Why Large Enterprises Moved to Cato in 2020

Dave Greenfield
February 23, 2021

Today, Cato reported its 2020 financial results. On the surface, the results might seem to simply mark the strong financial growth that’s come to define Cato: over 200 percent bookings growth for the fourth consecutive year, a more than $1B valuation, and an additional $130 million funding round.

But just as significant as the financial facts and figures were the causes propelling that growth. Cato saw significant increases in customer scale and complexity. Multiple, 1000+ site deployments and several Fortune 500 and Global 200 enterprises abandoned telco- and MSP-managed networks for Cato’s cloud-native service.

All of which begs the question, what drove larger enterprises to Cato in 2020?

Platform Agility Allows Large Enterprises to Address Many Challenges, Easily

Large enterprises — and enterprises of all sizes — come to Cato for many reasons. In some cases, they come looking for MPLS migration to SD-WAN or Secure Branch Internet Access, in other cases it’s for Cloud Acceleration and Control and Remote Access Security and Optimization. But regardless of why they came to Cato, the overwhelming majority of Cato customers end up using Cato for networking and security. They may replace MPLS with Cato’s affordable backbone but they also use Cato to secure the branch. They come to Cato for SD-WAN but they also connect and secure branch offices and mobile users.

This ability to address a wide range of networking and security use cases with a single, coherent platform has long drawn midsize enterprises but in 2020 has shown to be equally attractive to large deployments. And why not? Simplifying the network leads to cost savings, greater agility, better uptime, reduced attacked surface that attackers can exploit and more. Every IT leader wants those benefits.

During 2020, one Fortune 500 grocery chain came to Cato to replace MPLS connecting its 500+ stores. Today, the company also relies on Cato to protect users with Cato IPS and NextGen anti-malware security services, while leveraging Cato’s Hands-Free Management service for easy administration.

Similarly, avoiding MPLS costs motivated a major car rental company to shift to Cato. The company connected 1,000+ locations across Cato’s global private backbone and protected them with Cato security services.

A leading construction company had 1200+ locations connected by legacy networking services. It replaced those services with Cato while also securing all sites with Cato IPS, NextGen Anti-Malware, and relying on Cato’s Hands-Free Management service for easy administration.

To be clear, enterprises don’t have to use Cato security services. Companies typically migrate gracefully to Cato, often deploying Cato alongside legacy technologies. But it’s this technical agility, the ability to easily and cost-effectively meet a broad range of requirements that allows large enterprises to meet the scope of their challenges.

Service Agility Allows Cato To Accommodate Enterprise Needs

The second part of agility is in the service. With Cato having written the code for its SASE platform, features can be introduced far faster than if the service had been dependent on third-party appliances.

When a global automotive parts manufacturer with 40,000 employees had that rare opportunity to start from a clean slate and build a modern network from scratch, the enterprise rigorously evaluated many networking and security architectures, eventually choosing Cato to connect and secure its 76 locations and 15,000 remote users.

Part of why they selected Cato was the agility to meet their unique requirements. “I don’t know of another company I have worked with, in a very long time that can make the changes you have as quickly as you have,” remarked the network engineer at the enterprise.

Partners had a similar reaction. Last fall, Cato announced the Cato Cloud API for automating provisioning and monitoring from SIEMs and other third-party platforms. The team at CDW, an early adopter of the Cato Cloud API, was also impressed by Cato’s agility. “What struck us most was how fast Cato was able to produce the API. There wasn’t even any back-and-forth. It was usable as soon as we got it,” says Mark Hurley, Product Manager of Enterprise Networking Services Research and Design at CDW. During 2020, Cato saw channel-led customer bookings grow by 240%.

Overall, Cato added 136 new features and 2725 enhancements in 2020. Along with Cato Cloud API, other new capabilities included support for:

  • 2 Gbps secure tunnels, exceeding all competing SASE offerings for locations and end-users.
  • Remote user connectivity without end-point software using Clientless Remote Access extending Cato’s SDP offering.
  • Near perfect threat detection by eliminating IPS false positives using Cato’s new built-to-purpose reputation assessment system that combines threat intelligence feeds and real-time network information.

During 2020, Cato expanded Cato’s geographic footprint, adding eight new points of presence (PoPs). With more than 60 PoPs worldwide, Cato can connect enterprises offices, remote/mobile users, and cloud resources whether they’re located near Casablanca, Morrocco; Dubai, UAE; Lima, Peru or near dozens of other locations.

Cato SASE Platform: The Agile Solution for Today’s Digital Enterprise

It’s this combination — an agile technology platform with an agile service culture — that’s so appealing to so many of our customers. It gives them the confidence that they’ll be able to address the challenges of today and be prepared for those of tomorrow. Large enterprises might have “discovered” Cato in 2020 but wait till you see what’s in store for 2021.

To find out more about SASE adoption in your enterprise with Cato, contact us here.

Dave Greenfield

Dave Greenfield is a veteran of IT industry. He’s spent more than 20 years as an award-winning journalist and independent technology consultant. Today, he serves as a secure networking evangelist for Cato Networks.