The Silicon Review
In the digital age, industries are constantly undergoing transformation and enhancing business models. While cloud services and applications are at the forefront and driving the transformation, connectivity services are augmenting this transformation. Founded in 2016, Frankfurt-based ngena is giving companies worldwide access to the leading telecommunication carriers and partners through its premium services. The company’s Connectivity Platform as a Service is an end-to-end managed Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) as a Service provided via using Cisco’s state-of-the-art cloud and virtualization technologies.
ngena’s revolutionary Partner Ecosystem was founded on the strong technologies of Cisco, Equinix, and Zscaler as well as in collaboration with go-to-market partners, including several leading Service Providers & System Integrator from across the world. Its ecosystem relies on a cutting-edge worldwide alliance of top-class service providers and system integrators, connecting over 200 territories worldwide. We interviewed Bart de Graaff, CEO of ngena, to know more about how the company maintains its position as a leader in the SD-WAN space.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Q. Explain your state-of-the-art telecommunications services in brief.
ngena transforms networking into a service with a centralized, end-to-end platform that modernizes networking for the cloud era and makes the deployment of SD-WAN fast, simple, and secure. Powered by Cisco Viptela and Meraki, ngena delivers SD-WAN and SASE solutions as a fully OPEX service, with no CAPEX investments, no disruptive forklift upgrades, and dramatically improved performance and security from edge to the core.
Q. What does the current market landscape of the telecommunication/ wireless sector look like?
A revolution is underway in the telecommunications industry, with software-defined technologies rapidly powering a pivot from the old 20th-century architectures to a new 21st-century model that is truly built for today’s cloud age and the world of mobile apps, mobile users, and remote workforces. The lines between NetOps and DevOps are blurring, with networking resources becoming abstract and composable, able to meet the dynamic demands of applications and help organizations become more agile as they embark on their digital transformation journey.
Q. Modern technology offers the promise to advance and make telecommunication/network management easier and more effective. Do you adopt new technologies to improve your service efficiency?
Yes! We strongly partner with Cisco and work closely with them to bring their latest and greatest products and solutions into the ngena platform, offering our partners and end-customers the most choice and highest degree of flexibility possible in designing their software-defined network. We also adopt a platform approach, delivering a single-pane of glass for NetOps to manage and orchestrate the SD-WAN with zero-touch deployments and unmatched visibility.
Q. How do you manage to cater to the needs of the ever-changing digital transformation?
The ngena platform was built from the ground up to be flexible, agile, and powerful. By combining all aspects of networking into a holistic service, our engineering experts have created a robust selection of customizable access designs to meet everything from a small branch or remote worker to an enterprise-scale data center network with geographic redundancy. At ngena, simplifying networking is in our core DNA and powers everything we do.
Q. Apart from high efficiency and connection safety, cybersecurity has also become one of the key concerns for many in the virtual world, especially regarding the security of personal privacy and rights. Do you ensure network security before designing a network?
There is a term emerging in the industry, Secure Access Service Edge, or SASE, which combines elements of software-defined networking (SD-WAN) with modernized security and other networking services. Our company was founded in 2016 before SASE existed, but we’ve been SASE from our start. Our service combines all aspects of networking – hardware, software, licenses, Internet connections, and yes, security – and delivers it as one. Security is baked into our solution from the design phase. Our partners and customers have a wide range of security options to choose from, including the large array under Cisco Umbrella, as well as third-party options.
Q. There are other reputed connectivity services providers in the market, which gives business owners hundreds of options to choose one. What makes you the best connectivity services partner?
There are many SD-WAN vendors and many networking vendors, but not many SD-WAN as a Service vendors and even fewer SD-WAN as a Service providers with a true end-to-end platform. We believe that ngena’s platform is truly unique in the industry, delivering not just Cisco SD-WAN as a Service, but also a host of other networking parameters and functions, all from a centrally managed and cloud-based platform. SD-WAN as a Service is really just the beginning, as ngena delivers a completely next-generation platform for networking that transforms and modernizes.
Q. What are your trajectories for the next five years?
Five years is perhaps too long of a horizon. In lesser time than that, the SD-WAN market will be consolidated and commoditized. We are now working on application-aware networks; this will shift to data-aware networks. Micro-services will be running in and outside of the multi-cloud and business services that are following the digitalization efforts; they will be running central, decentral, on-site, and on-edge/ in-fog. Secure connectivity is the standard, and true consumable networks will be ad-hoc generated and decommissioned. Business services will be the only pay-load, and the on-demand usage -regardless of location or further landscape- will have to be supported and standardized. And I believe securing network traffic will have become a commodity, and only platform driven automated abilities will continue to support.
The Leader Upfront
Bart de Graaff, CEO: Bart works with the ngena team to elevate partner and end-customer experience along with realizing sustainable growth by continuous business development and introducing new value-added services to the platform. Prior to joining ngena, he spent over 20 years working with global consultancies and IT powerhouses. For 12 years, he was the managing director at Accenture, running cloud sales, solution and operations as well as creating digital and data-driven client programs. He also worked in enterprise architecture at Perot Systems Corp. He joined ngena because he wanted to be a part of innovating the core of any digital business: the network.