Managed service provider QOS Networks is breaking into the government sector with a five-year contract as sole provider of SD-WAN to the State of California.
This is QOS Networks' first foray into the government space with SD-WAN services. The seven-year-old company predominantly provides SD-WAN services to enterprises in over 30 countries, such as Public Storage, USAA, Petco and KinderCare Learning Centers. QOS Networks partners with VMware's VeloCloud to deliver SD-WAN to nearly 20,000 customer sites globally. California has 235 government agencies, but the number of locations where the SD-WAN service will be deployed has not yet been released.
"It was an open RFP," says QOS Networks CEO Frank Cittadino about the SD-WAN selection process by California. "They wanted someone who had the capability to integrate systems such as Service Now, deep experience in MSP shops, someone that is a certain level of VMware VeloCloud partner, and the ability to scale as they bring on state agencies. The last piece is to ensure the state is utilizing the platform to its full benefit."
Providing managed SD-WAN services to government agencies, as opposed to enterprises, requires a different approach that takes into consideration different priorities, Cittadino says.
"Working with government is different than enterprises because enterprises generally want a data aggregation layer to make better business decisions," explains Cittadino. "Government is more about accountability decisions to make sure everything is working appropriately."
Cittadino adds that scalability, cost and simplified management of the SD-WAN service were some additional priorities for California in deploying SD-WAN. In addition, as some state agencies' MPLS contracts expire, they may choose to move solely over to SD-WAN or select a hybrid environment, he says.
Government agencies tend to focus more on achieving the greatest efficiency at the best cost. While those priorities may also be important to enterprises, large businesses may be more willing to spend more on "value-added projects that will make them more in the future to achieve ROI," explains Cittadino.
The launch of SD-WAN services on VeloCloud edge devices to California state agencies will begin this Thursday -- exactly one week after the announcement of the partnership. QOS Networks said it will provide "orchestration, gateway devices, and edge devices alongside ongoing managed services" as part of the managed SD-WAN service.
In addition to managing the design and network configuration for each state-run agency, QOS will provide management services such as network monitoring, troubleshooting and carrier SLA management. State agencies will also gain increased visibility into network performance and analytics via the orchestration platform.
QOS Networks' automation and integration layer also simplifies the process for customers to onboard SD-WAN, adds Cittadino.
QOS Networks will be partnering with public sector distributor Carahsoft Technology Corp to deploy the SD-WAN services in California.
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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading