Lumen aims to make SASE simple with digital purchase path

Lumen Technologies enlisted vendors VMware and Fortinet as its initial partners for the launch of a new virtual purchase and management pipeline for secure access service edge (SASE) services. The rollout comes as Lumen chases growth in the rapidly expanding SASE market.

The operator pitched the move as one designed to ease enterprises’ digital transformation journeys. The pipeline includes an initial setup via the Lumen Marketplace and ongoing oversight via a customer Control Center portal.

In the marketplace, customers can select a solution based on their unique needs and choose to manage it themselves or have Lumen take control of deployment, implementation and ongoing oversight on their behalf. Product offerings will initially include software, on-premises equipment, remote access clients and Cloud Security Gateways for SD-WAN and information security services from VMware and Fortinet, though Lumen said it plans to add additional partners this year and next.

Once setup is complete, customers can configure their chosen product; add new sites, users and services; receive alerts; and manage tickets through a SASE Manager dashboard in the Control Center.

Darren Wolner, senior director of SASE product management for Lumen, billed the new pipeline as a “game changer for enterprises looking for a simplified solution to upgrade their network and cybersecurity posture.”

The move comes shortly after Lumen CFO Chris Stansbury named SASE alongside SD-WAN, security, cloud, IP and wavelengths as products in the company’s “grow” portfolio of solutions during the operator’s Q2 2022 earnings call. It also has more mature products it is looking to “nurture” and declining offerings it is looking to “harvest,” he said.

Lumen’s focus on SASE is perhaps unsurprising given the explosive growth forecast for the segment. Earlier this month, Dell’Oro Group predicted the total SASE market – including Security Service Edge (SSE) and SD-WAN products – will nearly triple to $13 billion in revenue by 2026.

Of course, Lumen isn’t the only one chasing gains in the segment. Comcast recently teamed up with Fortinet to launch an enhanced SASE package which incorporates Equinix’s cloud connection services. AT&T, Verizon, Windstream and IBM are all also offering SASE service in concert with vendors ranging from Cisco and Zscaler to Fortinet, Palo Alto and Cato Networks.