Home Networking service Zayo’s acquisition of QOS could signal more mergers and acquisitions to come

Zayo’s acquisition of QOS could signal more mergers and acquisitions to come

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Zayo Group’s SD-WAN services are getting a boost from the acquisition of QOS Networks this week – and there are hints floating around that there may be more mergers and acquisitions to come.

But for now, Zayo thinks he’s found a good fit with QOS Networks. The fiber and IP networking provider is currently partnering with SD-WAN vendors such as Versa, but Brian Lillie, director of product and technology at Zayo, says the company’s enterprise customers were asking for more SD-WAN services. managed.

“There was a growing desire from businesses that were in 100 to 150 buildings that we were fiber-connected to, saying, ‘We really like SD-WAN as a way to connect our offices,'” says Lillie . Additionally, enterprises were turning to SD-WAN to connect employees working from home due to pandemic restrictions. “More and more, [customers] asked us: “Could you manage several, up to 100 sites of sites on our behalf?”

“It became clear to us that we needed this high-end, premium managed services offering that enterprises can rely on in both Zayo-connected and partner-connected enterprises.”

Zayo manages more than 13 million miles of metro and long-haul fiber, primarily in North America and Europe, and Lillie says the company saw an opportunity to shift to providing enterprise customers with both connectivity underlying and top-managed SD-WAN. service by partnering with QOS.

QOS Networks is also partnering with Versa, as well as VeloCloud services from VMware and CloudGenix and Prisma SD-WAN from Palo Alto, which will diversify Zayo’s managed SD-WAN options for enterprise customers, Lillie says. QOS Networks has deployed over 45,000 SD-WAN edge devices and will continue to operate under the QOS brand as a division of Zayo; the financial terms of the QOS acquisition were not disclosed.

Add AI to SD-WAN

Frank Cittadino, CEO of QOS Networks, says QOS is also bringing its AIOps service to the table to provide SD-WAN customers with the ability to better analyze data from their SD-WANs. OpsAI?? a technology platform where artificial intelligence helps IT teams automate network operations, improve cloud application performance, and support faster detection and response to security threats?? is an area that SD-WAN vendors and managed service providers have recently used to differentiate their SD-WAN platforms.

Masergy, Palo Alto, and Juniper are among the SD-WAN vendors that have added AIOps to their SD-WAN services to separate themselves from the herd.

“As we integrate into [our customer’s] systems, it’s a seamless way for businesses to have the choice between CloudGenix, Versa, or VeloCloud. They can buy the SD-WAN they want and integrate it with the systems they already operate, making the path of least resistance very short,” says Cittadino.

Teaming up with QOS will give customers more options for managed and co-managed SD-WAN services, adds Lillie. Additionally, the two companies say this partnership will strengthen their relationships with cloud hyperscalers, multi-tenant data centers and carriers investing in edge, core and fiber to the tower (FTTT) respectively.

More mergers and acquisitions on the horizon

Many large networking and security companies have already acquired SD-WAN players over the past few years?? Juniper acquired 128 Technologies, Cisco brought in Viptela, and Palo Alto acquired CloudGenix?? therefore it is possible that Zayo will use more SD-WAN, SASE or edge network providers, in addition to QOS networks.

Zayo went private in March 2020 when EQT Infrastructure acquired it for $14.3 billion. In August 2020, EQT expanded its presence in the cloud services, data center and edge networking market with the acquisition of EdgeConneX.

Zayo may even be aiming to acquire managed services provider Windstream, which managed to avoid bankruptcy in the fall of 2020.

“A group of investors, including Zayo and its parent companies, DigitalBridge and EQT, are reportedly looking to buy broadband network owner Uniti Group and its Windstream business,” Light Reading’s Mike Dano reported last October. “An early proposal valued Uniti at $3.5 billion, but the company could fetch double that, the Wall Street Journal said.”

—Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Managing Editor, Light Reading