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Exclusive Networks signs with Alkira

Distributor says vendor’s Cloud Services Exchange lets service providers solve million-dollar network questions in ‘a few mouse clicks’

Alkira has appointed Exclusive Networks to introduce its cloud networking as-a-service (CNaaS) platform to the channel. This makes Alkira’s Cloud Services Exchange (CSX) available through Exclusive’s partners in 40 countries across five continents.

The artificially intelligent CSX system is so clever it allows service providers to solve major network problems in “a few mouse clicks”, the distributor has claimed.

Access to CSX gives systems integrators and service providers the means to fix serious networking problems caused by the aggressive growth of the cloud.

The shortage of networking expertise and the lack of control costs the industry billions of pounds, with wasted resources and security compromises being just two of the many problems, according to Alkira founder and CEO Amir Khan. As a result, networks cost too much, are easily hacked and are difficult to defend.

The issue is there are too many variables and not enough time to configure. IDC analysis puts the value of fixing these problems at $1.3tn by 2025.

According to Khan, CNaaS is networking’s answer to web services. After selling SDN pioneer Viptela to Cisco, Khan spent two years designing a system to solve the next big problem: controlling networks as the cloud began to overshadow everything else. This work resulted in CSX, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to keep on top of all the millions of network management variables – ranging from capacity provision to firewall settings – and put the network managers back in control.

“We simplify networking in the cloud era,” said Khan, adding that its new distribution partner, Exclusive Networks, has the same vision and has been appointed to get its service provider partners up to speed on CNaaS.

Exclusive’s global service integrator (GSI) partners are the first step, said Denis Ferrand-Ajchenbaum, Exclusive’s vice-president of global vendor alliances and business development, because they are the companies doing most to accelerate public cloud adoption.

“These guys talk to the C-level of the Global 2000,” he said. “We’re taking a phased approach in Europe, starting with the tier-one countries the UK, France and Germany, but with an eye on Benelux, Nordics and Spain.”

Exclusive sold €2.9bn of cyber security, networking and cloud infrastructure in 2020 for vendors such as Fortinet, Nutanix, Palo Alto Networks, Rubrik and Sentinel One.

Now service providers can cut the complexity and cost of building and operating networks for their clients, said Ferrand-Ajchenbaum. “A lot of businesses have not been prepared for the difficulties of working in public cloud environments and the technical problems of interconnecting different clouds,” he said.

Andy Travers, executive vice-president of worldwide sales and marketing at Exclusive Networks, said: “With nothing more than a few mouse clicks, Alkira’s CNaaS enables secure hybrid cloud and multicloud networks to be set up in hours rather than months, and puts customers, not the big cloud providers, in the driver’s seat.”

Exclusive aims to make this technology more accessible. “The dominant position of the public cloud vendors has worked against some of our smaller partners,” said Ferrand-Ajchenbaum. “For example, it’s not possible to make more than about a 7% margin from AWS Marketplace, which is very skinny for this industry.”

Global service partners are the first priority, according to Ferrand-Ajchenbaum, but Exclusive expects to roll out the Alkira service to other resellers in the new year.

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)