Interesting news this week from the Industry, where we have seen TPx Communications – a large MSP offering UC, Managed IT and Network Connectivity – take on Cisco Meraki, in addition to their existing Fortinet and VeloCloud SD WAN offerings.
This is a pattern we are hearing from multiple service providers, that even when they have an existing SD WAN solution, they are either searching out and considering others, or having other solutions requested by customers.
The reasons for this are straightforward, different solutions provide different coverage for customer problems. This was the primary drive as Erik Nordquist, senior product manager at TPx, told SDxCentral, in this article, that the launch fills a critical hole in its managed services line up.
“One of the blind spots that we had was a standalone managed switch and managed wireless access point offering,” Nordquist said, adding that while it was possible to achieve this using Fortinet’s next-generation firewall appliances, customers often already had a firewall solution they were happy with, or it became an issue of cost.”
This decision not to adopt Fortinet due to an existing firewall solution will be a common one across the industry. Though to be fair to Fortinet, the reverse where they have a Fortinet firewall and are happy to adopt a complimentary network solution must also be quite common.
Finally, it’s interesting that one of the other reasons cited was that it allowed TPx to target existing Meraki customers who might be interested in a new service provider that can offer a better service. As competition and expertise with different vendor solutions spreads across the service provider space, we will see more of this. So, a consideration for service providers entering this space, can also be how to optimise the service they offer on certain platforms to try and win the management side of the contact from the competition. There are inevitably going to be customers who are happy with the technology (or just don’t want the hassle of switching) and unhappy with the service, that might be keen to switch.