New Open Systems CEO Praises Master Agent Strategy, 'SASE' Opportunity

The company sells SD-WAN, but there's much more than that.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

October 16, 2019

3 Min Read

Open Systems, the Zurich, Switzerland-based company, is counting on the channel as it attacks the North American market.

“As you know, we’re slugging it out with some 300-pound gorillas here. So the opportunity to really have an impact in the market through use of the channel is hugely important,” CEO Jeff Brown said.


Open Systems’ Jeff Brown

Open Systems recently hired Brown and is targeting growth across the pond. Brown, who joined Open Systems in August, said his employer is reporting virtually identical net promoter scores in Europe and North America.

“We have a really really good, solid customer base, particularly over in Europe and Switzerland,” Brown told Channel Partners. “Now the job is to tell that same story here in the U.S., U.K. and North America in general.”

The company offers network delivery, connectivity as a service and SD-WAN as part of a larger platform. Other offerings include security as a service, analytics and cloud access security brokering (CASB). Brown said Open Systems helps customers as they adopt more as-as-service cloud applications like Salesforce and Office 365 that legacy networks struggle to optimize.

“We see the market coming toward us, the cloud services and as-a-service concept really becoming more and more prevalent,” he said.

Brown said Open Systems is particularly interested in a new network delivery category that Gartner has dubbed secure access service edge (SASE). The underlying premise is that more applications, users and data in general exist outside of the enterprise, displacing the company’s data center as “the center of the universe,” according to Gartner.

Brown said this trend is taking shape among partners. He said his company’s combination of networking, connectivity and security functions are attractive to the channel, which hasn’t always sold security. But the opportunity to do security as a service could be the on-ramp they need.

“You’re not making hardware bets anymore. You’re not saying, ‘I’m locking into somebody,’ or, ‘I’m logging into multiple vendors that may not work well together,’ and … using an awful lot of my own operating time to be able to keep the network up and running,” Brown said. “So you’re giving that to us, and as an end-to-end solution we can take care of that. We can upgrade it easily for you, and we’ll keep it a very very fresh system for you going forward.”

Brown said Open Systems has benefited from its master agent relationships. The vendor said earlier this year that its new partnership with Avant Communications would help it reach more MSP partners.

“As the master agents and their subagents see the value of the service offer here and the differentiation point from either premises-based or equipment-based solutions, we think that’s going to be a big differentiator, and we’ve seen it already be a big differentiator — something that they can really get into and sell to their customer base,” he said.

Brown most recently held the chief executive title for …… industrial IoT provider Sierra Monitoring Corp. and Accuris Networks, two California-based companies.

Bernd-Michael Rumpf, Open Systems’ chairman of the board, credited Brown’s resume in “fast-paced and high-growth environments.”

“We were drawn by Jeff’s track record of leading in fast-paced and high-growth environments, as well as his proven ability and passion to inspire multicultural teams to create incredible customer value and grow revenues,” Rumpf said.

Martin Bosshardt stepped down this summer after 17 years as Open Systems’ CEO.

“Martin led the company through periods of significant business transformation to achieve category leadership,” Rumpf said.

David Nuti, Open Systems’ head of North American channels, outlined the company’s SD-WAN strategy in an interview with us back in April.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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