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Choosing a strategic SD-WAN partner to help reach business goals

A majority of business leaders today understand the advantages of SD-WAN to manage network traffic and provide consistency for all users, no matter their location. The demand for high bandwidth and seamless access to cloud-based applications is a priority for every member of an organization, even in the most distributed of workforces.

As Matt Douglass, Senior Director of Solution Engineering at CBTS, explains, to take advantage of all the benefits SD-WAN offers, the first step is to identify the right partner to help your team achieve goals faster and more efficiently. It all starts with knowing how best to evaluate SD-WAN managed services providers.

Finding the right SD-WAN partner

Combined communications solutions by our joint companies, OnX Canada and CBTS, help transform business operations by building the highest grade of resiliency, securely connecting employees, customers, and business partners.

Innovative networking technology built over the past five years has given businesses the ability to design and deploy environments with better Quality of Service (QoS) and predictable performance across all locations.

OnX networking teams have invested significant time and energy learning about the needs of IT departments to support the transition from legacy MPLS networks into hybrid or net new environments best suited for today’s technology demands.

OnX begins by gaining an understanding of where the business is today and the advantages and difficulties of the network supporting it. Then, OnX works seamlessly with the organization’s IT personnel to develop a plan for the best path forward to align SD-WAN implementation to meet specific business objectives.

For companies wanting to free up their IT staff, partnering with an SD-WAN managed services provider can add bandwidth and flexibility. You’ll want your SD-WAN partner to be there starting with Day 2 Operations to help you monitor, maintain, and update the networking environment to ensure all applications and services are performing smoothly.

Some businesses fear that once an architecture is designed and deployed, they will be left with an environment they don’t fully control. With VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, however, your IT department and OnX can co-manage the environment, making the most of combined expertise to deliver on business outcomes.

The SD-WAN “Easy Button”

Over the past three decades, few paradigm shifts compare to SD-WAN. With the movement of IT services along with communications and operational applications to the web, businesses view SD-WAN as the next-generation solution to ensure seamless user experience across locations, creating a new standard to support business goals.

A big misconception about SD-WAN, however, is that it’s an “easy button” instantly solving every networking issue, like flipping a light switch. It can deliver performance as promised when carefully designed, but a DIY approach can end in frustration for many organizations. Even if a company’s IT team has a firm understanding of SD-WAN, deploying it without the support of a partner can make it hard to overcome massive hurdles, especially for businesses deploying SD-WAN across 1,000 or more sites.

Choosing the right partner ensures a smooth transition, implementation, and management while providing a new level of control and visibility over bandwidth and cloud applications.

The key to successful transition

Because networking technologies are always evolving, businesses need to understand the differences and similarities between their traditional wide area network and SD-WAN. Continuous training and updates to certifications are necessary for the success of any software-defined IT strategy.

Understanding the connections between SD-WAN and cloud-based technologies is critical during integration of solutions like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Unified-Communications as a Service (UCaaS). Your SD-WAN partner will help you navigate the intricacies of these technologies to ensure desired business outcomes.

You’ll also want a partner with genuine curiosity about your business challenges, eager to undertake the steps necessary to achieve current and future goals. For some organizations, they may want to reduce operating expenses or perform at 100 percent application uptime during any network failure. Your SD-WAN provider will ask the right questions to understand and solve the network complexities affecting traffic and application flow.

Preparing for the future

IoT and 5G were among the key technologies highlighted at VMworld 2019, predicted to impact the compute landscape in significant ways. Without SD-WAN, IT departments often manage hundreds, or even thousands of devices, successfully. With emerging technologies, however, it will soon be impossible to manage the tens or even hundreds of thousands of devices and all of their connections without software intelligence built into your network.

SD-WAN can alleviate a multitude of constraints for your IT department, from simplifying branch networks to adding greater agility. Choosing the right SD-WAN provider gets your organization one step closer to solving the unique networking challenges facing both your corporate and remote sites. Through collaboration between IT teams, users gain the resources and bandwidth they need to keep up with today’s continual digital transformations.

For more information about why today’s business leaders are transitioning to SD-WAN, visit: