Network as a Service (NaaS) – Next Generation Infrastructure

Aug 9, 2023 1:30 PM2:30 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways:

Traditional WAN networks have become outdated and replaced with network as a service (NaaS) models, allowing businesses to transition from legacy systems to flexible and scalable infrastructure. What are the benefits of this architecture, and what should you consider before adopting it?

NaaS enables service providers to identify and solve network disruptions remotely by analyzing large data sets seamlessly. You can also integrate new technologies, services, and applications like the cloud, ensuring high-performance levels and adaptability. It’s critical to identify and communicate your technology goals to partner with an ideal NaaS provider that can help you migrate from legacy systems.

In this virtual event, Greg Irwin interviews Gregg Mihallik and Dan Shaffer of GDT about NaaS as the future of network infrastructure. Together, they discuss how to evaluate NaaS versus traditionally managed networks, the challenges of integrating NaaS into legacy systems, and NaaS’ application in the healthcare industry.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • What is network as a service (NaaS)?
  • How NaaS solves business network challenges and meets user demands
  • NaaS versus traditionally managed sites: essential business considerations
  • The challenges of integrating NaaS into legacy systems
  • Incorporating NaaS into cloud environments
  • Case study: NaaS application in the healthcare industry
  • How to evaluate a NaaS model
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Event Partners


Founded in 1996, GDT is an award-winning, international multi-vendor IT solutions provider. GDT specializes in the consulting, designing, deploying and managing of advanced technology solutions for businesses, government and healthcare.

Guest Speakers

Greg Irwin LinkedIn

Co-Founder, Co-CEO at BWG Strategy LLC

BWG Strategy is a research platform that provides market intelligence through Event Services, Business Development initiatives, and Market Research services. BWG hosts over 1,800 interactive executive strategy sessions (conference calls and in-person forums) annually that allow senior industry professionals across all sectors to debate fundamental business topics with peers, build brand awareness, gather market intelligence, network with customers/suppliers/partners, and pursue business development opportunities.

Gregg Mihallik LinkedIn

Practice Lead - Network Services at GDT

Gregg Mihallik is the Practice Lead of Network Services at GDT (General Datatech), an award-winning, international, multi-vendor IT solutions provider. With over 23 years of global IT and telecommunications experience, he drives strategies focused on obtaining long-term recurring revenue. Gregg also has global experience leading sales, delivery, and operations. 

Dan Shaffer LinkedIn

Director, Service Delivery at GDT

Dan Shaffer is the Director of Service Delivery at GDT, where he also served as the Service Delivery Manager and Solutions Architect. With 20 years of experience in LAN/WLAN design, he is a Cisco Certified Network Associate and Certified Wireless Technology specialist. Dan has worked in site development using Cisco IOS, routers and switches, and wireless point-to-point technology. 

Event Moderator

Greg Irwin LinkedIn

Co-Founder, Co-CEO at BWG Strategy LLC

BWG Strategy is a research platform that provides market intelligence through Event Services, Business Development initiatives, and Market Research services. BWG hosts over 1,800 interactive executive strategy sessions (conference calls and in-person forums) annually that allow senior industry professionals across all sectors to debate fundamental business topics with peers, build brand awareness, gather market intelligence, network with customers/suppliers/partners, and pursue business development opportunities.

Gregg Mihallik LinkedIn

Practice Lead - Network Services at GDT

Gregg Mihallik is the Practice Lead of Network Services at GDT (General Datatech), an award-winning, international, multi-vendor IT solutions provider. With over 23 years of global IT and telecommunications experience, he drives strategies focused on obtaining long-term recurring revenue. Gregg also has global experience leading sales, delivery, and operations. 

Dan Shaffer LinkedIn

Director, Service Delivery at GDT

Dan Shaffer is the Director of Service Delivery at GDT, where he also served as the Service Delivery Manager and Solutions Architect. With 20 years of experience in LAN/WLAN design, he is a Cisco Certified Network Associate and Certified Wireless Technology specialist. Dan has worked in site development using Cisco IOS, routers and switches, and wireless point-to-point technology. 

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Discussion Transcription

Greg Irwin 0:18

Thank you all for joining my name is Greg Irwin we're going to be kicking off our conversation here with GDT. And that's, you know, Gregg, and Dan, I kind of at the epicenter of it, but this is a group conversation. So if you're on the line, don't be surprised I come to you and, and engage in some conversation, we're talking network network as a service. And that's kind of one of one of the key elements of what GDT does. I'm not going to waste any time, I'm kind of kind of get right at it. Um, let me let me ask Gregg, and, Dan, kind of do some intros. Let them I'm gonna have them kind of introduce the topic. But I want to introduce the format. So you know, I've been working with the mesh and Brandon for a number of years in terms of driving these conversations and kind of awareness, and a lot of it is built on community, we're talking about trust, you know, kind of how we learn, you know, we learn from we learn from each other, you know, we want to, we want to hear the stories about the things that people have tried, where they've succeeded, where they failed. And, you know, it comes from the relationships that you've got. So, you know, one person might tell you that they've succeeded. But who is that person? Do you know them? Do you believe them? Do you trust them on somebody else tells you the same story. And you don't have that trust. It's a whole different game. So this is a lot about community and building that community. So there's one overriding goal for today, super simple, super simple stuff. This is let's make one new contact, one new contact, we've we've done some hard work and brought some some professionals on the line here with similar similar interests around infrastructure. So take take the opportunity and connect with somebody across this Tina GDT BWG, please take take the opportunity to connect with this that I'm gonna ask you to please lean in. What I'm what I mean, there is, you know, I'm gonna ask you to share your story. And we're all going to learn from each other's experiences. And my hope is that if you lean in, and open up, we're all going to walk away with a much better experience. Lastly, we've got this chat window on the side, it works incredibly well in this format. All you have to do is use the keyboard, which I know we're all adept at. So as we're going, we can multitask. We can keep a side thread going here, far on Thank you. Perfect. We'll keep a dialogue going on the side, you can ask questions, you can add your own stories. This is a sidebar that we can use throughout. All right. So with no further ado, Dan, Dan Shaffer, do us a favor, please take a moment with a little intro on yourself and GDT

Dan Shaffer 3:33

Yeah, hi, everybody. Dan Shaffer. I'm the director here at GDT of networking services. So basically, the professional services arm of our networking and mobility teams, is where I concentrate my time. Now, I've been in wireless for 20 years, it's my passion. It's It's really what I what I love to do strategizing and figuring it out. And, you know, as time has gone by, you know, I've really started to understand that, you know, wireless is, is going to be a mission critical attribute to every campus. And a lot of the things that we're doing now today are really just kind of melding into this network as a service. So I'm really excited to talk to you guys and share the story. It sounds like a kind of a fun opportunity to, to learn from each other. So it's good to meet you all and excited to have some conversation.

Greg Irwin 4:25

Excellent. Thank you, Dan. Hey, Gregg, please. Yes, I want to hear a little intro.

Gregg Mihallik 4:30

Absolutely. Thank you, Greg. And hello, everyone. Appreciate your time today. Gregg Mihallik. I have over 2324 years it's hard to count now years in the IT telecommunications industry prior to that public accounting history and large financial companies prior to that, so great financial foundation to everything that's gone on in it and telecommunications transformation over the last you know number of years that we've all been in the industry. So I am the network Practice Lead for or GDT. So, you know, my goals are to really, you know, ensure that we round out all of our capabilities into, you know, something that's really coming together as, you know, a buzzword. Industry standard, you know, everything as a service, particularly network as a service. And I'm excited to talk to you about it today, because a lot of experiences through my years in managed services, which is extremely similar, and you know, almost, you know, just may be the equivalent of what we're trying to call networks as a service, but also maybe help you through some of those, you know, decisions on what it is or what it could be for you, and how it could assist you or help you and your journey. You know, technology is always rapidly changing and advancing. And, you know, these are possible ways for your enterprises, your industries, your interfaces to take advantage of the new technology in a different way. And yeah, so I appreciate the time and I look forward to working with everybody.

Greg Irwin 6:13

Let's give us the quick quick background here. GDT is not necessarily a, you know, a name brand, not not yet at least, sure. And tell, tell the group who's GDT.

Gregg Mihallik 6:26

Yeah, GDT is one of those best known secrets, right? And having Dan shaver here is really the greatest part, right? We've always done the call it the, you know, day zero up to day two very well. And we've rounded out our capabilities to now deliver day two. So when I think of network as a service, and our scale capability, the types of companies we've delivered for in the past and what we can deliver for in the future. It's extremely exciting. I see NADs, as you know, there's a lot of people that claim they have a NAS product, we're truly, you know, a day zero, full lifecycle through day and provider. And that's what GDT is in the space.

Greg Irwin 7:08

Very good, high level, folks, let's get some stories here. I'm gonna ask Gregg and Dan, to share a use case, specific story of how NAS is deployed. And that might also help us kind of drill into how, how Nazz is different from managed services. You know, how NAS solves kind of some core problems. But as we're doing that, I'm gonna ask everyone to kind of multitask for a moment in the chat window. Do me a favor, please drop in there right now, one question that you got for the group, not just for GDT. But I might direct it around to, to the group as a whole, what's one question you want to hear about today in our conversation? While you're doing that, Dan, Gregg, guys jump in and tell us what Naz is, from the eyes of a customer and maybe one one story, and may we do a little q&a to kind of dig into,

Gregg Mihallik 8:03

I'll start with like, could NAS this truly, you know, that journey from what you have to, you know, a futuristic solution that, you know, maybe is outcome driven. And, you know, the stories we, you know, can tell about the journeys we've taken customers on really does start at assessing the environment, understanding what that client's particular needs are, and that those needs are they vary based on you know, site, environment, and, you know, number of resources or, you know, uses you want out of that particular environment, particularly in the net, land and Wi Fi space, these are typically spaces that enterprises have the lead lag, or maybe, you know, during the pandemic quickly, you know, put some sort of solution in place. But, you know, there's new technology out there that is incredibly advanced, to drive improvements to the user experience and the customer experience of customers are always behind, you know, the productivity of users and environment space. So it's really defining what you know, the client's needs are, and taking them to a new collaborative environment that, you know, again, is a better quality for the user, less disruptive, less contentious. So, you know, again, going to that truly mobile, mobile environment within a campus or within a facility and keeping that connectivity, you know, no matter what, you know, application you're using, you still have the growing.

Greg Irwin 9:46

That's right, I'm gonna butthead who owns the equipment?

Gregg Mihallik 9:50

Oh, yes, that's a great question. In a typical NAS model, the client doesn't own it subscription based. So in that case, it would be GDT be holding ownership to the equipment in most cases,

Greg Irwin 10:03

who designs the who designs the architecture?

Gregg Mihallik 10:05

So that's a great question, Greg, and thank you for getting me there, sir. You know, when we talk about full lifecycle, sir, it really does need to happen from day zero. So we assess design scope, and actually assist in that rollout depending on how much the client needs us, even into the physical installation. But, you know, again, we, we know, clients don't have an end, you know, insert, you know, resources ready to deploy. And most of the time, when you want this new technology you want, you know, again, you want it scope properly, so that you have a quality delivery a quality day, too, and you want it done quickly, so that, you know, you have, you know, a good experience for you all, all of your users as fast as possible. So, again, a structured rollout is key to this as well.

Greg Irwin 10:53

Sorry, Dan. Yeah, I'd like to add maybe

Dan Shaffer 10:56

just, you know, what I've seen from a wireless standpoint, it's been really interesting. And what I'm noticing is kind of twofold, right? You have, you have a resource pool, this kind of shrink, and maybe you guys that have been out there kind of recognizing that if you're, you're supporting clients, or maybe maybe you're witnessing this yourself, but the other end of it is is where Wi Fi used to be, you know, when it started, it was a nice to have, and it got to be mission critical. But now the applications that we're running across it are so latency and jitter intense where it used to be just throughput, right? I just need to signal but now it's, I need to know the capacity, I need to know the throughput and hey, it's going wrong, and I've got echoes in my voice and all these things, and people were starting to understand that Wi Fi is, is really not like it is all right, you don't just throw it in, it's just gonna work right in these environments, it's really difficult. And so what we're learning from our clients is, I spend a lot of time fixing problems for clients with Wi Fi, you know, the people that say Wi Fi doesn't work, it's not mission critical. And I take them to a path where they're not running cat six cables to their desktops anymore, full wireless, and there's huge cost savings there. But then you've got to manage it, you've got to monitor it, you got to make sure it's working well. And if you're if your staff isn't going to go out and get every certification under the book, and let's face it, it's a very complex network environment, have a lot of things going on, then you need specialists, you need a team that isn't one person or it's one IT staff, it's a it's a group of specialists across many pods. And that's what GDT offers. And I think that's really where network as a service is becoming a bigger thing, we're solving problems, they can't fall without tremendous expense. And then we're doing it from an operational expense level rather than a big heavy cap expense, capital expense. So, you know, I, when I look at it, that's what I noticed, because that is what's going on when I talk to clients. So like, look, we just can't maintain, and it's expensive to let's face it, to hire somebody to go in for a bucket of hours here and there to fix their stuff for one conference room level, we can solve that 360 degrees 24/7 for them if they like and just make sure that their experience is good, and they're not going to tax themselves out. So that's where I'm seeing it. And that's what we're solving a lot of the problems with it today.

Gregg Mihallik 13:18

So that's a great point. Just to touch on that it is the loss of resources, right? If you ask a use case, right, consistently, what we're seeing is, you know, what do you what do you call the Great Migration, but the, you know, the internal resources to keep up with, you know, the certifications are the technical level to operate these environments, the legacy environments and new environments, it's, it's, it's, you know, unfortunately for them, it's drying up right so a lot of times we say take out what we're saying is you need to take over, you know, my legacy, call it brownfield environment and oh by the way Yeah, I'm ready I'm done with my do it yourself, right, I need to take this to, you know, a logical next step I I can't step up the resources to operate it and I don't have the resources to deploy something new. There's so many holes to cover through it but again, that's why I think as a service is taking off, especially you know, in this area

Greg Irwin 14:21

guys for me i given my some history I have in it I think of this quite simply, this is how many trouble tickets my getting for my network. I'm thinking what kind of on site resources, am I still going to need to maintain it so that if somebody is saying, Hey, I have a problem, can I do it on a remote remote basis with with a GDT on an as a service, or am I still going to need that on site resource who has some skill?

Gregg Mihallik 14:57

The Great question the answer to both For those is less than last, right? So yes, less tickets just from, you know, a better environment being set up from a, you know, a new deployment perspective. But the new technology also helps solve some of those things. And I think what people organizations can quickly realize is that from legacy environments, you know, some of these tickets just didn't go reported, right? Some people just say, doesn't work. Or let me go try over here, let me just go plug in at my desk or right, so did they even ever even call in tickets, but the ones that were called in right, were difficult to troubleshoot and, and identify the reason for outage. And again, with this new technology, I think what enterprises start to see is that, you know, the meantime to, you know, understanding or observability observability, or visibility is there to say, you know, that wasn't a Wi Fi problem that was, you know, you and sort of predictive, you know, sort of analysis and analytics to say, hey, you know, you have a bunch of users at this particular location that aren't connecting, right, is it? You know, really a Wi Fi issue? No, we actually think this is, you know, a laptop update issue, right, a configuration issue, right, or an application issue. And that's what the new technology in this area helps with to, you know, lessen the load. You know, most of the time, people would say, it's a Wi Fi issue, right, none of us can connect? Well, now this new technology is able to say, Yeah, you know, in the old days, it might have been us in the new days, we can tell you exactly where we think that problem might be. And that helps resolve issues. Now as for the resources on site, I think less resources as well, right? Again, quality deployments mean equality, day two, and the management of it in a day to environment means that if something isn't working properly, an AP, you know, brakes for whatever reason, will come out and fix it. I think what you're looking for, and, you know, again, and environment in the future is, you know, what we've seen, call it from the wide area network perspective, is, you know, the same sort of, you know, situations, loss of resources, when I moved to a future technology, you know, I, you know, I've lost resources, and I can't continue to, you know, employ a CCIE when, you know, when I say, you know, Nazz, which I, you know, my your enterprise means I need to manage possibly, it means I'm looking for a better than managed service option in the, in the next space, right, someone that can give me the best outcomes for my particular, you know, network. And, you know, we like to say, unfortunately, everybody's network, it's like a snowflake, it's, it's always different. But I think what you're looking for in the future is to make sure that, you know, there's less, maybe configuration and the term and, you know, troubleshooting that might need to be done by you, and more should be expected of that service provider in a day to environment. That's correct.

Greg Irwin 18:10

Hey, guys, Gregg, and Dan, have you got have you guys proven the better SLAs? You know, the fewer trouble tickets, the lesser on source on side resources by moving by, you know, switching to to an Amazon?

Gregg Mihallik 18:30

Specialist, especially with a new technology, but Dan go ahead and answer. Yeah, so

Dan Shaffer 18:37

you know, interestingly, the the world is coming down to where we've got an intense amount of data coming from and I was actually just responding to beforehand on this. So maybe, I should have started talking instead of typing. But really, you know, we're we're driving today are the system's do a lot. And it's a lot of communications of the devices and clients rolling up to the head end, right. Something that, you know, should have been feasible a long time ago, but through microservices through having large servers or that cloud front end more than anything. We can see second by second minute by minute data, what's happening on a network and when you have that much data, if you can store it, you can look at the history of problems and so from a wireless standpoint, or I might have gotten a call to go out and review something right as the the typical as a client called in said, Hey, Wi Fi, excuse me, they'd say Wi Fi sucks, right? Internally I knew it probably wasn't always going to be the Wi Fi but you know, the other answers were where were you what AP where you can see what SSID were you trying to connect to with all said that was what authentication what signal strength all those questions really stated, I gotta go on site and I gotta look at this, right? Wireless is invisible. Well, now I can go into the systems that we use today. And I can look back up to seven days and I can say okay, it was user A And it was this timeframe. So I know it was Wednesday at noon. And it's going to supply me all of that data that's going to tell him everything about what he was connected to. And not only from a wire the standpoint, but maybe it was DNS, maybe it was DHCP. Right? Maybe it was the microwave, in the break room, right? Who knows what it might be. But the idea is, is I no longer have to be on site as much. And so these systems when they're tracking that data, the other thing they'll do is they'll track anomalies, right? So identify how things are moving, how smooth they're going, based on success rates, I tell that system I wanted to look at. And so when the system starts dropping down from what was pretty stable before the system, or my already flagged it and say, Look, there's anomalies going on. And so what I find is, a lot of times, I can go into the system on the front end, and just looking at success ratios of the thresholds like that, I can drill through the network to specific clients, specific operating systems specific devices, a DNS DHCP server that's acting up. And I can identify a problem sometimes before the client even knows they have one. And so you know, people throw out AI a lot. Nobody likes the term AI. No, I don't, I don't think it's true AI. But if you look at AI and analytics and insights, that's really what's triggering our ability to do that. And so I agree, I think it's allowing us to, first off if you design it, right, right, you're not going to have as many problems. But Second off, you can start finding these things and thinking about fixing them. All in all, the systems are going to continue to kind of trend and learn health and improve themselves if you set them up correctly. And that does absolutely end up and result in less trouble ticket. And sometimes again, you may have a problem, and we're gonna fix it before they even know it. And that's the true beauty of the systems that we're using today.

Greg Irwin 21:59

It doesn't have to necessarily be m&a. But I liked this scenario that Anthony stood out, which is a new site, or you need to exert new control over over some assets. Can you mix and match? Can you go NAS for like, you know, five new sites or five acquired sites? And what's your ability to kind of mesh it in, let's say your merch, 4000 sites, you're not doing an immediate rollout of this across the board? You're doing it piecemeal? Right. So how do you Max in control over some NAS sites and some kind of, you know, traditionally managed sites? I'll take

Gregg Mihallik 22:45

that, you know, it really comes down to I think, and I do have experience in this. And it's always great to talk to clients who are in the merger and acquisition space. But yeah, to make it easier, right. So, you know, most of the time, you know, it sounds like Anthony might be, you know, also dealing with a legacy environment that, you know, requires some decisions on, you know, what does that future look like as well. And that's an important as you move forward. But again, it could be handled separately the way you fold in your new acquisition sites, and you can have those segmented off, but certainly, you know, you want to have that step by step approach, depending on what access to you know, you know, call it, you know, merch side, you want them to have access to immediately right, sometimes you want to gain access to them temporarily, which can be simply set up maybe based on the equipment set that's at the acquisition sites, but then figure out what that permanent solution is. But yes, I would say NAS is definitely a solution for it an enterprise it's looking to move to those mergers and acquisitions, right. I mean, one of the things that you're looking for a NAS is someone that can deliver at scale and speed, and quality so that you don't have when you say, 4000 sites, right, I don't have five years to roll out on network, right? I want to get like, hundreds done per day, so that everybody's on this new technology as fast as possible. That comes from Template tising. And planning, of course, but then it comes from, hey, you know, what is my acquisition site look like? Right, you know, and what kind of a NAS solution that I have. So that's a great thing to customize from a Merck perspective, right? You know, here's my pain point. When I acquired this is what I want to have. And, you know, we defined together what is that block of scope that you want, from an equipment perspective delivered to that new site so that you can gain, you know, immediate connectivity and then permanent connectivity, and then plan it out. And that's something that I think we're excellent doing from our history of deploying For, you know, so a very large customer staring us.

Greg Irwin 25:04

Let's take a let's take the flip side of the greatest challenges. So let's say I have a historically managed Cisco environment. Meraki AP is, and I've got my on site resources and my moves, add changes, you know tier one support desk everything's in place like like it is in most places. Now I go and I've got 10 new locations I put on NAS, and we've been talking Juniper Juniper missed. Great, great, great components. All right. I can those two environments mix? Like what are the challenges that you have to overcome? In Mexico? Let's go Let's go that I don't want because in reality, this is hard. This is hard. So what are some of the choices

Dan Shaffer 25:52

you can do it but not through the management systems have the myth specifically or the Meraki they will not right. And so the first thing we'd want to do is pull them into and again, this is where network as a service becomes really big. If you can pull them back into a larger management system, like like our our NOC has, right. And now you can take all these disparate systems, what you would typically want to do is you'd want to sit down and identify what are your standards, because you don't want your guys going, you know, your executives visiting different offices, and now suddenly, the experience is totally different. So typically, what you want to do is pull that back and figure out those standards. The beauty at the organizational level within the manufacturing, Meraki, aka Mrs. You can go in and you can set the standards and templatized how it should interact. So when I arrive at one site, my SSID is this, I have access to these things. That's great. So we would identify the standards, we'd get the template set at the head ends of both of Rocky in the middle. And then we can push all those configs out to the site, or groups of sites or all your sites depending on how variable your site has to be. And now I pull that into the overall head end. And if you're running a room on some sites, you're running hierarchy on some sites, and you're running miss on some sites. Now I can manage the overall through my overall management system and encompasses all that under one umbrella. So I think it's kind of two bays. But that's the typical problem we get into. And we help out a lot of banks with those mergers and acquisitions. And that's always the first thing that goes right, the executives joined or went to that office, they're like, Hey, why are these Ss IDs typically are totally different than what I'm used to. And so there are a lot of tricks in the trade that we can do to make sure that that functions correctly. But that that's a fairly easy migration, believe it or not, because all those configurations are contained at the head end of each decision.

Greg Irwin 27:45

So basically, what I'm hearing is it works.

Gregg Mihallik 27:50

Yeah, there's, there's definitely ways to make it work. I mean, Greg, I've seen that happen at scale. Right. And that's the great thing about the new technology too, right? Let's go to the old days, when environments were, you know, even the early SD Wan deployments, right? What was the big, you know, call it hurdle, they had to get over, they needed to get the access and right, that's always, you know, the long pole in the tent. You know, but, you know, the challenge had moved, right, I had my history, you know, so people can LinkedIn me was with a large global carrier, right? And the SLA is used to be right, you know, hey, Mr. Carrier, you know, you've delivered me a managed service, which includes the access, and, you know, if you don't get in by a certain timeframe, you know, you're paying me, you know, now, the axis is generally there, right? Maybe it needs to be bolstered. And it can be separated, but still managed in an as a service environment by someone like us that has the infrastructure that are the clouds piece. But it's, it's it's really not a it's not a, you know, a speed of deployment issue for us with the new technology, right? It's really a speed of deployment issue. Unfortunately, with the enterprise to get through there, don't change control, right. It's, it's not a, you know, hey, you know, I don't have an SLA and that's why you're seeing the subscriptions take off, right? Like, Hey, Mr. Customer, like you've bought this, and I don't have really an issue or a challenge to deploy. So let's set the deployment schedule based on you, you have 4000 sites, I could get that done this fast but you know, let's set that progression schedule for our as a service model based on how fast you're willing to deploy to this new environment. And that's that's the that's the new call it change. Through the you know, technology. I think that's really hit the as a service models is that speed to deploy the speed to migrate. The scale and ability to migrate fast is really changed.

Greg Irwin 29:57

Gregg and Dan, how do you ensure proper cord nation, when it's not just you in the client, it's you, the client, the MSP, the MSSP, the ISP, and for maybe even a cloud vendor on top of that, holy cow?

Gregg Mihallik 30:11

Absolutely. That's a great question. And it is growing in complexity. But that's where maybe an MSP as a NAS provider tries to simplify it. And there really isn't, you know, any magic, I would just say, it's making sure that you're, you know, when we stay, we're working with a strategic partner, or partners, to deliver the entire as a service model. So So clearly, we're not an Internet service provider, right? However, we can help deliver that in the ad service model. And you'd say, well, then how do we how do we make sure that you're in full control over it, we make sure that whatever provided worked for is, you know, hooked into our tools right into our ServiceNow. So there's that integration that becomes seamless, right in that day to model where everybody knows, what's their responsibility, and I don't want to say automatically happens, but it almost is like that, right? Where, you know, if the tooling and the alerting says that it's this issue, that ticket is automatically in that service providers queue to investigate. And it's, and because of all the new technology has been delivered as NAS, you know, I venture to say that just like Juniper messed, there's a lot less finger pointing. And you know, the meantime to innocence when you're the MS. NSP is still its OS, guys, it doesn't matter if it is the internet provider, it's still on us to solve it, we might be able to tell the client that hey, this is the issue. And we're working on. Not that Hey, Mr. Client, it is this issue. And oh, by the way, you need to take care of it. Right, that that's not what enterprises are looking for when it's not their core business, right. We've talked about what's happening in the industry, the lack of resources, the loss of resources. And that's what an MSP looks to take on along with the security side, which is in everything we do, quite honestly,

Greg Irwin 32:10

you know, Gregg, as you're saying, and my first thought was, Wow, what a complex structure, you know, what if it's not the NSP? All right, it's it that has to deal with that complexity. So after coordination with the, with the ISP and the MSP, and the cloud provider that in each jurisdiction might be very complex, but it's better handled by an MSP, who already has in his built those relationships, as opposed to an IT organization who's trying to figure it out region by region, you know, kind of relationship by relationship.

Gregg Mihallik 32:46

Right. You know, what, and honestly, Greg, it's interesting, you say that I was in a discussion with a client just a few weeks back, right. And they had talked about, you know, I don't want to go to an MSP. It's a dirty word. And you know, what is navs? And, you know, when you ask them, the question is, well, how do you handle those environments? Like you just described? Like, what happens when that happens? Right? Oh, we have this vendor to do that. Or like, okay, so So you are coordinating all that dude, are you doing it? Well, right. Is that your core business? You know, and yeah, exactly. Right. It's, it's taking that burden and moving it faster and being more efficient at it, too.

Greg Irwin 33:22

Have you guys dealt with some DOD and additional layers of security requirements in that managed environment?

Gregg Mihallik 33:32

I don't know how far down that one client goes. But

Dan Shaffer 33:38

yeah, without obviously saying any names, we have worked with some right. And not not specifically as a network as a service, but more the consultant role in your your typical professional services role. Obviously, when we, when we're dealing with those types of customers, we're dealing with very sensitive types of build outs that we need to adhere to and control and, you know, I would look at that as kind of one off, would it apply to something like that? Absolutely. But we would have to make sure that based on those specific sets and standards of what they're trying to do would fit our model, not only from the professional services role, but also how we manage it, right, because you need to access into that equipment. And so we're gonna have to make sure that, you know, we're following those that regimen, that requirement, whatever that is, so we're meeting that need. And so yes, we do provide those as a network as a service model. No, but it is an interesting idea. I don't see why we couldn't do it. But again, it's really more about the consultations on the front end and being in alignment with what their requirements are both from a business front and a security front. So that is a good question. We have actually done a lot of hospitals. At one point, I probably did more hospitals than anything but everything's more industrial and office space, because a lot of people are realizing their systems aren't optimized, but hospitals always been kind of set up correctly because they have to be so, you know, HIPAA compliance is a little bit I think it's a little more defined a little more standardized compared to security where some people have some very specific needs and requirements. And so, I'd say on the healthcare front, we've actually done that in the it's funny, you bring that up the very first network as a service that we did was actually through Meraki and, and a healthcare environment. And that was from circuit handoff, through security, appliance switches, access points for their entire system. And we leased those out. And that's where we started really going, Oh, wow, you know, this is a really cool model to work from. Now, I'll be careful with that the area of healthcare that we were working on, there was more guest access, not, not your specific departments and stuff. So, you know, I think we can get around the HIPAA compliance. I don't think that's problematic. I know, we can deploy in medical scenarios, both from you know, the one Nas was with a was with a guest network. But we've deployed corporate networks. I shouldn't say corporate, but the healthcare assets, IDs, and w LAN, we build those out all the time, for a lot of hospitals, children and other. So I don't think that's much of a band. I think that's just getting in line with our managed services and making sure that we're following HIPAA, and PCI, depending on what you're looking at today. I can talk to you at length on that. The systems we're building out today, a lot of its API operative, right, or BLE, so hey, I'm a doctor, I walked in, I got my badge. I walk into a BLE area, ble senses that because I built the zone in a room, and guess what all my information goes up on a whiteboard for the client to see, I don't have to hand them a piece of paper. It's all right there. But there's also things like, hey, this object should not move. But it did. Now I'm going to send an API to the camera system, take a snapshot who moved the site, maybe it's an item that shouldn't be moving, maybe I need to find my wheelchair, right. In the COVID days, it was really cool, because it was all about contact tracing, right, it was identifying a device that was in an area for a set amount of time, and what other devices were in that same zone at that same time. So I mean, for your your imagination can really go out there because it's really the stretch of what you want to do with Python and the coding behind it, which we've got a DevOps team that can help out with that. But you're absolutely right, IoT has got a lot of capabilities, and the systems we deploy today are built for IoT growth, you know, full API integrations and whatnot. So I'd love to have a conversation with you about it. I think. I think there's some eye opening things that you could do that would be of interest to you.

Gregg Mihallik 38:07

Yeah, I think I think when Dan mentions that, you know, that scenario where a doctor walks in with, you know, Bluetooth enabled, device riding information pops up, right, I think, you know, we, you know, what you're talking about, possibly, you know, bleeds into zero trust. And you know, I philosophise zero trust is going to go to an eventual password list, right? Maybe maybe that doctor walks in with a badge and everything, everything is one check mark is next checkmark is is an eye scan or fingerprint scan to really make sure that that person is who has the pad right? Before it pops up. You know, the largest attacks that occur are because of passwords, right? And, and what you see is, as you make meet people change their passwords more, or, you know, add in special characters, it just leads to, you know, you know, so I think multi factor authentication, but you know, becoming password lists is really where zero trust is going, especially in those environments, right? You've got to make sure it is who it is, at every point along the way. So

Dan Shaffer 39:20

no, and I think that goes back to what we were talking about earlier, why network as a service, and I think it owes become, you know that the deeper some of these rights, we talk Python and take API integration, the level of security policy that needs to be built. It's really almost too much for one IT staff to handle or at least afford right and, you know, these are the things that I've been kind of noticing as we trend right with the clients that I have today, even in a professional services manner. We go in and we fix these things, but like man, I had no idea it was that complex, right? How am I going to grow my team to do this and sometimes they're successful and sometimes they're just not it's just you You're to go to the service where somebody can just support it and take care of it for you.

Gregg Mihallik 40:05

I think I think that's one of those things when you say, you know, what should an enterprise look for in a NAS model, and a lot of them are looking for, you know, even though you know, they've got us covered for the risk, they're looking for that shared risk, right? They'll say, Here's my requirements, can you help me get there? Right? Help me, help me help me get there, right? And then help me stay on top of it as well. Right? You know, if these are my, you know, this, this is what it needs to be in three years, how am I doing, I was what I'm doing now going to get me to my next hurdle that I've got to get over. And, and that's where, you know, we stay on top of the technology with those OEMs to make sure that, you know, we can lead the client and the best into the best outcomes, right. Absolutely, I think service can be built that just seems very unique. But you know, because it's it's the scale, but that's certainly, you know, what we're trying to do, right, we look at NAS is, you know, in different components, right. Maybe we talked a little bit more about LAN and Wi Fi today, but then there's the, you know, the WAN side, and then there's the data center, and the cloud. Right. So, you know, definitely that's where we're taking our progression as well. So, yeah, I kind of see see where you're saying it? And yes, like, we could still do the as a service, even if we didn't supply the equipment, right, certainly take over the day to operations of that, you know, call it scope or infrastructure? Yes, still, under your control still under your policy? Yeah, definitely. I think that's where people get concerned about what am I giving up? Right? Versus what What am I, you know, tasking out from a racy perspective to my managed service provider or my NAS provider? And so like, I think, I think this is where like, you know, as much as people say, I think I understand what network is a services, right, there's, there's all these components, does it mean that I have to buy the gear from you to get the service? And that's where, well, certainly, that's what NAS is, however, you can take all pieces of that lifecycle that I say we can deliver. And if there's certain components that you want, like, again, you know, hey, Brownfield, we didn't, we didn't sell you the gear, we didn't even put it in the first time. But we can take over the management and then everything you do new could fit into that full lifecycle picture, and everything going forward.

Greg Irwin 42:38

I think we're at the hour. Good conversation. Big thanks to Gregg and Dan, are kind of leading the charge here. And thanks, everyone, for taking some time and sharing some stories. I think there's some follow up to be done. Again, use this group as a community as a network as a resource. You're welcome to come back to us here at BWG. And, you know, we'll all we'll be we'll have some outreach to you all, and hopefully, this was a, this was a useful session for you, and we look forward to the follower.

Gregg Mihallik 43:09

Alright, thank you, Greg. 

Greg Irwin 43:10

Thank you all. 

Dan Shaffer 43:11

Thanks, guys. 

Greg Irwin 43:12

Thanks, everybody. Have a great day.

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