Marketplace Network News

Experiences with SD-WAN: 5 Keys to Successful Customer Deployment

Posted by Mary Stanhope on Tue, Sep 12, 2017

The rise of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions and cloud-based applications as well as the consumption of large, rich-media files and Over-the-Top (OTT) communications within the enterprise have left many companies wanting for a simple and effective solution that delivers high-performance connectivity at a better price point.   Software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) is a new approach to architect enterprise WANs and improves branch office connectivity of all sizes, geographies and vertical markets.

Global Capacity’s sale of managed SD-WAN services to enterprise customers is accelerating with the market, and with this adoption there has been some great learning as to what is winning managed SD-WAN deals and keeping customers happy thru deployment.

  1. Bring Your Own Bandwidth is not a catch phrase. The ability to integrate existing services that meet customer requirements and satisfaction reduces potential sales objections, reduces delivery complexity and risk.
  2. Custom installations with experienced teams. Even with zero-touch installs, the need for configuration expertise to collaborate on translating custom business objectives into management and policy-based enforcement setting is key to a successful installation and a best customer experience.
  3. Simple all-inclusive licensing. Simplifying connectivity does not just imply technology. In today’s increasing network complexity and ecosystem of suppliers, simplifying pricing, contracting and invoicing is also needed. All-inclusive licensing allows for features to be configured to meet customer needs with-out layering on menu like pricing. 
  4. Hybrid WAN. Hybrid access networks are the new normal.  A mix of broadband, private line, MPLS and wireless services at competitive prices are solving the edge connectivity challenge location by location.
  5. Wireless is a must have. Wireless access has evolved from just a back-up service, to a key element of dynamic bandwidth and best available path for reliable access.

While the customers, their locations, needs, and final solutions are varying greatly, these are the trends that are showing up in the majority of solutions.  Here are some of the anonymous installation highlights that we hope will make your SD-WAN deployments just as satisfactory as our customer found them.  No matter the industry, number of locations, or drivers behind turning to SD-WAN, value is being proven in the field.  

Multi-site Mortgage Company Needs Hybrid Solution

One independently owned and operated mortgage lender and broker needed secure, reliable, scalable connectivity between regional offices and HQ for access to financial applications and compliance support.  The primary challenges were that there was no one carrier that had connectivity to all of their branches across 18 states and they were not happy with the cost of their backup network that sat idle.  Their goal for modernizing their network was to simplify the management of connectivity, and increase performance of applications all without overpaying for services.

The first step was designing a network; this is where Global Capacity’s marketplace approach really stood apart.  Each location had unique needs and a variety of connectivity options and prices.  Global Capacity provided one view of available options across all sites so that intelligent decision could be made in choosing cost effective, reliable connectivity solution for each location.

BYOB

Key to the project was designing a solution that used the company’s existing services.  This BYOB approach to the solution, not only reduced time to install, removed potential costs from ETFs, it mitigated the risks associated with a rip and replace implementation.   After assessing what connectivity was in place, Global Capacity proposed complimentary connectivity services.  In some cases, both primary and back up circuits, in others backup only, including Broadband, DIA, Fiber and Wireless services ranging from 2 to 100Mbps, complimenting the existing third party connectivity.   

Wireless

When it comes to choosing a diverse backup to broadband, wireless is taking the lead.  4G LTE is offering a truly diverse, simple to install, competitive priced service.  The combination of a couple broadband services, with wireless and SD-WAN is a frequent solution request.  SD-WAN solutions allow for load sharing of traffic across multiple WAN connections in an efficient and dynamic fashion that can be based on business and/or application policies.

Hands-on Delivery

Now with a connectivity solution in place, deployments started.  The first sites to turn up were the sites that only need an SD-WAN edge devise.  Global Capacity’s simple streamlined installation experience allowed for flexible policy changes. The customer appreciated the collaborative approach that leveraged the expertise of their IT and our IP and network team.  Even with advance planning the ability to make adjustments during installation that directly impact performance is key.  Our customer shared that while they can think and plan for a lot in advance, once they see the results in action, they were glad they could work closely with Global Capacity to add a parameter or change the priority of another.   The first site was configured, and seeing improved performance that same afternoon. 

As Global Capacity continues to complete installation and deployment across all sites, the customer has expressed their deep satisfaction with the process, including the high-performance services and personalized attention.

Healthcare Company Optimizing VoIP

Not all customers are new to SD-WAN; one healthcare customer had experience with the benefit of SD-WAN and just needed more.  This customer had a solution that was limited to managing only the performance of its VoIP service.  Now, while VoIP was a large part of the traffic and application performance needed, the customer had a need to manage all of their applications holistically.  They needed a more robust, over the top, cloud provided, managed SD-WAN solution.   Global Capacity stepped in and delivered.  In this case, the customer was very satisfied with their connectivity services.  They just needed more visibility and control of the applications.  Global Capacity moved quickly shipping SD-WAN edge devices to all locations

30% of Global Capacity Managed SD-WAN sites leverage BYOB.  100% of Global Capacity Managed SD-WAN customers have leveraged BYOB at some site.   Global Capacity leverages its network of networks to provide services that complement existing architecture, implement new connectivity paths where required, or simply deliver its SD-WAN management solution alone depending on a customer’s business needs.   Our customer shared with Scott Barrett, SD-WAN Product Manager, that they have been really impressed with Global Capacity so far, especially in comparison to the other SD-WAN providers they worked with. “You have made it so simple.”

All in one Licensing

As the installations progressed across the sites, unique requirements came up at one site or another.  The simple all in one SD-WAN software licensing allowed the deployment team to turn on a simple firewall at some sites that did not have one.  Our customer was impressed by the level of collaboration and problem solving that happened at the installations.  And were further satisfied with solutions that worked and did not drive cost artificially. 

While we are seeing trends and similarities, no one customer solution and no one customer site is the same.  Flexibility and collaboration have been key driver for high customer satisfaction in the delivery of SD-WAN.  When it comes to deploying managed SD-WAN services, Global Capacity knows that it’s not a one-size-fits-all endeavor and gives each customer the elevated level of care and attention necessary to deliver a reliable and effective solution. Working alongside customers from start to finish, Global Capacity ensures Managed SD-WAN meets the business needs for all sites, applications and users.

 

Still learning the what, where and how SD-WAN can positively impact your business?  I suggest you download and read Software Defined WAN for Dummies

Download The Free eBook

To learn how our managed SD-WAN service can help your company achieve enhanced connectivity quickly and easily, contact Global Capacity today.

Hear about more Experiences with Adopting SD-WAN watching Chris Alberding, SVP Product on industry panel at WAN Summit San Jose.

WAN Summit Video San Jose Chris Alberding.jpg

 

 

Topics: Enterprise, WAN Connectivity, SD-WAN, Wireless