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SASE: An integrated network and security imperative

March 14, 2024

P. Srinivasa Rao   

Associate Vice President – Global Solutions Engineering, Tata Communications

The journey towards an integrated enterprise posture is continuous. As this evolution takes place, the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) framework adapts accordingly. In the past, meticulously defined network perimeters safeguarded offices, users, and on-premises applications within a corporate network. One of the IT team’s major responsibilities was ensuring secure connectivity to public and private networks, typically achieved with firewalls at the perimeter.

However, the landscape has shifted, with cloud infrastructure surpassing on-premises spending and digital transformation necessitating ubiquitous access to applications. Traditional perimeter-based security is no longer sufficient, leading to the emergence of SASE – a framework that converges wide area network (WAN) edge capabilities like software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and network security functions into a single unified cloud delivered architecture to meet the dynamic, secure access needs of modern organisations. The concept of SASE has evolved in response to the evolving technology and business landscape.

The key drivers of SASE

The demand for uniform policies, governance, and regulatory compliance across network and security is intensifying as applications migrate to the cloud, rendering traditional perimeter-based models obsolete. Hybrid working, mobility, and increased cloud adoption are also disrupting conventional security, leading to breaches anywhere. To adapt to this paradigm shift, SASE advocates moving security controls to the cloud , consolidating and unifying security and network functions in an efficient as-a-service model.

Enterprises seek SASE for streamlined complexity, heightened speed and agility, and enhanced cloud networking, converging networking and security to address contemporary challenges such as supporting and securing cloud applications and remote workers. SASE ensures future-proof outcomes by integrating SD-WAN and various core components like SWG, CASB, ZTNA, and FWaaS into a unified cloud-delivered architecture. Delivered primarily as-a-service, SASE simplifies operations by merging networking and security services into a cohesive, identity-driven, real-time context and policy-based framework.

Partnering with an MSP: The Tata Communications edge

While implementing SASE is vital for businesses, they should focus on core competencies and consider partnering with technology experts for seamless deployment. Also, implementing organisation-wide SASE comes with its share of challenges which enterprises often find difficult to navigate, especially when doing it in house (DIY) or with the help of point solution vendors. These implementational challenges include integration with existing systems, siloed network and security teams, inadequate understanding of the evolving technology landscape, and the lack of an all-in-one, unified packaged SASE solution.

This is where utilising the capabilities of managed service providers (MSPs) offers advantages like adaptability, expertise, and unified management, streamlining processes and providing continuous support. This approach reduces costs, optimises resources, and empowers in-house IT teams for strategic tasks. MSPs provide end-to-end solutions, preparing enterprise IT for future challenges.

“According to a recent Tata Communications commissioned study with Omdia &, about 50% of enterprises rely on service provider partners to manage their SASE initiatives, and only 3% do it fully in house.”

Enterprises rely heavily on their SASE partners for managing network and security policies, strategic integration, and digital transformation. Factors or requirements that drive enterprises to partner with MSPs for their SASE needs include:

  • Remote worker connectivity
  • Simplified and integrated security models
  • Consolidated network and security platforms and policies


Given the significance of strategic SASE-focused technology partnership, future-facing enterprises must join hands with specialists such as Tata Communications. Tata Communications provides cloud-delivered security and network services that are fit for not just today’s requirements but also for what the future has in store. Our managed SASE solutions offer cloud-delivered tools that combine SD-WAN and security service edge (SSE). As managed SASE service providers, our hosted SASE solutions offer several advantages for organizations. Here are a few:

  • Combined network and security expertise and support
  • Unified and proactive 24/7 monitoring and management
  • Scalability and flexibility
  • Reduced operational complexity
  • Global presence and performance
  • End-to-end observability through TCx management portal


A glowing success story

Tata Communications recently helped a FMCG company to modernise their network and connectivity. The client desired a MSP to unify their internet broadband, SD-WAN, and SSE, aiming to replace MPLS circuits with Tata Communications’ internet broadband. They sought a single vendor for SD-WAN/SSE solutions across all sites, aiming to streamline their network setup, which involved a mix of MPLS, internet broadband, Versa SD-WAN, and VMware/VeloCloud SD-WAN with a designated MSP. Challenges included managing disparate technologies, distributed SLA ownership, and difficulties aligning with a forward-looking “internet first” roadmap.

Tata Communications offered the client fully managed services, featuring Hosted SASE (based on Versa technology) and IZO Internet WAN for network underlay. The client benefited from enhanced network underlay performance with SLAs and consistent SD-WAN and SSE cloud security services. The solution improves flexibility and user experience for internet breakout at sites, avoiding internet traffic backhaul to datacentres. This will help to reduce operational complexities, decrease downtime, and improve support correspondence through a single MSP and vendor. The consolidated and simplified solution promises a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) with optimal performance and improved visibility.

Tata Communications’ Hosted SASE solutions include ownership of regional POPs for comprehensive visibility and consistent user-level policies. They feature a unified analytics platform for advanced insights and the TCx portal offering end-to-end customer journey visibility. Additionally, expert-led POC expertise showcases key SD-WAN and security use cases. The company’s unique selling proposition as an MSP reinforces its ability to address holistic expectations and smoothen customers’ SASE journeys.

To learn more about Tata Communications’ SASE offering, click here.