Poised for continued innovation, Masergy welcomes Ajay Pandya as Director of Product Management ‑ Network Solutions

Published on September 1st, 2020

As Masergy’s new Director of Product Management – Network Solutions, I am no stranger to the company’s innovation. What many don’t know is that I have known Masergy since it was just a startup, and I was impressed with it from the very beginning.

I worked for Nokia for almost 22 years, where I served in the IP division. Back in 2002-2003, Nokia introduced the Service Router and Masergy was the first global customer to deploy it, and this is where I first came to know about the company. At the time, Masergy was still in the early phases of building out its global software-defined network. Nokia helped Masergy establish some of its earliest services, some of which are still offered today. The global backbone that was built 18 years ago is the core part of today’s SD-WAN offerings.

Nokia enjoyed Masergy’s partnership, because it was always looking for early adopters and companies that were experimenting with new technologies and innovating at a fast pace. Masergy was exactly that partner for Nokia. I recognized that uniqueness years ago, and I remember watching as Masergy brought new services to the market with all the advantages of being a first mover. Over the years, I had many engagements with Masergy to augment that same network with more innovative services.

Understanding this backstory, you can see why I am delighted to be here today.

I have always appreciated Masergy’s vision and pioneering spirit—building a globally ubiquitous SD-network purpose-built to deliver the highest global performance. From the early days, I understood that Masergy wasn’t just taking legacy network systems and trying to make them interoperate with different types of technologies. It was building something entirely different–a new type of network that would enable companies of all sizes to achieve their digital ambitions and Transform with Certainty(SM).

Masergy is synonymous with innovation, and that is what inspired me to join the company. Part of my role now is to help carry that 20 year history of innovation forward, and I am honored to go from watching Masergy grow to now sharing in the making of our success.

Solutions for new markets

Increasing our addressable market is a key initiative that I am driving. In its short history, the SD-WAN market has primarily been a managed services market. This is where Masergy started out with the SD-WAN Secure product that addressed mid-to-large sized enterprises in meeting their digital transformation ambitions. This product used our network backbone and had a rapid uptake since its inception four years ago.

However, we are seeing more and more deployments that require varying levels of enterprise in-house management and therefore have a need for solution flexibility–albeit for price sensitivity, IT policies, or existing service contracts. In order to address these, we recently introduced a co-managed SD-WAN solution whereby we as providers design, deploy, maintain, and monitor the network, but allow the customer to do day-to-day management. For small-to- medium-sized clients who are price sensitive, we also recently launched an Over-The-Top (OTT) solution whereby clients can connect their assets with overlay IPSec tunnels. We also added SLA backed direct connectivity to almost all the popular public clouds. Lastly, we also added in the ability of enterprises to bring in their existing networks (Bring Your Own Network) to be managed under our single-pane-of-glass management portal.

The direction ahead: Taking giant leaps forward

So, where are we heading? We need to be ready for the challenges that lie ahead of us 18 to 36 months from now, where we will see a further inflection in the enterprise networking market with Gartner’s SASE framework. As more and more applications make their move to the cloud, and when the corporate datacenter is no longer the center of the enterprise network, a revisit of the entire security strategy will have to happen. Masergy is positioned to lead in this area with the key tenets of SASE addressed and ready to roll.

The pandemic has completely transformed the enterprise workforce with almost 100% remote access (it used to be around 10% pre-COVID-19). Even after we are past the pandemic, remote working and connectivity from anywhere is no longer going to be an exception but more of a norm. This is changing IT priorities, and Masergy is responding again with innovation.

Today, most companies use technologies like VPN to create point to point connections from remote locations into the corporate network. We’re asking ourselves: is there a better way to do this? How can we create something more concrete, so when employees open their laptop, it’s already in the network with full location awareness to ensure appropriate levels of security? These questions are driving ingenuity for Masergy and ultimately the next generation of solutions for the global companies that partner with us. Clients trust that we will lead them through every IT challenge, because they know we’re working on their biggest issues while also preparing them for the future.

I am also evaluating ways to enhance the usability of our solutions. How can Masergy advance our network management portal to deliver on more use cases for our clients? Today’s IT teams are concerned with cloud application performance and security, so we’re developing the portal in ways that consolidate key information into easy-to-use workflows.

Masergy’s next big opportunities are even more exciting and include more closed-loop AI-powered automation, intent-based network management, and autonomous networking. These are the differentiators that will help us stand apart. Our team is working to create that innovation. We don’t just aim to tackle our competition in their field, we’re working to build the additions necessary to take giant leaps forward.

Standing behind our network: Performance, usability, and ingenuity

As a leader in Masergy’s network strategy, my key focus areas are to ensure we can continue to stand behind our network. This is clearly evident from our recently communicated and industry trailblazing SLAs that include 100% availability for SD-WAN sites and cloud connections, highest levels of quality of experience with less than 1 milliseconds of jitter and 100% in-sequence packet delivery, and finally with “proactive credits” for any availability SLAs that are not met. Our proven success stems from the fact that we hold ourselves accountable for the highest standards of performance and customer service, and the network team delivers on those commitments.

A friendly, family-like corporate culture

The corporate culture at Masergy is super friendly. I’ll be honest–I was apprehensive about switching companies during the pandemic. Working from home is one thing when you have well-established relationships with your colleagues, and another thing when you’re new to the company. But, I have no regrets. I have not felt out of place at all. People all over the company have reached out to me, helping me out. It’s a very friendly place. It’s a small family, and I like that very much. I look forward to my new journey!

Ajay Pandya

Ajay Pandya is Director of Product Management and leads the team for Network Solutions team at Masergy. He has over 20 years of telecom experience in product development, engineering, consulting, and sales and has helped global service providers, utilities, transportation companies, public sector entities, and enterprises for their networking and IT needs. He has an MS in Computer Engineering from the University of Manitoba, and an MBA from the University of Ottawa. He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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