Robert Dapkiewicz, senior vice president and general manager for MetTel, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz for his latest Executive Spotlight interview regarding the launch of the company’s Global Cloud Network, which aims to improve zero-trust architecture adoption, network access and cloud capabilities for remote workers.
In addition, Dapkiewicz discussed intelligent process automation, the impact of data analytics and business intelligence as well as the long-term influence of SASE architecture on federal network capabilities and more.
“MetTel IPA engine does completely automate 83 percent of its maintenance tickets without human involvement, but not only does it solve problems on its own, it also accelerates distribution to the correct analysts…This has made MetTel network experts 67% percent more productive with their daily workloads and enables the analysts to just focus on the crux of the problem.”
You can read the full Executive Spotlight with Robert Dapkiewicz below.
ExecutiveBiz: Congrats on the launch of your Global Cloud Network! What can you tell us about the value it will bring to remote workers and push to adopt Zero-trust architecture, network access and cloud capabilities?
Robert Dapkiewicz: “The true value of our expanding global cloud network which includes several U.S. locations is that it brings access to critical IT assets closer to users which are required in a zero-trust security model.
Whether it’s access to business applications or the public cloud, via a wired or wireless connection, individual workers represent the ever-expanding “edge” of the network. While organizations were beginning to see a more distributed workforce given technology advancements, the unfortunate events of the COVID pandemic accelerated that movement.
Now, workers are just as likely to be at home or away from the office as they are in the office at least part of the time. This requires security to follow the worker wherever they are. Our expanded global capabilities combined with our award-winning SD-WAN solution and now our new SASE capabilities uniquely position MetTel to deliver an end-to-end solution for our customers.”
ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about Intelligent Process Automation and the potential impact that will have on data analytics and business intelligence in the future?
Robert Dapkiewicz: “Intelligent Process Automation is a symphony of Automation mixed with AI. Today IPA gathers data from many disparate systems to complete automation tasks and to present to several different AI instances.
Today the IPA engine mostly transacts with the data it consumes, presents it to other applications (and analysts) and then discards it. MetTel is currently developing a data stream that will terminate into a data lake, or stored repository upon which business analytics applications will be applied to allow a whole new level of business analytics for both MetTel employees and customers.
The main purpose of the data stream is to introduce uniform governance of the data, how it’s sourced and define structures around the data that will be available. All systems and applications that are authorized to subscribe to the data stream will have one version of the truth in one defined format and in real-time.
MetTel’s Intelligent Process Automation will be the first subscriber to this feed and will be able to transactionally deal with this data and not worry about storage or changes. The storage aspect of the data lake will provide a tremendous training ground for new AI implementations, allowing for the AI team to train on structured data and more of it without spending precious time gathering data for training.
Judging the efficacy and impact of AI is easier if you have a comprehensive structured data set. The data lake will also assist customers in building custom reports regarding their services. For example, you can assess and improve effective usage of applications across your network such as Microsoft Teams, Apple updates, Citrix applications, etc., allowing agency network teams to accept new applications onto their MetTel managed network confidently.
One of the great benefits of the IPA platform is how much more efficient it helps humans function. MetTel IPA engine does completely automate 83 percent of its maintenance tickets without human involvement, but not only does it solve problems on its own, it also accelerates distribution to the correct analysts and provides them with a plethora of background triage information and suggestions on next steps.
In fact, this has made MetTel network experts 67% percent more productive with their daily workloads by speeding through the identification and understanding of the situation to enable the analysts to just focus on the crux of the problem. We will see a lot more human worker efficiency and productivity benefitting from IPA and AI in the future.”
Visit ExecutiveBiz.com’s Executive Spotlight Page to learn more about the most significant leaders of consequence to the government contracting (GovCon) and federal sectors and their experiences driving growth, new business and capabilities in the fiercely competitive federal landscape.
ExecutiveBiz: Congrats on being named a leader with Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed Network Services for the 2nd straight year! It was mentioned that 60% of SD-Wan customers will be using SASE architecture by 2024. Why is that and what does that mean long-term for federal network capabilities?
Robert Dapkiewicz: “Thanks. We are very proud of this recognition as two-time Leaders of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Network Services. In fact, we are the only U.S. company in the Leader quadrant which is important to a lot of people.
The 60% statistic you referenced was a statistic provided by Gartner at a point in time. Given the pandemic and the impacts it has had on remote workers, my assumption is even higher than that by now.
SD-WAN is one of the two foundational building blocks of SASE along with Firewall-as-a-Service. We think the vast majority of enterprises, both commercial and government will move to the SASE model to leverage the full network + security value of their SD-WAN investment.
With TIC 3.0, the government actually made the case for SASE before the SASE concept was born in 2019. TIC 3.0 required Federal employees have highly secure remote access which of course the zero trust model now demands for everyone.
The key to making this all work is partnering with a Managed Service Provider that can integrate your access management system (such as Active Directory or Okta) into your SASE solutions. That’s where MetTel shines.”
ExecutiveBiz: As government agencies continue to modernize their network infrastructures, how will SD-WAN and artificial intelligence help agencies improve performance and move toward intelligent automation?
Robert Dapkiewicz: “SD-WAN provides a resilient, scalable, digital network backbone that solves many of the problems created by rigid, purpose-built legacy networks being utilized today. When AI is applied to it, it becomes an intelligent, automated network that performs at a high level with the potential of identifying and resolving potential maintenance issues; in some cases without any human intervention at all.
This combination helped MetTel achieve our status as two-time Leader of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Network Services. While it may not eliminate the need for human intervention, it will help to reduce volumes that do need human interaction and accelerate that workflow, making people far more efficient and productive.
As the structured data available for analysis grows, AI becomes more accurate and efficient in providing impactful insights. Even to the point of detecting and predicting patterns. When you add the SASE concept on top of SD-WAN, the enterprise becomes far more secure by protecting individuals and devices at the edge of the network, which is now pretty much everywhere and anywhere.”