AT&T PARTNER EXCHANGE SUMMIT — AT&T is giving its solution providers access to a cloud connection solution that one partner says might persuade customers to stick with their MPLS networks just a little longer.
The company announced at its annual Partner Exchange Summit Tuesday that its partners can now sell NetBond, a solution that lets customers use AT&T’s virtual private network to access 16 cloud providers.
Sue Galvanek, vice president of marketing, pricing and product solutions for AT&T Partner Exchange, said the solution offers partners and their end users more choice in how they choose their cloud platforms, a secure means of making the connection and a new recurring revenue model.
“It’s a great augment to the AT&T virtual private networks that our solution providers are already selling,” she said. “It brings together the power of private clouds with the power of public clouds in a very easy-to-use way.”
NetBond has existed since late 2013 but has not been available to partners until now. Andy Daudelin, vice president of cloud for AT&T Business Solutions, said the solution originally started with the clouds of IBM, Microsoft and Amazon but has spent recent years scaling and adding cloud providers.
“2016-2017 is the year of integrated solutions, and that’s why we’re focused on the Partner Exchange with solution providers,” Daudelin said. “Now we’ve got this robust infrastructure, and we’ve scaled it – now it’s about how we configure and sell solutions.”
Alliant Technologies, a networking infrastructure utility company and AT&T partner, got the chance to sell NetBond earlier this year. Phil Towle, Alliant’s senior vice president of sales, said his company used the solution to help a customer connect to Microsoft Azure. It had been using the Internet to do so previously.
Towle said he initially felt concerned about how the migration would go, but it ended up only taking 15 minutes over the phone.
“NetBond now brings more value and stickiness to the MPLS offerings that we make to our customers,” he said. “So it helps us and it helps them in terms of getting more return on that investment of the MPLS network.”
He went further to say that NetBond might help slow what he calls the “inevitable demise” of MPLS networks – by at least five years.
“A lot of customers are looking at broadband, for example, as alternatives to MPLS because of the difference in cost. But now by offering these types of solutions and capabilities on top of…