Oracle bets on ZTNA to help catch up in cloud

Pictured: Galeal Zino, Founder and CEO of NetFoundry

 

Software vendor Oracle’s ambitions in the public cloud market took a step forward this week when it provided its ISV and SaaS partners with a quick way to embed Zero Trust network access (ZTNA) into their apps.

A latecomer to the market, Oracle has plans to bolster its Oracle Cloud platform with functionality supplied by start-ups at the cutting edge of cloud. In this way it hopes to gain ground on well-established rivals like AWS and Microsoft Azure. The company’s rising stock price suggests that the financial markets have confidence in its approach.

Oracle’s latest partnership is with NetFoundry. Oracle Cloud’s army of ISV and SaaS partners can now ‘bake in’ ZTNA to their apps in the form of SDKs from the North Carolina-based cloud-native software company. The NetFoundry Zero Trust Platform, available from Oracle Cloud Marketplace, enables secure connections to be spun up in minutes. Oracle has said this provides a simple alternative to ‘bolted-on’ infrastructure such as VPNs, firewalls and MPLS.

With the code integrated into an application, developers benefit from accelerated access to NetFoundry’s secure access service edge (SASE) platform, optimizing application performance. DevOps teams can build zero-trust security functionality directly into applications without reliance on software agents.

“The cloud represents a huge opportunity for our partner community,” said David Hicks, vice-president, Worldwide ISV Cloud Business Development, Oracle. “NetFoundry’s commitment to innovation with the Oracle Cloud and quality execution will help our mutual customers receive cloud-enabled networking solutions, ready to meet their critical business needs.”

“Some of the world’s top ISVs and SaaS providers host apps on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure,” added Galeal Zino, Founder and CEO of NetFoundry. “Their need for strong security, optimized performance and automation is opposed by the complexity of trying to bolt-on infrastructure to what should be a cloud native experience. NetFoundry enables those providers to instead build-in zero trust, Internet-optimized application delivery, as code.”

Oracle Cloud is an enterprise cloud based around a portfolio of services including SaaS, application development, application hosting and business analytics. It gives enterprises access to compute, storage, data management, security, integration, HPC, artificial intelligence (AI), and Blockchain services to augment critical workloads.

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Book of the Month*

The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck

By Dr Christian Busch
Serendipity is an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. To other people it looks like “good luck”, but it is more the ability to recognise and seize an opportunity, rather than have good fortune thrust upon one. Finding a wallet stuffed with money on the conference room floor is good luck, whereas holding it up and asking if anyone has lost their wallet might be the beginning of a valuable friendship – that would be serendipity.

Chance encounters, or strokes of fortune, feature in countless stories of business success. This book looks beneath the surface, reveals and teaches the mindset that can transform pure chance into opportunity. The author is director of the Global Economy Program at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, and a lecturer at the London School of Economics.

Serendipity is an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. To other people it looks like “good luck”, but it is more the ability to recognise and seize an opportunity, rather than have good fortune thrust upon one. Finding a wallet stuffed with money on the conference room floor is good luck, whereas holding it up and asking if anyone has lost their wallet might be the beginning of a valuable friendship – that would be serendipity.

The author says “This is a book about the interactions of coincidence, human ambition and imagination”. In the above example: finding the wallet is the coincidence; ambition is the desire to make something of the discovery; add imagination and you open up a whole menu of possibilities: from spending spree to earning a reputation for honesty – or even making a wealthy friend.

Business is typically forged on human ambition and imagination, but early success often feeds an appetite for control – and “control freaks” can be blind to the opportunities thrown up by the unexpected. They only see chance events as distractions. If plans go awry, they may blame the failure on “bad luck” rather than admit their own inflexible attitude.

The author himself admits to being “a German who is used to planning” and prone to feel anxious when something unexpected happens. That makes him an ideal teacher, because he has worked hard to discover and analyse the mindset that enables one to “connect the dots” and cultivate serendipity. He presents a goldmine of examples from science, business and life where an apparent mishap or failure lead to a breakthrough.

Indeed, studies suggest that around 50% of major scientific breakthroughs emerge as the result of accidents or coincidences. A well-known example is Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, launching the whole field of antibiotics. Other examples include X-rays, nylon, microwave ovens, rubber, Velcro, Viagra and Post-it Notes – where would we be without these!

The book goes beyond the ability to recognise and respond to opportunities in chaos, but the subtitle – The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck – is actually a bit misleading. True, he does show ways to develop better fortune, but it would be better to call it “inviting” or “encouraging” good luck. For example, he suggests better ways to start a conversation with a stranger – ways that will make it more likely to lead to chance connections or shared interests.

The publishers may have chosen the word “creating” to make the book appeal to the human desire to control – for control freaks are exactly the readership that would benefit the most from this book’s wisdom and practical advice.

For the rest of us, it offers a great way to rediscover the sense of play that is so important in life – and too often lost in business.

 

“Following the success of The Serendipity Mindset hardback, a paperback edition has also now been launched under the title “Connect the Dots”.

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