BT unveils secure networking service for UK business customers

UK’s leading telco teams with US cyber security company to launch secure software-defined networking service for business customers available on a managed services basis

As businesses come to terms with the third workplace and reconstruct their working environments to manage hybrid work, data and applications are rapidly heading to the cloud, and to securely facilitate this digital transformation in how businesses manage their connectivity across multiple sites, BT has launched an all-in-one networking and security service backed by Fortinet technology.

The launch is specifically designed to enable BT’s UK business and public sector customers to support hybrid working, digital retail and other multi-site business use cases, providing better experiences for staff, including clearer video calling.

IT brings together software-defined wide-area network SD-WAN, software-defined branch (SD-Branch) and security into an all-in-one managed service from BT.

The service is purpose-built to help retailers better meet customer demand, whether online with greater website reliability – during peak trading events like Black Friday – or in person through services such as click-and-collect or technology infrastructure for pop-up stores.

The move also sees BT build on its existing long-term agreement with the global cyber security leader, expanding its managed wide and local network portfolio for businesses by building in Fortinet’s Secure SD Branch technology.

BT’s managed secure networking service is designed to address large-scale, complex networking requirements and manage networks on a customer’s behalf 24 hours a day. The service also includes reporting dashboards that give security teams full visibility over their network. BT’s expanded partnership with Fortinet will strengthen its wide-area networks and in-building connectivity, making them even more resilient as the transition towards software-as-a-service cloud applications continues.

The technology is also designed to allow UK-based organisations of all sizes to improve the performance of business applications, including Microsoft Teams, SAP or Salesforce. It ensures a quality user experience, even across multiple sites, while delivering the flexibility and cost benefits of a hybrid network. Customers can also connect any combination of physical and virtual devices to their network – and so extend the network to be closer to the applications and data that are important to them.

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Putting the partnership announcement into context, BT noted that as more businesses embrace the benefits of digital working, the UK government’s latest Cyber security breaches survey revealed that 32% of businesses had identified a cyber attack in the previous 12 months.

“At BT, we know that complex network requirements shouldn’t mean compromising on security or flexibility,” said Ashish Gupta, managing director of corporate and public sector at BT.

“Our new collaboration with Fortinet on software-defined Branch networks shows that you can combine both – enabling reliable, secure connectivity within and across multiple sites, all safely managed by BT. Fortinet continues to be a key cyber security partner, providing secure, flexible and highly reliable services which enable our customers to deliver brilliant outcomes.”

“In a post-pandemic world with relentless pressures on workforces, budgets and an increasingly complex threat landscape, customers are looking for help to evolve their organisations securely and address rapidly changing business challenges,” added Paul Anderson, vice-president for UK and Ireland at Fortinet. “By choosing BT and Fortinet, they can be reassured that they are in safe hands on all fronts.”

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