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Five questions to ask when choosing an SD-WAN partner

As your company expands and deploys new technologies, your IT team may encounter siloed systems throughout your business. Fortunately, emerging cloud-based solutions can help technology staff address these issues. And as software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), technology has become more prevalent and refined, numerous corporations are implementing these platforms to connect multiple locations and data centers to their corporate headquarters.

To deploy an SD-WAN solution successfully, IT leaders in your organization must gain an understanding of the nuances between different SD-WAN vendor platforms, capabilities, and functionality. Typically, a third-party SD-WAN provider will assess your network to help you determine the best fit. The expertise of potential SD-WAN provider partners will vary tremendously and choosing from among the multiple providers delivering a specific vendor platform can be a daunting task.

So how can your company narrow down the field?

An SD-WAN provider partner should be able to demonstrate several successful implementations with specific details about customizations and how they overcame any issues. To ensure the partner has the right experience to handle all of your digital transformation needs, our team at OnX Canada has compiled a list of five relevant questions to ask any prospective SD-WAN partner.

How many clients have you helped carry out a successful SD-WAN implementation?

As with any emerging technology, it can be difficult to discern among the providers claiming to be the “real deal”. Any SD-WAN provider can market themselves as experienced and proven, but with the growing adoption of SD-WAN, the field of providers is getting crowded. Relying on an SD-WAN provider still working out the kinks in their processes can have disastrous consequences for your business. Companies need to seek out SD-WAN partners with a proven track record of success. Ask any prospective provider how many clients they have effectively deployed SD-WAN solutions before staking your business outcomes on a new partnership.

How many sites has the SD-WAN provider deployed?

The goal of every OnX SD-WAN implementation is to consolidate company location networks into an easily accessible enterprise WAN for every user, regardless of proximity, connectivity, or unique devices. To ensure your SD-WAN optimizes all of your various data hubs, you need a partner with a proven record implementing SD-WAN solutions designed to integrate multiple locations and operating systems successfully. The more sites a provider has deployed, the better assurance you have established a partnership with an SD-WAN provider that can maximize your network for your business needs.

Has the provider deployed SD-WAN in similar use cases as my business?

When you’re trying to find the right SD-WAN provider, it’s essential to ask whether the potential partner has worked with similar organizations. Look for a provider with experience in the same or related industry, and one that has worked with organizations with similar business goals, challenges, and operational structure. These criteria will give you an understanding of the prospective partner’s success in your business sector. By asking for case studies of successful SD-WAN deployment, you can ensure your SD-WAN provider has an in-depth understanding of the infrastructure needs unique to your industry.

Ask the potential partner to describe a typical deployment schedule.

When choosing a partner, it’s imperative to align your SD-WAN deployment timeline with provider availability. Business goals, special initiatives, and budget constraints are all factors when creating a roadmap for the SD-WAN implementation. Be cautious of providers that claim to deploy SD-WAN in too short a timeframe, because they may lack the experience to do a thorough job or might be making misleading promises to gain your business.

Does the provider have an established SD-WAN technology network available to leverage immediately?

SD-WAN allows companies to benefit from a variety of networks to expand business activity. By partnering with a provider with well-established systems, your organization can begin business expansion as soon as your SD-WAN solution is deployed. Your company will benefit from increased visibility among departments, better control of activities, and access to insights previously unavailable. By inquiring about established networks, you are asking the provider how they can help your business. An SD-WAN provider with an established network has the proven experience and industry knowledge to drive successful business outcomes.

When you partner with OnX for your SD-WAN solution, the relationship means you have access to our engineering expertise and technology services know-how, backed by years of industry experience. OnX implements agile SD-WAN solutions that provide flexibility, scalability, and reliability, enabling your business not only to reach but to exceed its specific goals. OnX has a record of successful deployment of SD-WAN for a significant number of companies, giving each of them the power to control operations from a single, unified location. Our industry-leading IT professionals have expertise in every business sector and will work with you to define and implement a solution tailored to fit your business needs.

Learn how SD-WAN and NaaS are transforming industries.

Through SD-WAN and NaaS, OnX supports the entire spectrum of network and IT infrastructure requirements. Download our eBook, CIO’s Definitive Guide to Cloud Managed Solutions, now to learn more.