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December 7, 2006

Virtela readies more security services for ’07

Virtual network operator Virtela Communications Inc is preparing to add more security services to its managed WAN and VPN offerings early next year, specifically in the areas of digital rights management and protection of intellectual property.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Denver, Colorado-based company is a VNO, which means that it offers global WAN connectivity to multinational companies without owning any infrastructure. Instead it ties together services from multiple providers and presenting the customer with a single bill.

Jeff Phillips, its vice president of product marketing, said that the company was founded in April 2000 to provide network-based VPNs but security services and the LAN side of the business have grown, so much so that Virtela now considers security to be something of a selling point.

Phillips acknowledged that, like most VNOs, Virtela targets primarily its domestic market for customers, its direct sales force talking to US-based MNCs to offer secure WAN connectivity to their operations internationally.

That said, over the last two to three years we’ve been developing a white-label business through channel partners outside the States, with the biggest take-up there being in APAC, such that business generated outside the US now represents about 35% of total revenue, he said. Among its Asian partners are Indian carrier VSNL and Japan’s NTTCom.

In terms of the European market, in January of this year Virtela announced a deal with London-based European Telecommunications and Technology Ltd to deliver global managed MPLS and DSL network services, but ETT has since been acquired by private equity company Mercator Partners Acquisition Corp in October and merged with another MPAC acquisition, McLean, Virginia-based Global Internetworking Inc to form a new transatlantic VNO, Global Telecom and Technology Inc. Virtela still talks of this partnership, but it remains to be seen whether GTT will prefer to push its own services Stateside rather than those of its Denver-based partner.

Meanwhile, Virtela is planning to step up its security services next year, said Phillips. Networking is still a larger percentage of our revenue, but security is growing faster, particularly in the inside-looking-out services such as DRM and protection of IP, he explained.

A further driver is compliance, he went on, citing potential partners in this context, all of whose technology is being tested in its labs, such as IP protection specialist Reconnex Inc, information leak prevention vendor PortAuhtority Technologies Inc and anti-malware developer FireEye Inc.

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