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December 31, 2021
Channel partners will emerge as SASE (secure access service edge) sales experts in 2022.
It feels like it was just yesterday when the VAR Guy declared in April 2015 that SD-WAN was “poised to disrupt the networking market.” Six-and-a-half years later, the next wave of evolution has arrived in the form of SASE.
SASE, of course, had already captured the headlines as early as 2019 (thanks for another acronym, Gartner). The trend added to one we were already seeing in SD-WAN conversations — that security capabilities were helping vendors win deals. As a result, some of the largest cybersecurity vendors, such as Palo Alto Networks, acquired SD-WAN providers in order to build an integrated platform.
“SASE converges networking and security services into one cloud-delivered platform that helps organizations to achieve a zero-trust security posture regardless of location or device,” said Anand Oswal, senior vice president and general manager of Palo Alto Networks.
If SASE wasn’t sitting center stage by 2020, the pandemic made darn sure. Analysts and vendors had previously talked about networking as a branch office conversation, but the work-from-home movement created an unprecedented number of home offices. Moreover, a formidable number of employees won’t be returning to work if COVID-19 ever subsides.
“The reality of employees working from wherever they’re comfortable and productive will become the new norm in 2022,” Oswal said.
The channel is looking to tap into this growth, but it’s going to take some work. Consider that 65% of consultancies haven’t sold SASE yet, according to Avant. Plenty of partners (and certainly their customers) don’t know how to define SASE.
We asked partners and vendors what trends will prove important in the year to come.
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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