Singtel and its Trustwave win awards for APAC customer value, Singapore top company

30, Sep. 2021

Frost & Sullivan honors both Singtel and Trustwave with best practices recognition as they stay ahead of competition in SD-WAN and security services. (Photo: Frost & Sullivan)
Frost & Sullivan honors both Singtel and Trustwave with best practices recognition as they stay ahead of competition in SD-WAN and security services. (Photo: Frost & Sullivan)

By Celine Chen

SINGAPORE, NNA - Singapore's telecommunications giant Singtel has won an award for Asia-Pacific customer value leadership in the booming SD-WAN market, while its global security subsidiary Trustwave was named the Singapore company of the year for 2021.

The awards were given by renowned American business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan (Frost).

The first award recognizes how Singtel's SD-WAN service delivers overlay, underlay, and managed services efficiently in a single package, while its Asia Pacific network footprint of 113 managed points of presence and more than 70 partners help it deliver superior services worldwide, said Frost in a press release on September 22.

SD-WAN or software-defined networking in a wide area network simplifies the management and operation of a WAN (wide area network) by decoupling the networking hardware from its control mechanism.

The awards come at a time when companies across the world are expanding and strengthening resilience in digitalization and cybersecurity to tackle the rising menace of advanced cyber threats as consumers and businesses flock online.

Divya Prasad, a senior industry analyst at Frost, said, "Singtel offers an enhanced hybrid network with SD-WAN backed by a strong underlay network. A one-stop service provider, it offers comprehensive management, consulting, and professional services that cost effectively enhance network agility, efficiencies, visibility, and control."

With a focus on creating industry-leading experiences through its customer experience centers, Singtel manages activities end to end, from SD-WAN pre-purchase to aftersales, said Prasad.

Singtel's SD-WAN offering includes flexible deployment and is available as a fully managed or customer self-managed service. In addition, the company combines its managed SD-WAN solutions with network connectivity, integrated security, and cloud connect services at a competitive price point. Singtel's packages offer complete service-level agreements, ensuring best-in-class service quality, said Frost in its citations.

The managed SD-WAN Market was valued at $1.34 billion in 2019. It is predicted to surge to $13.37 billion by 2027, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 33.12 percent from 2020 to 2027, according to Verified Market Research.

The major factor contributing to its growth is the rise in demand for cost-effective network management, said Verified.

Frost was also impressed with how Trustwave leveraged global capabilities and local expertise to enhance enterprises' security posture on their digital transformation journey.

Operating as the global security arm of Singtel and its subsidiaries Optus and NCS, Trustwave helps organizations across the globe detect and respond to threats round-the-clock in the hybrid multi-cloud world.

The elite Trustwave SpiderLabs team provides award-winning threat research and intelligence, which enables its services and products to fortify cyber resilience against advanced threats.

Bill Chang, CEO of group enterprise at Singtel, said, "Since the onset of the pandemic, we have been helping businesses, from large enterprises to SMEs, accelerate their digital transformation. With Singtel's extensive SD-WAN network, we have been able to deliver enhanced analytics capabilities to help businesses achieve greater efficiency in their business operations and processes."

He added, "Through our subsidiary Trustwave, we also provide built-in cyber security defense in our solutions which has been important in combating the growing cyber risks as enterprises digitalize. These awards are an affirmation of the value we bring to our customers."

With the rapid development of 5G capabilities, Singtel will look to "unlock the benefits of a 5G-enabled reality with even more innovative solutions," Chang added.

Like Singtel, Trustwave has a large global presence, with nine global SOCs (Security Operation Centers) and over 2,000 security professionals to support its extensive MSS (Managed Security Services) portfolio and serving clients across 96 countries.

"This maximizes the company's threat detection and response capabilities and increases its security operations efficiency. Trustwave embeds its in-house expertise and flexible MSS into businesses' security programs and environments to block evolving threats effectively," said Frost.

In addition, the company leverages and combines its global capabilities with the local cybersecurity resources of Singtel and Optus, its wholly owned telecom subsidiary in Australia, under a single global corporate identity to help businesses embrace digital transformation securely, said the consultancy firm.

"The company's Trustwave Fusion platform enables joint solution development and seamless integration to optimize threat detection and security operations efficiency," noted Vivien Pua, an industry analyst on cybersecurity at Frost.

"Its broad portfolio focuses not only on traditional MSS but also on proactive threat hunting, managed application control, cloud-based security services, Internet of Things (IoT), and operational technology (OT) security services. This breadth of application sets Trustwave apart from competitors as well as enables it to tailor its security service solutions to fit the needs of different organizations," said Pua.

The surge in adoption of IoT (Internet of Things) devices in industrial control systems is likely to stimulate demand for cybersecurity, according to Reports and Data which expects the global industrial cybersecurity market to reach $362.55 billion by 2028.

"An upsurge in the demand for connected devices in the industries to deploy automation has led to an increase in the online security threats which would play a crucial role in driving the growth of industrial cyber security," said Reports and Data in its latest report.

Singtel acquired US-based Trustwave in 2015 to boost Singtel’s information security capabilities and support Trustwave’s expansion in managed security services globally.

Trustwave has won multiple awards, including "Top 10 MSSP" for managed security services providers given by Cyber Defense Magazine in August. It was named "Market Leader in Global Managed Threat Detection and Response" by the 2021 Global Infosec Awards.

Headquartered in Singapore, Singtel is Asia's leading communications technology group, providing a broad portfolio of services from next-generation communication and technology services to infotainment to both consumers and businesses.

In May, it announced its FY2021 operating revenue had fallen by 5 percent year-on-year to S$15.64 billion (about $11.58 billion).

It has since embarked on a strategic reset to capture untapped digital growth in the new 5G era as it leverages its 5G leadership to reinvigorate core consumer and enterprise businesses segments.

It also aims to develop new growth engines in information and communications technology and digital services as digital economies are witnessing a global growth spurt, creating urgent dependency on telecommunications as an essential platform.

In his statement, Singtel group CEO Yuen Kuan Moon said, “This strategic reset is the most significant move in recent years to refocus the business and capitalize on technology proliferation and large-scale digitalization. With the mass migration online over the last 18 months, the pandemic has also accelerated trends that were already redefining the basis for success for our industry. We intend to use this unique opportunity to make profound changes, restructure and reposition to emerge stronger.”

The Singtel group has presence in Asia, Australia and Africa and serves over 740 million mobile customers in 21 countries. Its infrastructure and technology services for businesses span across the same number of countries, with more than 428 direct points of presence in 362 cities.