“SDWAN provides the flexibility, performance, and security that enterprises need to begin their network transformation journey. They can now easily shift workloads and deploy new applications and services within the cloud, solving the complexity of hybrid clouds and networks that they are used to,” says George Szlosarek, CEO, Neutrality.one, in an exclusive interview with EnterpriseTalk.
ET Bureau: What are some of the 2021 key trends of network transformation that you have observed over the months?
George Szlosarek: Over the last 12 months, we’ve witnessed a big leap forward in digital transformation initiatives, which has required networking to evolve rapidly as well. You can’t have one without the other.
Enterprises have embraced transformation and accelerated projects that they may have had on hold or were moving forward slowly. They want networking that can pivot quickly, enable the cloud, and scale rapidly while being easy to deploy and manage.
This is driving the adoption of Software-Defined Networking and SDWAN in a growing number of markets in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and around the world. The last 12 months have been a wake-up call for many enterprises and they’re now using SDWAN as a foundation for connecting their digital transformation.
Lockdowns and quarantines related to COVID-19 have given enterprises more freedom to experiment and re-evaluate what they want to get from their ICT ecosystem. There’s more freedom to explore new models and solutions and that enables network transformation.
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ET Bureau: What are the major capabilities of software-defined networking?
George Szlosarek: With applications becoming increasingly centralized within a cloud infrastructure, enterprises demand the best connectivity to connect people, places, and devices to their applications. User experience is measured by application availability, requests, response times, and error rates, all of which are characterized by the underlying connectivity.
Open, secure, software-defined wide-area networking (SDWAN) offers the best way to provide a robust connectivity infrastructure service ensuring the best application performance. It provides enterprises with rapid scalability to seamlessly connect to the network, cloud, and internet service providers, whilst enabling dedicated, flexible, and secure connectivity with full control of services through portal or APIs with full-service assurance.
ET Bureau: How have global businesses leveraged network transformation?
George Szlosarek: CIOs and networking professionals are realizing that a traditional approach to WAN is no longer compatible with a cloud-first architecture. In addition to enterprise DC’s, applications are also now hosted in dedicated DC’s, public and private clouds (IaaS), and SaaS & PaaS services. This changes the networking requirement, as traditional backhaul networking doesn’t offer the flexibility or performance required by a distributed application architecture. SDWAN provides the flexibility, performance, and security that enterprises need to begin their network transformation journey. They can now easily shift workloads and deploy new applications and services within the cloud, solving the complexity of hybrid clouds and networks that they are used to.
ET Bureau: In your opinion, which network transformation strategy works the least in terms of business growth?
George Szlosarek: This comes down to individual business. You have to look at the vertical industry, the maturity of their cloud strategy, and the overall business objectives. Network transformation projects only go wrong when the networking isn’t aligned with business outcomes. You have to be focused on near and long-term outcomes and not just the technologies you’re going to deploy.
It is about listening to the customer, understanding the state of play in its ICT environment, and providing insights and recommendations that support network transformation. It’s not about pushing one product, technology, or solution. Every enterprise has unique needs that have to be catered for. Otherwise, you get trapped in a traditional legacy approach that is too focused on A-to-B connectivity and not digital enablement.
When networking is aligned with business outcomes, it provides a foundation for long-term growth and continual digital transformation.
ET Bureau: What are the risks that can fall on companies that do not embrace this next-gen transformation?
George Szlosarek: SDWAN is completely changing the way enterprises look at their networks and allows them to optimize the use of connectivity. Businesses that don’t adopt this next-gen transformation but stick to a traditional approach could risk falling behind. As the adoption of innovative applications and processes has increased over the last year with the move to remote working, enterprises needed a more secure way to handle both employee and customer data.
Using a traditional approach could lead to companies missing out on improved response times, increased productivity, and greater user experience that SDWAN provides. They can create a more efficient, cost-effective, and agile approach that allows them to evolve with the changing market demands.
ET Bureau: How will intelligence technology enhance the transformation and improve security protocols?
George Szlosarek: Digital technologies are rapidly becoming a critical aspect of the way the business world is transforming. More and more companies are adopting Internet of Things devices, Artificial Intelligence solutions, and moving their data into cloud environments, allowing them to break away from traditional approaches and innovate new ways to leverage growth.
Intelligence technologies allow companies to become more innovative, flexible, and adaptive. It enables them to meet customers’ changing needs and demands. Companies can witness increased speed, ease of use, and improved cost that breaks down complex systems and processes into a simple system.
Whilst digital transformation is the new way for businesses to seek new opportunities, there are also risks, security being one of them. However, enterprises leveraging AI will enhance their security against cyberattacks such as malware, phishing, networking anomalies, and unauthorized access to sensitive data. By using AI, companies will be able to learn from previous data through machine learning and detect anomalies to enable them to prevent and manage security attacks effectively and efficiently.
George Szlosarek has over 20 years of leadership experience in the global telecom markets. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO for Epsilon Global Communications, growing the company from a niche provider of telecom interconnection to a global leader in enterprise software-defined networking. George has a passion for building and leading teams in dynamic high-growth environments. Prior to Epsilon, he held senior engineering roles in Dynegy, ADC Krone, Ciena.