Most security vendors talk about how their products are “business enablers,” rather than simply a line item in the budget. This is an admirable goal, but making claims is easy – delivering on them is what counts. The Palo Alto Networks customer count continues to soar to a large extent because of the business value that our solution delivers. Many customers prefer not to publically discuss which products and services they deploy, and that is sometimes the case with cloud providers as well. One such example of how the Palo Alto Networks Security Platform truly serves as a business enabler is worth noting because it is such a great illustration of the value we bring to the cloud.
A regional service provider in Asia Pacific asked for help enabling a new cloud services business they were launching. They had been providing traditional premises-based services, network connectivity, unified communications and hosting to their mid-market customer base. They had a strategic goal to become a cloud-based integrator. This would make their customers' networks and operations more effective, improve performance, lower costs, and decrease the time to market for more products and services. In short, it would drive new revenue streams by improving business efficiencies for their customers. It would keep them competitive.
Security was a critical success factor for the initiative. Customers are understandably cautious about moving business-critical functions to a cloud service because of security concerns. They have plenty of questions and need lots of assurance. One of the main differentiators that our platform offered was the in-depth visibility and control the provider could offer their customers. This became a big selling point – customers would actually get a higher level of security by moving over to the cloud than they had with their legacy premises-based products.
The other key differentiator, that was a huge business benefit to both the Service Provider and their customers, was the ability to offer complete security services (e.g., URL, threat prevention, and remote access VPN), and the ability to use Panorama to onboard customers quickly and efficiently. Time to revenue is key in this business and our platform and management framework excelled in that respect.
The Bottom Line
Palo Alto Networks delivered everything the customer had hoped for when it made us a key element of their cloud business. In the words of the customer, "We got a complete platform in Palo Alto Networks, which is strategically very important to us, and it's delivered in all the areas needed. We've gotten visibility into threats at the app level, and to see what users are doing. The fact that everything is integrated into one platform with one reporting interface – and that we can scale and onboard customers without any impact on performance, or the need for more overhead – is simply fantastic."
That says it all.