Accelerating and embracing change
The trends that are driving more home working and use of managed services have been accelerated over the past year, and Zyxel has responded by bringing its plans to enable more seamless, optimised and security connectivity across the whole network – for those working in the office or remotely, as Kevin Drinkall, EMEA Market Development Manager at Zyxel, explains.
In the past year, home working has accelerated. This was already happening of course – it has just gathered pace. And now that we’ve become accustomed to it, we will probably all do it much more.
Another trend that has accelerated is the growth of managed services. Instead of trying to monitor and oversee IT networking and security themselves, more businesses have been placing that responsibility into the hands of specialist managed services providers (MSPs) who can provide services remotely.
These two trends are really part of the same long term move towards a more distributed working practice. Increased home working will, ultimately, see whole organisations operating virtually, without a fixed central location to which everyone commutes every working day. Or, and this is perhaps more likely to be the case, they will have smaller offices, which most employees only go to on certain days, for specific meetings or events.
This is going to make the idea of managed services even more attractive. If employees are working at many different locations, the connectivity, network, security, and every other aspect of IT, must be adapted to support that structure. It would make sense to monitor and manage devices, software, and every other part of the infrastructure, using remote tools.
The next phase of evolution
As you might imagine, these are trends that we at Zyxel have been watching closely. As we have seen adoption of home working and managed services accelerating, we have been shifting and re-shaping our own plans. This springtime, we will begin the next phase in the evolution of our product strategy. This will see many of our switching, wireless, and security gateway products being adapted to suit this more flexible and hybrid way of working both from ease of managing IT resources as well as simplify deployments for remote end users.
We will be providing more features and functionality to enable the seamless integration of office-based and home networking, and more extensive coverage for remote management of our devices. For example, we will be looking to synchronise the capabilities of our multi-gigabit switches with the introduction of WiFi 6 capability on our wireless access points, thus allowing for streamlined, optimised, high-speed transmission, right across the wired and wireless segments of the network.
We will also be providing more seamless connectivity between the office and the home, introducing the ability to make deploying VPNs remotely easier. We will also be bringing together the capabilities of our USG FLEX security gateways with our wireless access points to allow the creation of a secure tunnel between devices being used remotely and the central office.
This will allow home workers to access all their applications, data, and services, just as if they were working in the office. Using this function, they will be able to join the office WiFi while they are at home, simply by switching on their laptop, which would connect – via the secure tunnel the Access Point Provides directly. This will also have the effect of isolating the business and home WiFi networks, thus making them both more secure.
In addition, we are adding Nebula capability to a lot more of our devices, so it will be easier to manage them, wherever they are being used – in the office or in the home, or anywhere else.
These are just a few of the capabilities we’ll be adding to our products this March, and throughout the coming year, that will enable customers to optimise their network performance for new structures and ways of working.
The accelerated change of the past year has encouraged us to bring many of these new capabilities forward faster. We are excited about their arrival – and we think our customers and partners will be too. They will make the transition to more distributed ways of working, more seamless virtualised networking, and remote management much easier.