Scot Allen: Thanks for that, Ramesh, appreciate it. Let me switch the video over here since we’re being interactive today. I do appreciate that, certainly the partnership around that financial service customer was a great opportunity for the two companies to work together. And I will say I think originally they tried to do a little bit of it themselves and found that they did need a partner to help carry it through because of the size and the scale. While one of the benefits of Viptela touts from Verizon perspective from a delivery perspective is very easy, very simple. Having a partner to make that deploy and work its scale is a critical part of any good relationship. So I’ve got about 19 more minutes here and want to be cautious and considerate of everybody’s time, everybody’s been on the web here, hanging out and staying with us, so I do appreciate that.
Talked a little bit about merger acquisitions I’d mentioned before for healthcare organizations. You know merger and acquisition and separation of assets and data, more importantly, for healthcare organizations is probably one of the hairiest things you find yourself in from a partner perspective. Primarily because these are a lot … electronic, medical and health records obvious … everybody knows about the HIPAA compliance things you sign when you go to the doctors that say we’re going to protect your data, we’re not going to share your data. One bad leak or problem there becomes a headline. And so certainly having a partnership and relationship with Verizon and Viptela to come in and help segregate, and separate and restrict that access is a critical mark for them in terms of their divestiture of this line of business, both from a security perspective, as well as a challenge to race the clock.
Having 60 days to jettison that business unit, those applications and those sites, otherwise incurring a separation penalty became a strong catalyst for a partnership around managed services and a software defined wide area networking, which I’ll get into in a minute. Certainly from Verizon’s perspective, we’re no stranger to acquisitions, right. Read the press hopefully, you’ve seen out there the AOL and the [unintelligible 00:40:46] communication publications out there. Most recently the announcement of the acquisition of Yahoo, which we’re very proud about from a media and distribution perspective. This is a business that we’re in both for our customers as well as for ourselves in a very big way. Right? Billions of dollars in assets and equity being acquired on a regular basis.
So this particular partner, excuse me, customer, through the partnership with Viptela, how does separating the HR applications, how does separating the patient data. And what I’ll say from an operational perspective was that technically speaking, you had to make sure that the assets were all identified. Right? So that’s one challenge on the front side. I asked the question of Ramesh around the applications, because generally what we see especially when you’re trying to divest or separate is, a customer knows most of their applications. As Ramesh said the critical ones, the ones that you’re going to get a phone call or you’re going to be sweating a little bit, if they go down from an application or from a business unit delivery perspective. But there’s also this stack of other applications which nobody really wants to make not available.
It’s kind of like that [unintelligible 00:42:03] line sitting in the corner that you forget about in your phone closet, like you don’t exactly know what the number is or what goes on with it. And you don’t want to pull it out because God forbid that goes to something important. I see software defined wide area networking as an opportunity to get in, evaluate that stack of applications, evaluate that stack of business users, and really start to tease apart, from a professional service in an engagement perspective, depending on how fast you need to do this, how you pull things apart. One of the values, I think, in terms of the relationship with this particular customer was, if you look at the purple boxes, it allowed us to put an appliance in this case, Viptela appliance in this case in line behind the existing land router.
Just go land router at the edge, putting the Viptela appliance behind that gave us an instant on, in terms of the acquisition separation, excuse me, the divestiture separation activities. And really right to policy that said, hey you’re sitting in line behind this router, treat the policies and the user groups like this as the traffic comes through. And certainly as those assets or as those circuits get moved over, this gave an opportunity to move the Viptela appliance to the front, using it as an edge device which was really important. Also the ability to do the cloud configuration. Again we talked about the vSmart controller allowed Verizon to make quick decisions rather than having to touch every device or put in these long or measured out quiet periods or change management periods.
Having the vSmart controller allowed us to do that very quickly and in smaller, less frequent windows, which was less disruptive. The last thing I’ll say in special consideration for software defined wide area networking users is it’s not the same set of tools and management applications that you’re used to using. So certainly from an up/down perspective, from a box/mid perspective, from an SMP perspective you can manage and monitor the box in the same way that you might use a traditional edge or land device. But the real performance, the real horsepower comes in looking at application performance management. Verizon has created a network application performance management platform based on a number of software providers. And a little bit of our own backbone special sauce to be able to report an alarm on the application, not just the up/down health of the device.
I did note … I think it was a couple weeks ago, maybe over a month at this point, that Viptela announced a partnership with SevOne. We do work with SevOne, it’s one of those performance and application partners, because the reality is, again, we’re not just looking at the performance of circuit, you know the utilization of the circuit, we’re really getting down into the application performance. And unless you can report back on statistically and empirically which users, how they’re being impacted and what their actual experience is, you’re really not getting to the heart of the value around software defined wide area networking.
I’ve got, I think, two more slides and cut into questions here, so this is around the business drivers from an actual operational perspective. What we’re seeing is customers are deploying, from a global expansion perspective, we see the largest constraint on international bandwidth because of the cost. We see a lot of consideration of hybrid networking because of the cost and because of the performance globally. Software defined wide area networking allows us to globally help customers very rapidly, both from a policy perspective, as well as a deployment perspective. I’ll use one example, I have a customer up until recently they were hubbing all of their internet traffic back to one location, global internet traffic, all the way back to one location here in the United States.
And the feedback, as Ramesh pointed to, was they weren’t terribly concerned about the Facebook or the Google experience or YouTube experience of the users in Australia or in Germany, they just piped the whole thing back. But what software defined wide area networking allowed them to do was really confidently open up hubs in different regions, so they weren’t back hauling and compressing down that traffic to have that poor experience. They were able to open up more web applications and obviously offload status applications within the region, rather than bring it all the way back and taking it all the way over. I talked a little bit about the digital experience, again, around the Wi-Fi, so I’ll pass over that. Asset segmentation is a big one, we talked about this a couple times, both from a device, as well as from a user group population perspective.
You can probably see some of the posters behind me from our data breach investigation and data breach digest perspective. Ramesh, I don’t know if you can maybe share a little bit around your experience in terms of customer security and segmentation and the value that software defined wide area networking brings as it relates to the data breach digest from Viptela’s perspective. Anything on that?
Ramesh: Absolutely, so the interesting thing is customers so far, if you ask them do you need segmentation, they’ll say absolutely yes. If you ask them have you looked into how to segment the network, they’ll say absolutely, yes. If you ask them, have you done it, the answer is invariably no, because of the complexity that’s involved. And to actually quote a couple of interesting anecdotes and quotes from the customers, it said, one in particular said, “Hey if I have to take care of malware inside my network,” so let’s say somebody clicks through an email inadvertently install some kind of a worm or a [unintelligible 00:48:26] on your PC and that ends up compromising the rest of your line, it’s not really useful. Mainly because it totally creates through the rest of the network and I think what we have learned from the target breach a couple of years ago, was case and point as well.
You try and infect one of the entities in the system and if you’re wide area and your line is completely free, then you proliferate to the rest of the network as well. And retail in particular, they’re super careful about point of sales, and they want to be able to protect the point of sales network from the corporate line and make sure that it’s not visible to the entire network. So we are seeing data breach as a concern, that’s then driving a need for network-based segmentation. Certainly the line can be segmented and now it’s increasingly going into the wide area as well.
Scot Allen: Thanks for that, Ramesh. So I’ve got a couple of pages in here, if you’re interested from a citation perspective. You can certainly go onto Verizon, our website Verizonenterprise.com or even just Google data breach investigation reporter, DBIR with Verizon. These pages will tell you a little bit around the importance of segmentation as it relates to point of sale, Ramesh spoke to as well as some other things around cyber espionage. So really important for me to put the two together for our customers because the data breach investigation report gets so much attention. And I don’t know that everybody always puts software defined wide area networking in the same context of how you perform best practices around security. So this is the last slide and then we’ll close with a quick offer slide and go to questions.
But from our perspective, Verizon’s on a multi-year journey here. Obviously as a global provider of MPLS, recognizes is the best in class. We’re already having conversations with our customers about mesh topology, the QOS, the relationships that we have with our customers from a site and a business priority perspective. Enterprise wide area networking and our management and partnership there was the logical next steps that our customers are looking at. From a, you know where do I need to go? How do I leverage this technology? How do become more cost efficient? One of the comments that came back at ONUG, when I presented last spring or this spring with Amir, was oh my gosh is Verizon telling me to buy less circuits? Or is Verizon telling me to not spend as much on transport?
Verizon is always in the business of making sure that our customers know that we’re here to help them select the right path, the right amount of transport, the right amount of redundancy, it’s the benefit of having the full portfolio. And then hopefully you all saw last week, we launched virtual network services, so about 50 publications online, including “Wall Street Journal”, “CIO Magazine,” and a number of other publications carried news about our virtualized network services. Viptela’s squarely in the middle of the virtual network services, press releases and social media activity and certainly a preferred provider for Verizon in terms of virtualization and software defined wide area networking. So I’ll end with, how do I make it easy for customers as we head over to questions here with the remaining five or so minutes.
We put together a promotion, an offer, if you will, because the best way to do this is really to get hands-on with the technology. Offer some free consultation and professional services, offer some free implementation to make sure that customers can either watch us do it, or participate or just say, hey, you know what, I need you to engage and do this for us, Verizon. Viptela came forward in a big way with some discounts on appliance and kits there, that allows you to get in the entry point, the burden of entry being around sometimes the capital. Viptela’s partnered with us to eliminate that, so I’m hoping that when you look at the opportunity here to take advantage of the technology and really I consider it to be a foregone conclusion in the networking strategy for all customers, large, and small and global. This is a great time to leverage the partnership and take action.
And this is a great offer from a first step perspective. With that we’ll go over, Stella I don’t know if you’re still out there and listening, we’ll go to questions and … while you’re spooling those up, I’ll ask Joe to help me see if there’s a couple. Stella are you out there?
Stella: Yes, speakers I am here. We will now begin the question and answer session. For our participants over the phone, if you would like to ask a question, please press star one. Please un-mute your phone and record your name clearly when prompted as your name is required to introduce your question. And to cancel or withdraw your request, please press star two. One moment, please for the first question.
Scot Allen: And while we’re doing that, a number of people have asked you how do I get a copy of these slides, obviously very grateful and thankful that there’s such interest. I would ask that you make sure that you connect with your Verizon account team. Right?
Stella: Yes, speakers we have two questions on queue, the first one is coming from the line as Mr. [Basselnasm] sir you may begin.
Mr. Basselnasm: Yes, thank you this question to Scot. What [unintelligible 00:54:57] of your managed service? So what’s under the managed service for the SD WAN and how this works with Viptela?
Scot Allen: Thank you for the question, appreciate that and what I would say is Verizon’s been in the business of managed services for about 27 years serving well over 4,000 customers. When we looked at launching the managed service, and being actually the first to launch the managed service, we did focus originally on the appliance, and the up/down, and the layer one, layer two type attributes as the early deployment adoption. So we offer a full life cycle implementation, professional service around the policy mapping, which is really the heart of this, otherwise you’re just throwing another appliance out there. And change configuration backup and performance management, the offer has grown throughout last year into, as I mentioned before, more of an application and policy reporting and management function as well.
We offer the full app caps model for our customers from a global perspective. Does that answer your question?
Mr. Basselnasm: Yes. And how is this related in particular to the SD1 offering? Do you manage also the application performance, as that on a quarterly basis to the customers? And beside the device management, I mean?
Scot Allen: Yeah, so there’s a tuning obviously that goes with this, which is very labor intensive on the front end as we tune out the application to make sure the performance is there. Much like we do with our WIN acceleration offers, it’s a life cycle engagement to make sure that the customers have both the reporting, as well as the engineering support of the managed SD WAN offering. Whether or not it’s an edge appliance or even one step back. Obviously we prefer from an edge appliance perspective that we use the Viptela device. So thank you for that.
Mr. Basselnasm: Great thanks Scot, appreciate it.
Scot Allen: I did have one question here it was talked a little bit about from Joel. How it compares to Riverbed and MPLS kind of topology. What I would say is it’s very similar in some respects. It’s a very common question, actually. When you look at Riverbed, Cisco, some of those other WAN acceleration applications, the content caching, the acceleration, and the forwarding really look to the performance attributes of an application. So the SD WAN element adds an extra layers. There’s certainly not overlap, right, there’s this compliment and additional value there, in that Riverbed or whomever, as well as your MPLS doesn’t have business logic built in to the policy that says I should take this route versus that route.
Oftentimes most customers have kind of a primary and secondary route and you can really get hung up especially from an application performance perspective. As to if your primary route’s still up, but the application’s not behaving properly it’s not going to kick over to the secondary route. Software defined wide area networking is really looking at the entire option profile from a site level and determining, hey this application, as Ramesh said, this application needs this performance profile, I’m going to go this route this time. So it’s really forcing a different level of not only financial efficiency, if you look at the utilization of the transport, but also business logic that compliments what Riverbed does from an acceleration and a WAN app perspective.
And compliments what QOS does as that network traverses and gets that packet prioritization in the expedite forwarding queue at each hop through the network. Stella was there another question online?
Stella: Yes, speakers, we have another question coming from the line of Mr. Tony Myers, sir your line is now open.
Tony Myers; Thank you. Tony Myers, Aims Construction, hey I’m just asking Verizon’s been around for quite some time, but to my understanding Frontier just bought out the business side of this. How does that work out?
Scot Allen: That’s a great question, Tony, thanks for that. So Verizon from an enterprise, so as representative of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, our actual service and portfolio is not impacted by that Frontier. That was mostly, excuse me, my understanding is around the consumer mass business offers. So you look at …
Tony Myers: So like T1’s, T1’s smaller type of transports?
Scot Allen: – Side, yeah. So we’ll still have local-like relationships with Frontier and maintain those customer relationships. But from a global perspective those software defined wide area networking as well as our transport portfolio, MPLS, internet is largely unaffected with the exception of perhaps who …
Tony Myers: Well I’ll share with you then currently we end up using Riverbed here and in addition to that, I just went to Live Action, which is a management software for Cisco, which really, really helps with QOS and etcetera. And transport direction and so forth. But in regards to that, there was a question of … and I’ve been with Verizon trying to figure out their SD WAN. We use Cradlepoints primarily which is [unintelligible 01:00:45] SD WAN, so to speak. When you’re using your 4G LTE, in regards to that, there was some questions of going to or looking at the Citrix SD WAN side. We are a Citrix shop, so I guess I’m just trying to … hopefully that’s not too offbeat for an answer.
Scot Allen: Well what I would suggest is certainly connect with me through LinkedIn or shoot me out a Tweet and we should probably connect a little bit more. You put a lot of stuff on the table there Tony. Certainly Citrix and Cradlepoint, both have an SD WAN offering. I’m not fully versed as much on Cradlepoint or …
Tony Myers: No and that’s all right because we’re a construction company, I normally use those for our field project sites.
Scot Allen: What I would say is you heard us talk a little bit about the use cases, what I love is the fact that with Viptela and zero tough provisioning, I can actually do a deployment in, theoretically hours, instead of from a week’s perspective. And sounds like you’re doing something similar with this …
Tony Myers: Yeah, Cradlepoint, I’m within a day.
Scot Allen: Yup, so awesome ability for us to offer options for our customers and Viptela from a security and a partner perspective delivering that. And obviously we have a relationship with Cradlepoint, too, so …
Tony Myers: Yeah and you do, that’s how I got introduced to it years ago with you guys.
Scot Allen: Love to talk more if you’re interested.
Tony Myers: Yeah. How do I get a hold of you?
Scot Allen: Check me out on LinkedIn, it’s Scot with one T, Allen, A-L-L-E-N. And then on the title page, if you go back to the … I’m at Scot Allen three if you’re Twitter savvy user, you can certainly connect with me there, as well. Thanks, Tony.
Tony Myers: Okay, perfect. All right, thanks guys.
Scott: You bet. I think I’ve got one question regarding public sector. So what I would say from a public sector perspective is twofold, first we do offer software defined wide area networking managed services toward public sector customers. The public sector is a broad term as it relates to compliance around do you need Bismol compliance? Or do you need [Gaum] compliance type labor or infrastructure? Certainly something I would want to take offline. For those people in the state/local education who don’t have the more stringent requirements, it is something that we can partner with those customers on. So very interested in talking more about that, that was from … oh I’ll make sure we check in with the account team on that to follow back up.
I won’t read who it was in front of everybody, hundreds of people on the line. But we’ll make sure the account team follows back up with that group. All right we’re six minutes over, still a lot of attendees. I don’t know, Stella, we can take one more question if you want. Otherwise we’re going to call it a very successful session with Ramesh. Anybody else want to throw out there, Stella before we close?
Stella: Yes, Mr. Allen we do have two questions on queue, the first question or the third question comes from the line of Mr. Kirk Krueger. Sir your line is now open.
Kirk Krueger: Okay. Hey Scott, Kirk Krueger, I’m with Verizon. So I have a question, actually two-part question, one regarding the complementary nature of a set of technologies like Riverbed around WAN hop, and traffic shaping, compression, etcetera. So clearly they are complementary, they don’t do what Viptela does. Correct?
Scott: That’s … well there is, yeah there is very little overlap if any. I mean you can consider, perhaps some of the forwarding technology around Riverbed as a potential overlap. But I would say that there’s better than 90 percent complementary and then less than 10 percent overlap as to how somebody might elect to move their traffic. I would also offer that if you look at our virtual network services portfolio for our customers, and again the press releases that went out on that just last week to a very wide audience, that we have Viptela, Riverbed as well as security partners like Palo Alto, Fortinet, Cisco, Juniper, all kind of in service chain experience participating within the virtualized services. So the customers can put those technologies together. So another affirmation of the need to have the software defined wide area networking with partners like Viptela combined with the Riverbed solution.
These technologies need to be put together, obviously, in a concerted way, not just kind of put out there, because it’s a expensive software and technology, overall. You want to make sure that you understand what sites need what technology and what policy shaping.
Kirk Krueger: Excellent, okay. Just lastly, and I think I will take this one offline, it has to do with client engagement and what that looks like around the smart controllers. And then the upfront requirement for cloud-managed services and SEI for hybrid cloud, interconnection, for instance. So …
Scot Allen: Yeah hit me up offline, we have certainly the solution architect team under Ryan has done a fantastic job of really feeling out the market place and making sure that we have solution architects out in all of our markets, all of our customers, all of our verticals to help out. But don’t hesitate to hit me up.
Kirk Krueger: Excellent, awesome. Thank you so much. Great presentation guys.
Scot Allen: Thank you very much, Kirk. Hey Stella hit up that one last question, then we’re going to roll out.
Stella: Yes, Mr. Allen, the last question comes from the line of [Maneesh], sir your line is now open.
Maneesh: Hello sir, this is Maneesh I work for Verizon [KO3] I do the student presentations for our tier two, three and for all the partner presentations as well. Yeah, my question is, do we have some more details of the main questions that we’ve been thrown by the customer is that what kind of reporting will they be able to do on their own. Or what kind of reporting that we will be able to share with them once they deploy this technology with [unintelligible 01:07:29]? Whether it’s partner A or partner B, they want to see and a correlated question that always comes back is that will Verizon be ready to do as a co-management? And I know as of right now this is a purely managed offering without co-management. They will get a partner portal to look what it is, but they want to see if they can do co-management.
Scot Allen: Yeah, I think what you’re talking about, Maneesh, is a great opportunity for us to maybe have a follow-up webinar on the portal itself. So let’s follow up offline and speaking to the solution architects very interested in making sure that we can get out to all of our customers and demonstrate the portal, the capabilities. And like I mentioned before, the value of the network application performance management partnership with SevOne, actual experience and some of our other software providers. Because this is not your father’s wide area networking technology. Right? This is an application-centric, that’s why I show the first slide coming out of the gate is how transformational things are. It’s not going to cut it to do NSMP ping pole or an ICMP pole against a WAN and land interface and call it a day.
It’s not going to cut it to tell a customer that the application or the bandwidth utilization is at 80 percent. You might want to bump up your circuit anymore. Customers are more savvy, more demanding, and we have the tools both from a portal perspective as well as from a management perspective to go out and say, “Hey, you know what, sales force is working well for this line of business in sales, but your marketing department’s having a challenge with it. How do you want to address that policy?” So, I mean let’s catch up and make sure that we take that as another opportunity from a webinar perspective to show the horsepower of the online portal, so people can see firsthand what those experiences look like. Thanks for that.
Maneesh: Great, yup, yup, thank you very much for the information. I’ll reach out to you, I’ll send you an email.
Scot Allen: Great, so I’m going to close it down. Ramesh, I want to put you up on video again, thank you very much for taking the time. You guys have been an awesome partner, you can’t ask for more when it comes to innovation, partnership, standing by their technology, kind of co writing strategy and around where we want the product development to go. And most important for our customers hopefully, those still out there, making sure it works. Right? You come to Verizon because you know that we’re not going to walk away from a challenge, we bring Viptela to the party because we know they’ve got the right solution, the right answer. So thank you very much, Ramesh and Stella and Kate for making this an opportunity to talk. And thank you all for such a large turnout in the afternoon of your lunch period. We’ll call it closed, Stella, thank you.
Stella: Thank you speakers and that concludes today’s conference. Thank you all for participating, you may now disconnect.