NetMotion knows a thing or two about remote workers. In fact, over the last 19 years, we’ve established an enviable track record of success, being trusted by thousands of companies and installed on millions of devices around the world.
Today is a landmark day in our company’s history. We’re announcing an evolutionary new platform that maintains the best of our VPN solution and adds the future-proof benefits of a Zero Trust architecture. Some call it zero trust network access (ZTNA) and others call it a software-defined perimeter (SDP). Regardless, the combination of a VPN with an SDP gives customers a platform purpose built for the remote work needs of today and tomorrow.
Best of all, each part of the platform can be used independently or seamlessly together, depending on the customer’s needs and environment.
Anyone familiar with NetMotion will know that we exist to improve the remote working experience. For too long the idea of remote work and a positive experience have been considered to be two things that are mutually exclusive; that you can’t have a good user experience, or that it can’t be secure. That one of them comes at the expense of the other.
If anything, NetMotion goes to the extreme. We actually make workers more productive. When they use our platform, they’re more likely to work continuously without interruption. They’re more likely to lose less data. They’re more likely to have all their data syncing in the cloud the way they want it to sync. They’re more likely to authenticate once and not have to reauthenticate multiple times a day. And they’ll have a consistent, positive user experience that helps them get their work done.
Back to the future
Traditionally NetMotion has catered to industries that have been highly remote, such as large airlines and utilities. We’ve helped large fleets of first responders and big distribution companies. These all have employees executing important tasks and typically doing so under less-than-optimal network conditions.
Over the past couple of years, however, NetMotion has been on a fascinating journey. We started out trying to solve the most difficult use cases for truly remote workers, but when COVID-19 sent businesses scrambling, suddenly everyone was working remote, often dealing with a worse user experience than at their office.
Because of this enormous change, we’re seeing new growth in very different verticals, such as in financial services, healthcare and in the legal space. We’re continuing to expand into more sectors with white-collar workers.
Over the past few months, remote access has been at the top of every IT and security team’s to-do list. With the impact of COVID-19, everyone rushed to make sure that they had enough licenses and that their VPN was working effectively. Now that they have a bit more breathing room to evaluate their situation, organizations are going back to ask if their tools are really optimized for their needs and whether or not users have a good experience.
Make no mistake. Organizations and their networking and infrastructure teams are under a lot of pressure from their security counterparts, demanding that they embrace more zero trust principles. Obviously, these changes can’t happen overnight.
We’ve always been a security company at our core, and we continue to invest in security applications to make sure that we’re number one; that we’re helping people in their remote working capacity and allowing them to connect back to corporate resources. We make sure that we protect those corporate resources and the user at the same time. That’s why we constantly look at the security, the postures of the devices, the resources, the networks, and how we can make it all more secure.
How a VPN + SDP strategy benefits users
This past year I took my team to the annual RSA event. It was fascinating to see some plucky upstarts saying things like “kill your VPN,” expecting organizations to completely shut down their VPN overnight in a move to zero trust. While that may be eye-catching and plucky from a marketing perspective, it’s just not practical.
Organizations can’t move through this journey overnight just by turning off a VPN and switching on a zero trust platform. It doesn’t work like that. Ideally, they’ll want a single platform that simplifies the migration. That’s exactly what makes NetMotion unique. We have the ability to provide customers with a pragmatic transition from VPN to a zero trust architecture over any length of time, in a way that won’t disrupt their business. NetMotion customers don’t need two different products requiring two different licenses, two different rules engines and two different interfaces.
Just one platform, one client on the endpoint device, one policy engine, and one point of access and authentication. All the benefits of an SDP solution without the complexity.
Reaching a truly zero trust environment is a journey. Other vendors may say that it’s like flipping a switch, but it really isn’t. From the day you start the journey toward a zero trust architecture, it’s most likely going to take you two or three years to get to the other side.
Building the world’s best SDP
Turning our attention to NetMotion now, there are three key things that this company does exceptionally well.
Number one, without question, is our track record of developing patented algorithms that optimize the network, make networks more resilient, and improve the user experience. As part of that, we’re the only vendor in the market that can proactively improve the user experience rather than degrading user experience.
Second, we have the ability to give in-depth visibility into what’s happening on the network when people work from remote locations. Having so many remote workers at home, using Wi-Fi or cellular networks that weren’t provided by the business, is a huge challenge for organizations. Getting visibility into a network that you don’t own or manage is difficult. On top of that, it’s difficult for organizations to know how their devices are performing and how users are interacting with them.
NetMotion offers a complete visibility layer and an experience management layer that give detailed visibility into the remote working experience; who’s having a bad experience, how the underlying networks are performing, how the users are interacting with the devices. When things go wrong, IT and security teams get a clear understanding of why they’re going wrong. When a remote worker calls in with an issue, it’s really easy to drill down and identify whether it’s a networking issue, a device issue or an application issue, and get to the root cause of the problem, even when the network isn’t owned or managed by the enterprise.
Finally, number three is our ability to help organizations on their journey from a VPN to a new zero trust network access world. It’s a difficult journey. It’s probably going to be painful along the way. But that’s all the more reason why every company taking this journey needs a strong partner.
Striving for perfection
The truly great thing about this new platform is that there’s something for everyone. For our existing VPN customers, there is better throughput than ever before. With updated algorithms enhancing user experience and throughput, we’re providing IT organizations visibility outside the tunnel for the first time. IPv6 support is also built into the platform, complementing the existing IPv4 support. I’m really just scratching the surface. There are so many feature-rich elements for VPN customers that are really going to benefit users and delight admins at the same time.
With the addition of the new SDP platform, security teams can talk to infrastructure networking teams, asking for a roadmap to move to zero trust. The good news is that they’ll already have one. It’s going to make their lives so much easier to have a common rule set in the platform, to have all of the users in there, and to have all of the user data in there. It allows users to do it on their own terms without disruption to the business, without a huge investment, while addressing the legitimate requirements from their security teams.
COVID-19 changed people’s perspective about user experience when it comes to remote working. As a result, we’re seeing organizations adopt our products wall-to-wall. In today’s environment, it’s not just a subset of users that need a better mobile experience. It’s everyone.
As user experience and experience management become such integral parts of remote access solutions, there’s really no vertical where a solution like ours doesn’t fit. Today we’re working with law firms, financial services organizations, utilities and small software companies. Every organization now has a remote workforce. Every organization wants to become more secure while mitigating lateral movement and the threat landscape within the enterprise.
COVID-19 has drastically changed the way that people work remotely. This isn’t a short-term change. This is a change that will have lasting effects for years to come. Employees have honed in on what it means to work remotely and what they are willing to tolerate. At the same time, working remote has resulted in new security risks as bad actors have tried to take advantage of vulnerabilities in these environments. That puts a big responsibility on us to not only help users have a good experience, but also to provide secure platforms, infrastructure and resources.
Given the opportunity, NetMotion will always do what’s right for customers. We stand out in the industry for having one of the highest net promoter scores for a reason. That’s because we’ve got truly phenomenal customer support backing our customers all the way. And from an investment standpoint, our head of engineering and our CTO really value making sure that we aggressively test our platform on all operating systems to meet all customer requirements. We’re never going to stop doing what we’ve done these past 19 years, which is to deliver platforms that meet and exceed customer expectations, and to do the right thing for the customer. Most importantly, we make sure that when users adopt our platform, they get world class security without compromise.
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