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News & Articles

September 16, 2021 |

Cytracom Acquires SASE Vendor OmniNet

The deal propels Cytracom past its roots in unified communications into security and connectivity solutions for hybrid workforces and positions the company to eliminate a variety of voice-related security and networking headaches.

Unified Communications-as-a-Service vendor Cytracom has acquired OmniNet, a maker of cloud-based SASE solutions for MSPs. 

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The deal propels Cytracom past its roots in voice services into the burgeoning market for security and connectivity solutions suited to the age of hybrid home and office computing, while also positioning the company to tackle a variety of voice-related security and networking headaches.

Founded in 2013 by Andrew Bagrin under the name MyDigitalShield and rebranded four years later, OmniNet started out making a cloud-based unified threat management system now called OmniShield. In 2017, the company introduced a companion SD-WAN product called OmniWAN. Together, the company says, the two solutions provide “optimized clean internet.” 

That’s precisely what providers of UCaaS services most need and struggle to deliver, according to Cytracom CEO Zane Conkle. At present, he notes, configuring firewalls to prioritize voice traffic for optimal call quality is one of the most time-consuming challenges channel pros face. 

“Every time an MSP goes to deploy a unified communications solution, whether that’s Cytracom or any vendor, they’re investing time on the firewall,” Conkle says. “If you’ve got multiple sites, you’ve got to go to every site and make these changes and tune that firewall so your customers have a successful deployment.”

Newly added integration between the Cytracom and OmniNet platforms eliminates that problem by enabling OmniNet’s products to detect, prioritize, and secure Cytracom voice traffic automatically. 

“This acquisition will radically simplify the deployment of Cytracom into a customer’s network and make it very easy, essentially plug and play, for a partner,” Conkle says. “There’s nothing for the partner to configure.”

More broadly, he continues, by extending the edge of the traditional corporate network into the cloud, OmniNet’s solutions help MSPs address a major pain point since the start of the coronavirus pandemic: safeguarding work-from-home employees no longer protected by office-based security hardware. 

“This is a problem that needs to be solved, and interestingly we don’t believe anyone’s solving it well for MSPs and the customers that they serve,” says John Tippett, who became Cytracom’s COO earlier this year.

OmniNet fills that void, he continues, by securing 100% of inbound and outbound traffic at both remote sites and central offices via solutions that are easy to implement and maintain. “It’s literally as simple as deploy the box and turn it on and all of these things just work, and they work well,” Tippett says. “You could put this at the edge of a network, plug it in, and walk away and you’re online, efficient, secure.”

The global SASE market will grow at a 116% CAGR through 2024 to $5.1 billion, according to analyst Dell’Oro Group, fueled in part by the technology’s usefulness in securing distributed workforces. Barracuda Networks unveiled a SASE platform of it its own earlier this week with that same use case in mind, as did Palo Alto Networks.

Though Cytracom has already rolled OmniNet’s engineering, development, and R&D teams together with its own, it plans to operate OmniNet for now as an independent business with its own invoicing, partner portal, and technical support organization. Bagrin and his leadership team will continue to run the company.

“Out of the gate, we’re not going to make any changes, just for simplicity,” Tippett says.

Further integration of OmniNet products with the Cytracom platform and further applications of OmniNet’s SASE technology are in the works, according to Conkle, who declined to provide further details.

“We’ve got a very aggressive and exciting roadmap to continue to push this vision forward and really solve these challenges for our partners,” he says.

Cytracom sold a majority ownership stake to private equity investor Sverica Capital Management last February and has rolled out a new desktop app, a new platform for integrating with third-party solutions, and a new “shared inbox” addition to its business SMS messaging feature since then. The company discussed plans to double its workforce and expand its portfolio with ChannelPro in June.

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