GTT enhances its SASE product set with Fortinet

Jan. 16, 2024
The agreement will provide enterprises with a new suite of security solutions.  

GTT Communications has expanded its managed Secure Connect portfolio with a single-vendor Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) offering via Fortinet, giving enterprises greater choices and flexibility for managed network security to help secure hybrid workforces and applications. 

These enhanced capabilities combine Fortinet’s security and secure networking technologies, including Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS), Cloud Access Secure Broker (CASB), and Secure Web Gateway (SWG), with GTT’s Managed SD-WAN and a full suite of professional services for real-time visibility and control.

By deploying the Fortinet solutions inside its network infrastructure, which maintains all traffic on its global IP backbone, GTT can help its customers reduce latency, jitter, and packet loss, improving network availability and assuring improved security. 

GTT offers various options for customers. Customers can deploy their tailored and scalable SASE solutions on-premises or in the cloud using virtual machines to help enterprises reduce costs, simplify business operations and address complex security challenges. 

Providing a single-vendor and dual-vendor SASE solution as part of its managed Secure Connect portfolio, GTT helps protect customers from the application to the endpoint while providing even greater visibility and control for IT and security teams. 

While this SASE solution is new, GTT and Fortinet are not strangers to one another, having worked together for over ten years. “This partnership empowers us to sell the solutions our customers are looking for at the right price point,” said Fletcher Keister, chief product and technology officer for GTT. “Sales and technical support are just a couple of factors that make this possible, with GTT having hundreds of employees certified in Fortinet technology.” 

He added that the Fortinet partnership allows it to address various technology issues, including LAN/WLAN with switches and access points, routers and software-defined networking, to a range of security solutions that can be deployed on-premise, in the GTT network, and in the cloud. 

“With this recent announcement, GTT and Fortinet continue to invest in each other's success with sales and marketing support,” Keister said. 

Crafting technology partnerships 

While Fortinet is one of GTT’s key SASE partners, it’s not the only one. In 2021, the service provider established a similar relationship with Palo Alto Networks when it launched a dual-vendor SASE. 

Through its partnership with Palo Alto Networks, the SASE platform gave users access to the network based on their identity, device, and application — rather than the IP address or physical location — enabling seamless and secure networking between users, private and public clouds, and the enterprise data center.

The service provider is continually looking at other SD-WAN and cybersecurity platforms based on the needs of its prospects and current business customers. 

Keister said that the focus is to evolve its product portfolio as customers’ needs evolve continually. “To consistently assess new technologies and partnerships to deliver optimal solutions for customers, the first step is listening to our customers to fully understand the challenges they are facing,” he said. “This customer-centric approach enables us to provide tailored solutions, ensuring a customer experience.”

GTT maintains that its approach differentiates itself from others offering similar security services. Unlike its competitors, GTT has a dedicated private cloud security solution.

“Most of our competitors’ solutions use a publicly shared platform, which can raise concerns about a co-mingled data and the management plane,” Keister said. “GTT’s private cloud approach eliminates these concerns.”

He added that “our solution brings security to the endpoint, which provides protection even when the user isn’t connected to the internet, and that our global reach and tier-1 network provides customers with reduced latency and enhanced performance that other providers cannot.”

SASE, SD-WAN shapes up 

Businesses continue to adopt SASE applications, and GTT supports this trend. 

According to Dell’Oro, the SASE market, which consists of SD-WAN and SSE (security service edge) solutions, grew 33 percent to $2.2 billion in the third quarter.

Further, the research firm said that the SSE and SD-WAN portions of the SASE market have nearly doubled in the last ten quarters, indicating that enterprises are thinking about both sides (networking and security) of the SASE coin.For GTT, the SD-WAN opportunity is shaping up as business customers look to improve WAN performance with security and encryption with branches and vendors with a lower cost of ownership. 

Keister said that SD-WAN has become a priority for its business customers. “SD-WAN has been offered for several years and continues to be the primary technology conversation with customers and prospects when discussing networking,” he said. “GTT continues to see customers looking to advance with their digital transformation with the key goals of improving total cost of ownership, increasing bandwidth, and achieving fast and secure connections to business-critical resources in the cloud for both branch locations and work-from-anywhere employees.”

Businesses also desire security to be part of an SD-WAN offering. GTT has found that customers expect security to be part of deploying an SD-WAN solution. 

“We see customers wanting to follow the consolidation market trend, and the combination of SD-WAN networking and security addresses that requirement,” Keister said. “The move to cloud security with SSE and SASE is also proving to be more and more interesting to our customers who wish to simplify network management, as well as increase their security posture.”

For related articles, visit the Business Topic Center.

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