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‘7 Minutes’ with Opaq Chief Strategy Officer Ken Ammon

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**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

Network security cloud company Opaq so far has had a busy year and is showing no sign of slowing down as it on-boards new partners and takes aim at competitors like Zscaler and Cato Networks.

In March, Opaq announced the acquisition of FourV Systems to beef up its security-as-a-service platform with performance and regulatory compliance measurement, monitoring and reporting. This followed its acquisitions of Bat Blue Networks, a provider of IP and cloud-based network and security services, and Drawbridge Networks, a provider of microsegmentation solutions.

In April, Opaq closed a $22.5 million Series B round of venture financing led by new investor Greenspring Associates, with continuing participation from Columbia Capital and Harmony Partners. The company said the financing was earmarked to accelerate its go-to-market with its partners.

Opaq Networks' Ken Ammon

Opaq Networks’ Ken Ammon

And last month, Gartner named Opaq a “Cool Vendor” for midsize enterprise security.

“We consider Gartner’s recognition of Opaq as a “Cool Vendor” validation for the value that midsize enterprises are receiving from the Opaq cloud,” said Glenn Hazard, the company’s CEO.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Ken Ammon, Opaq’s chief strategy officer, talks about what his company has to offer partners and the strength of its cloud-based security-as-a-service platform.

Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?

Ken Ammon: Midsize enterprises need the same advanced security protection as their large enterprise counterparts. After all, they are in the crosshairs of the same sophisticated cyberattacks. However, enterprise-grade security has been out of their reach. It requires cobbling together dozens of network security products, but most midsize enterprises struggle with budget shortfalls, security skills gaps and other resource constraints. With Opaq, service providers can deliver enterprise-grade security as a service in the most cost effective, flexible way — from the cloud.

For MSPs and MSSPs, delivering security services that can holistically protect mobile users, IoT, dynamic multicloud architectures, branch offices, legacy platforms and on-premises data centers can be difficult and costly. As the number of products required to provide such a broad range of services continues to expand, service providers are struggling to maintain margins while trying to integrate, automate and orchestrate across their entire service portfolio. Opaq’s cloud-based security-as-a-service platform simplifies traditional approaches to providing security services, delivering a robust set of security capabilities that help reduce complexity and minimize costs. MSSPs and MSPs find the Opaq Cloud platform appealing since it requires fewer people to support and no hardware to manage, and creates opportunities to add security services to their portfolios without the need for additional capital.

Opaq’s secret sauce includes a number of elements, and is based on a fully encrypted SD-WAN purpose-built for security and performance. Our network is supported by more than 150 peering relationships with the likes of Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and others — which means that the majority of network traffic traversing the Opaq Cloud goes directly to …

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