Best 30 Companies of the year 2018


Paving the way for a truly globalized economy ngena GmbH

Today, large number of organizations are faced with many challenges when they brace globalization and new IT solutions. The need for communication with sites and workforces worldwide featured with advantageous flexibility and agility is more in demand than ever before and the answer lies with an innovative network solution. Moreover, advanced cloud-based applications are drastically improving connectivity with premium network performance, central network orchestration, full visibility into business applications as well as high security.

In order to resolve the rising demand for agile and flexible networks, Dr. Marcus Hacke established ngena. Together with a team of Deutsche Telekom and Cisco, Marcus founded “The shared network” which perfectly describes the alliance approach ngena and its partners have brought to life. ngena connects regional networks to one Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) and uses end-to-end automated service orchestration to provide hybrid VPNs for enterprises. The company builds a central cloud portal that supports all business and operational processes.

Revamping the Network

Traditional wide area networks (WANs) are time-consuming to set up and also expensive. This is where ngena deployed a very powerful and adaptable approach known as Software-Defined Networking (SDN). SDN uses a series of data networking protocols, tools, interfaces and controls to enable more intelligent, programmable, and flexible networking.

Interestingly, SD-WAN, which is an SDN deployed over a WAN is quick, easily-configurable, and automatic. It can be managed using a provider’s centralized cloud-based and adaptable software platforms. Be it rapid network provisioning, agile adaptability of network capabilities, or even global network updates and security management, it can all be deployed with SD-WANs.

“Our idea is to deploy global wide area networks and our business model is built on a sharing economy approach: while all our partners are leading telecommunication providers in their local countries and regions, ngena turns the networks of the alliance partners into one global SDN giving all partners the capability to offer innovative global network services to their business customers,” explains Marcus.

Pillars of Success

“When we set up our first customer project, it was absolutely fascinating to see that the innovative fully automated SD-WAN platform we were rolling out was doing exactly what we had planned,” recalls Marcus. ngena uses a layered service orchestration to achieve an end-to-end automation. In this way, an entire network of any customer can be configured and deployed in a zero-touch provisioning model.

For this sweet success, the team toiled for days and nights to develop and implement a completely automated global network platform. “If you do something really new and build something that has never been done before, you sometimes underestimate the complexity and challenges,” he says. Be it taking longer time than expected or changing from one technology to another for high-quality service, ngena always believed that it can do better, faster and more successfully. And that is what drives the company forward.

A well-built alliance of leading telecommunication companies and strong technology partners Cisco, Comarch, and Equinix are success factors for ngena. The innovative business model based on a sharing economy and global platform idea, along with the in-depth knowledge of ngena employees are strong pillars for growth. Moreover, a completely new technology approach with SDN and end-to-end automation at its core has defined the company globally.

In a small company like ngena, there is one strong determining global mission. Marcus believes that it is absolutely crucial that every team member knows the role he or she is playing in making the start-up a success. At ngena, the focus is clearly on “what needs to be achieved” rather than a detailed description “how to do something.” In a fast-moving start-up environment where a lot of things haven’t been established and new processes have to be defined, two-way communication is absolutely key, he advises.

Paving the path to future

The global SD-WAN platform and network ngena is building together with its alliance partners is unique and is paving the way for a truly globalized business world. Enterprise customers are benefiting from consistent global data connectivity services with a flexibility to build networks for their digitalized future.

“No other company before ngena has ever started such an endeavor, and we and our partners are fully convinced to be successful with this new approach,” proudly notes the founder. Hence, this is the direction that ngena is heading in. The company is constantly improving its systems with the latest technology and making its services even more attractive and reliable. And of course, ngena is adding new services to its platform to help enterprises cope with their current and future connectivity and communication challenges.

“I believe that a bright future lies ahead of ngena, because the customer networks ngena is currently building are proving to solve many problems of the globalization and digitalization companies are facing today,” he adds.

Meet the Superheroes

Dr. Marcus Hacke, Founder & Managing Director

Marcus is the managing director of ngena since its foundation in February 2016. He has worked for T-Systems since 2004, holding several managerial positions in sales, delivery and product management. In these roles, his responsibilities included operations of telecommunications solutions as well as the development of a global IT portfolio. Before joining T-Systems, Marcus spent seven years as a business consultant with McKinsey & Company, focusing on the IT and telecommunications industries. He holds a doctorate in physics.

Alessandro Adriani, Managing Director

Alessandro joined ngena in Frankfurt in 2017. Earlier, he spent 5 years in Singapore, predominantly as CEO of Bridge Alliance, part of Singtel Group. Prior to this, he worked more than a decade at Vodafone Group (UK), holding various positions in business development, marketing, wholesale, enterprise and commercial functions. Before joining Vodafone, Alessandro worked several years in consultancy with Arthur D.Little, at Bouygues Telecom and at TIM. He holds Master Degrees from Henley Business School (UK) and he is an alumnus of Harvard Business School (US).

 “Together, all alliance partners are much stronger and can fulfill the needs of an ever-more globalized world economy.”

The first time we saw a customer’s network going live like this and without a touch of a hand was an almost magical moment.”

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