Versa FlexVNF Review

Very user-friendly and nimble software platform solution

What is our primary use case?

We are using this product and also implementing it for our clients. We manage everything for the customer. We use it here on our platform and also manage the solution for our customers for whom we install it.

Let's say a customer is on premises and he wants to move to the internet but wants to keep the interconnection between their sites. He doesn't want to remain embedded. We would propose Versa in this case.

Also, if a client asks us for more reporting, more analytics and more monitoring and our embedded solution can't do this as a single solution because it would be very heavy and expensive, we would propose Versa. The client finds the analytics and monitoring in Versa very easy and very clear.

What is most valuable?

In terms of the most valuable features of Versa, I should know because I have also used Cisco, Fortinet and VeloCloud at a previous company where I worked. I explain that between Versa and VeloCloud I find that Versa has more features over VeloCloud. I do think that you have less regarding the firewall features compared to other solutions, though.

Their dashboard is also a good point for us and the customer. The solution is very clean and easy, but it depends what the customer has and how we can integrate it with their current network.

Another thing is regarding the analytics. We have about 15 sites in Europe, the US and Asia. I do some administration for the analytic portal, and this side is very interesting for the customer because today Versa has an embedded solution and we don't have the visibility for all the sites they're using.

What needs improvement?

In terms of what could be improved, I would say that since we're using more and more 4G today, the product should have two slots for 4G and also have the equipment for giga ready. It should not have different equipment to have a giga bandwidth. For example, it should have 110 and 200, 810 and 800. It would be good if they had only one product that goes directly to the bandwidth for one gigabyte and not necessarily to have different products to do it. Of course if I compare it to only one gigabyte, the price also needs to be reduced.

Another thing that should be improved in Versa are their firewall features. You have their firewall license secure solution but if they could include more features regarding their firewall protection and data protection it would be good. This is because when we go to a customer who also wants a firewall they compare it to other products on the market that are doing more with the firewall. As you know, Fortinet is very strong in this point. If they could put more features on this side, they can be, maybe not equal, but improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

Our company has been using Versa FlexVNF for around five years with our customers. Our network is on the ISP here in France and our AVN solution is only based on this product. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. We haven't had any issues, and neither have the customers that already have it running for two or three years. They have stability on their end. The only stability issues are on the circuit and not on Versa's end. Sometimes the line is cut, so the customer will have an issue. But we don't have any issues with Versa.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, it doesn't matter if the company is large, medium, or small. We can use it for small and big companies - there is no limitation there. It is not always the company size that matters. When we go to a market segment and a big company, they may not know Versa at all. They may know VeloCloud better.

How are customer service and technical support?

I can say that I am satisfied with customer support but I'm not quite sure because it is my colleagues who manage this part of support. We have our technical support that manages Versa, the circuit, and all the vendors who are also on our platform.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the initial setup, I can't answer that because I am just from the sales side, I don't do the installations, my colleagues do it. What I see from the customers that have installed Versa is that the initial step on the starting configuration is very easy. A half hour or hour. My colleagues who use it here in the company manage it and they have a full version for the configuration.

The issue that is difficult for us is when a customer needs firewall features included and he already has a firewall in place that he asks us to replace and to install the features from Versa. It is very complicated for us because it means more time to install since we need to export all the other features that already have rules in the firewall and to put them in Versa. That takes time.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Regarding the price, we can make do with its price today, but I am seeing from our competitors that this market is becoming very aggressive. We lost some projects because we didn't have any strategy to deal with the price. We think that when we discuss the quality of the product the price won't be an issue, so we do not propose it as "low-cost" for this reason.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Currently I propose Versa. That's the platform for my strategy. However, the market is not ready to propose a solution to a customer that's managed by an ISP. So, in the beginning they investigate VeloCloud, Cisco and Fortinet. But in the end they select Versa because it is small and easy for customers, and it has many features that are very interesting to the customers.

Today, when we look back, it was the right decision to choose Versa and our customers are very happy that we only propose this solution.

What other advice do I have?

We always propose only Versa solutions in our quotes for our customers when we have a new project. I only recommend Versa. VeloCloud was the first one to market and for customers that is very important. Customers ask me for a comparison between VeloCloud and Versa since VeloCloud was the first one on the market and he wants to be sure that if he goes with Versa it will not be a mistake.

For me it's not enough just to be first on the market. I know Versa, but I know it's not enough. VeloCloud solutions are more public for companies and buyers than Versa is.

These are the only two products that we validate that are in the regular network - Advantec and them.

On a scale of 1-10, where one is the worst and 10 is the best, I would rate Versa Flex an 8.

It is not a ten because it has a lot of features on the equipment and it is really heavy on the portal. It's not really friendly. Maybe they could do something different for users or administrators to have a friendlier portal.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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