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“We Rely 100 Percent on Channel Partners”

While elaborating on the USPs around the company’s network visibility portfolio and testing solutions, Bhaskar Agastya, Country Manager, Ixia India, spoke to Amit Singh on Ixia’s go-to-market strategy and channel plans in India.

Most of the enterprises are adopting multi-cloud strategy, which gives rise to challenges in cloud management and security. How is Ixia positioned to address this challenge?

Bhaskar Agastya, Country Manager, Ixia India

Hybrid and multi-cloud environments create challenges for security teams who need to manage multiple segments, and no longer have the packet visibility to secure their network. Ixia CloudLens solves this challenge with a cloud-agnostic platform that supports AWS, Azure, IBM, and more, and is capable of supporting Windows and Linux as well. This flexibility enables CloudLens to provide access to packet level data coupled with a simple way to centrally manage across platforms.

CloudLens was designed from the ground up to retain the benefits of the cloud – elastic scale, flexibility, and agility, while enabling security, analytics, and forensics tools to acquire the needed data, whether the tool is in a private data center or public cloud. Ixia works with leading security, APM, and NPM tool providers, including open source providers, to pre-validate CloudLens interoperability. This provides a seamless experience for CloudLens users to ensure complete visibility into cloud environments.

With the growing adoption of cloud, how large is the relevance of network security testing in India?

Today’s businesses require an application and security testing solution that can verify the stability, accuracy, and quality of networks and network devices. The challenge for IT is intensified by the fact that the network and services offered to meet customer demands is constantly changing. Industry shifts and digital disruption is shaking an infrastructure to its foundations, forcing a search for innovative means to face up to it.

For example:

  • The world is preparing to transition to 5G and GSMA expects to see 1.1 billion 5G-enabled connections by 2025
  • NSS Labs projects that 75 percent of Web traffic will be encrypted by 2019
  • While applications, media convergence, and services are migrating to the cloud, Gartner predicts that cloud breaches and shadow clouds will rise to 80 percent by 2020
  • IDC expects to see 50 trillion GB of data in play by 2020, while Gartner projects that all this traffic will be generated by over 20 billion connected devices.

It means organizations need a robust testing architecture to validate their networks and services before this transition is in full swing to ensure delivery of a quality customer experience in a fast, reliable, and secure manner. This requires investing in architecture and testing every component in the application delivery path end-to-end – from chips and devices to network, data center, and cloud.  An architecture that can simulate real-world conditions – unproven traffic and behavioral mixes these devices, networks and applications generate – across product, network and services lifecycle. A testing solution that works on all platforms and scales as needed.

Almost 80-85 percent of Internet usage in India is taking place on mobiles, which is quite higher than several developed economies like US. What are the unique propositions this offers to India against the global market for network security testing solutions?

A new world of connected devices and Internet of Things (IoT) is infiltrating various aspects of our lives every day. These connected devices need anywhere, anytime network access, as well as the ability to run multiple complex applications on converged networks that require a combination of speed, reliability and security. This is giving rise to greater demand for networking and testing in India to ensure a quality customer experience. Therefore, it is imperative to validate every component in the application delivery path, from devices to data center and cloud, across networks and security systems.

What are the salient features of your network security testing solutions?

Ixia’s Testing as a Service (TaaS) delivers a fast, repeatable and accurate approach. Our professional assessments help in supplementing customer’s technical staff with Ixia test experts minimizing project risk by performing real-world testing; offering an easily expensed service (capex vs. opex); creating an easy, ‘lightweight’ approach; and delivering actionable insight into the infrastructure.

TaaS improves ROI while reducing the strain on internal resources and helps keep high-profile deployments on track, ensuring end-users’ ultimate quality-of-experience (QoE). Along with standardized test plans that ensure efficiency and repeatability, TaaS assessments feature timely expert reporting and analysis that increases the reach and value of results.

Ixia’s Professional Services Organization (PSO) works with leading equipment manufacturers, system integrators, and enterprises worldwide. Ixia works with CIOs and IT professionals worldwide to maximize operational excellence, and prove that the investments they’re making will meet the performance and security needs of their enterprises into the future.

What is your current channel footprint? Please elaborate on your recent channel initiatives.

Ixia works closely with channel partners worldwide to maintain excellent customer relationships and deliver end-to-end, lifecycle solutions. Relying 100 percent on channel partners to provide world-class service to enterprise customers reaffirms our confidence in every organization participating in our Channel Xcelerate Partner Program.

To date, more than 800 partners worldwide have joined Ixia’s Channel Xcelerate Partner Program, enabling resellers to offer solutions that help enterprises ensure network and application performance, harden security, and validate technology investments.

These solutions include:

  • Ixia’s network visibility portfolio, which enables channel partners to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their customers’ network monitoring and security infrastructures by helping ensure access to the right data by the right tools at the right time.
  • Ixia’s testing solutions for assessing and validating the performance of networks, devices, and services for faster time-to-market. Wired, wireless, and virtual test solutions deliver a full range of functional and system testing capabilities, from helping to ensure high-performing applications and secure networks to validating the scalability and performance of the network infrastructure.

We work on a two-tier partner engagement, which comprises of resellers and distributors. We currently have two distributors and over 12 resellers spread across India. We are constantly investigating to add more partners who possess specific domain expertise in newer market segments.

What is your Go-to-Market strategy in India?

Our Go-to-Market strategy would be to quickly understand different enterprise networks and provide them with appropriate solution to increase their network visibility. This starts with increasing technical feet-on-the-ground for which we are doubling the number of Applications Engineers in the field. Further is the ability to demonstrate diversity of our solution appropriately with enterprise needs – this involves a variety of equipment being available and deployed in the field quickly. Last but not least is our ability to bring best global practices to the local market.

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