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Important Takeaways from the Orange and Netskope Partnership

Dec 01 2022

Recently, Orange Business Services, Orange Cyberdefense, and Netskope announced a global partnership to deliver a fully integrated secure access service edge (SASE) solution on the Orange network. The partnership includes the deployment of Netskope data planes inside the Orange network to provide a full stack of security service edge (SSE) services that will be available from both the New Edge network and Orange’s world-class connectivity services. In this blog, I will dig deeper into the announcement, elaborate on why this partnership is groundbreaking, and most importantly, explain what it means for customers.

Why are service providers important to SASE?

As I discussed in a previous blog post, service providers are adding SASE services to their portfolio in order to differentiate their service offerings and further monetize their network investments. The SASE market is expected to hit $13B by 2026, according to industry analyst Dell’Oro Group, and service providers are in an ideal position to offer a converged solution—along with professional and managed services—to help customers on this journey. Service providers such as Orange are uniquely positioned to offer a set of solutions that combines their well-connected network services with the unified security capabilities of SSE. 

The foundation of SASE is connectivity, and it’s inarguable that a converged SASE solution is only as good as its underlying network. But in today’s hyper-connected world of cloud-based applications, it’s easy to take networking for granted. The reality is we need to appreciate the efforts, expertise, and investment required to build out a truly performant, highly available, and resilient network. Orange Group has a presence in more than 200 countries connecting nearly 300 million customers with over 18,000 km of optical fiber, 2,500 satellite links and 450,000 km of submarine cables. For some of their connectivity services, Orange commits to 100% availability. They are on the leading edge when it comes to building and running massively scalable networks.

In addition to network connectivity, service providers such as Orange have extensive experience in delivering groundbreaking technology “as a service.” From cellular networks to optical access (FTTx), they  know how to deploy complex technologies and deliver them to customers at scale. This includes the know-how of provisioning users, troubleshooting problems, and offering service-based billing, as well as having the operational and support personnel to make this model successful. As networks and security converge, a service provider mindset is perfect for providing customers with the scale and expertise needed to help them adopt the new technologies necessary for SASE success.

Why does Netskope deploy data centers in the Orange network?

There are a number of possible ways to deliver SSE services out of a service provider network that I have covered in a previous blog post. The approach we have chosen together with Orange is to have Netskope data centers directly in the Orange network, using Orange connectivity to reach customers, cloud providers, and other networks. This approach has several advantages:

  • Optimization – Orange customers will benefit from optimized connectivity when they are utilizing Netskope inline services. Using low-latency Orange connectivity, customers will have access to both local Netskope data-centers in the Orange network and the global Netskope NewEdge network when they are outside the local footprint. This hybrid approach ensures that Orange customers will enjoy the best of both worlds. 
  • Convergence – The partnered approach provides a truly converged solution. Network and security services are being combined to drive IT simplification, consolidation, and ultimately, cost reduction. The integration of existing Orange SD-WAN and IP/MPLS services with Netskope SSE capabilities will provide a shared responsibility operational model that will radically simplify contracting and workflows for customers.
  • Speed – The converged solution will also be quick to deploy. Netskope built the NewEdge footprint with a “data center factory” approach that resulted in rolling out new and expanded data centers, including more than 14 this year, 19 in 2021 and 20 in 2020. By using this same toolbox and applying the same automation and workflows with Orange, Netskope is uniquely positioned to deliver data centers at an outstanding pace. New data planes can be deployed to align with Orange customer demand and ensure proper capacity and coverage.

What about managed services to “make it work”?

The biggest obstacle for most organizations isn’t deciding what technology to adopt, but how to make the technology work. Many security and IT leaders are starting to understand the full business value of SSE, but many also face challenges when it comes to adopting, integrating, and operating the technology within their companies.

This is where the third partner in the announcement comes into play. Orange Cyberdefense, the cybersecurity arm of Orange, employs more than 2,600 security experts and runs 17 security operation centers worldwide. As part of this partnership, Orange Cyberdefense will be announcing a number of professional and managed services to help organizations quickly realize value, absorb operational burdens, and ensure success. Orange Cyberdefense can help with the following: 

  • Integrate the solution with other technologies such as EDR and IdP
  • Onboard users and applications onto the SSE platform
  • Update security policies as the environment changes
  • Troubleshoot performance and connectivity issues
  • Regularly audit configurations and advise on best practices

Watch this space for more details about our Orange partnership and our strategy with service providers and systems integrators. For more please feel free to reach out to our Global Partner Team at [email protected]

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Kirill Kasavchenko
Kirill Kasavchenko is a Senior Engineer at Netskope focusing on developing partnerships with the world's largest security and internet service providers. His areas of interest include large-scale network design, the evolution of BGP and DNS, and the global internet infrastructure availability.