Pulse Check with Pankaj
PSP’s Reflections on the Enterprise Networking Industry
Precisely five years ago today, we launched Nile with the goal of creating a fundamentally new approach to the enterprise access network. About a year ago, the Nile Access Service became generally available to enterprises everywhere as the first, major step in fulfilling that goal. More than just the launch of another “as-a-Service,” our new solution became the single most disruptive change to the enterprise network since 1984. Nile Access Service represents more than five years of development and tens of thousands of person-hours to bring to market. I’m thrilled to say we’re already seeing the impact of all that sweat equity, thanks to the diligence, innovation, and tenacity of the best team in the business. Together, we are well on our way to fulfilling this joint vision of a new model for the network.
From the beginning, we knew disrupting a highly mature $100B market crowded with competitors wouldn’t be easy. Like any entrenched incumbent, these companies will not just roll over for a new entrant, no matter how attractive the business model may be. However, it’s clear they have already recognized the value of our model, as well as the limitations of their own, as they have all launched their own legacy Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) offerings.
They are compelled to do so for the same reasons that Nile is experiencing so much momentum with enterprises today. Something I learned a long time ago is that you don’t focus on the competition, you focus on delivering the best possible outcomes for your customers. Today, the market has clearly chosen to consume technology that is delivered via an Infrastructure-as-a-Service model. This model delivers superior outcomes by dramatically reducing capital and operational expenses and eliminating the incredible complexity built into today’s enterprise networks. This model has been successfully applied to almost every aspect of IT infrastructure, from software development to storage. The enterprise network, with its legacy of operational complexity, has remained the final frontier in this transition … until Nile Access Service was launched last year.
Unfortunately for incumbent network vendors, the market has recognized that today’s legacy NaaS offerings are simply the same old enterprise network hidden behind a curtain of services that still fall short of the reliable, secure, and performant connectivity that businesses need. That should not be a surprise since I know from decades of experience that these vendors cannot and will not simplify their existing models. The foundation upon which they were built comes from a different era. That era is now in its twilight, as the enterprise continues to turn to the cloud as the bedrock of its transition to a data-driven, fully digital entity.
At Nile, we’re not just providing another enterprise network solution but defining an entirely new market segment. One built from the ground up to meet the connectivity needs of this new age for IT. Unlike legacy approaches, Nile is founded on the tenets of rigorous security, unrelenting simplicity, and a fundamentally new operations model backed by cloud native principles that deliver fully automated lifecycle management.
In my view, network connectivity should be like water; you don’t think about it, you just turn on the faucet, and it works. This concept applies to network security as well. Our core innovation is making this a seamless experience for our customers by giving them a hardened network that reduces their risk and doesn’t require a team of specialists to get there. In the process, we democratized that highly secure network for everyone, even those who don’t have the resources to do this for themselves.
The visionary enterprises we talk to are hungry for this approach. They have made it clear to all of us that this is where they are headed. Nile is here to meet these innovators where they are and further enable their visions for a new cloud-based, digital economy.
We recognize that we’re merely at the beginning of our journey. This road will undoubtedly be filled with obstacles, both large and small. But I firmly believe we have built a team with the vision and talent to get us to our destination.
To those who helped us get here, either as an investor, a team member, a customer, or a partner, you have my enduring gratitude. It may sound a bit trite, but truly, there is no way we could have done it without you. For those who are just getting to know Nile, please join us on this adventure. We’re literally changing the way that humankind shares information. We have discovered a new way of thinking - a better way - and we cannot wait to share it with each and every one of you.
Pankaj Patel, CEO and co-founder, Nile
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