NTT Communications has expanded its SD-WAN arsenal by adopting Cisco's Viptela and Meraki offerings, as well as Meraki Wi-Fi and LAN connectivity.
NTT is leaning on Cisco to provide its customers with new managed services as businesses address the challenge of distributed workforces due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Using its acquisition of Virtela, NTT Communications launched an SD-WAN service three years ago in 190 countries as part of an effort to attract more multinational corporation (MNC) customers. A large number of enterprises have moved on from their first "do-it-yourself" deployments of SD-WAN to managed services from large SD-WAN vendors and service providers. Service providers, including AT&T and Verizon, are using more than one SD-WAN vendor to cover all of the bases for their customers' needs.
According to Wednesday's press release, NTT Com picked Cisco and Meraki for its new SD-WAN managed solution offering based on Cisco's fully integrated security to safeguard customers’ network and applications, a flexible SD-WAN architecture that supports customers’ requirements regardless of industry, deployment size, and bandwidth requirements and providing a seamless and secure application experience across any cloud.
As more workloads and applications move the cloud, which has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, Cisco has focused on adding more security to its SD-WAN offerings. In June, Cisco blended its Cisco Umbrella Cloud Security portfolio, which includes Cisco's secure internet gateway, with its Viptela-based SD-WAN offering as part of a new software release.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also accelerated businesses' digital transformations, but IT teams are sometimes hampered by a lack of resources. Using both NTT and Cisco, organizations can speed up their digital transformation efforts while also reducing the demands on their IT teams.
The Cisco-based services will allow customers to support their existing IT teams with private-network reliability, cloud optimization, and integrated security. Customers can also view and manage multiple networking devices on a single, cloud-based interface while also tapping into NTT Com’s expertise and managed service experience.
“NTT Communications is helping customers achieve digital transformation goals and increase competitiveness with managed IT infrastructure solutions," said NTT Communications' Hiroki Koriyama, senior executive vice president, in a statement. "This complements the company’s plan to realize a Smart World by addressing social challenges with information and communications technologies. Demonstrating this commitment, we are pleased to provide ‘Managed SDx’ with Cisco Secure SD-WAN and SD-LAN solutions, enabling simple, flexible and high-quality network services to accelerate our customers digital transformation journeys.”
Another trend over the past few years is SD-WAN vendors partnering with cloud service providers. In November, Microsoft announced it was integrating Cisco's Viptela-based SD-WAN service with its Azure Virtual WAN and Office 365, which allows customers to extend their wide area networks (WANs) into Microsoft Azure Cloud. Also in November, Microsoft named the first five services in its Office 365 Networking Partner Program, which included NTT Communications' SD-WAN service.