Agility is often cited as an objective when companies are looking at SD-WAN. Well, I firmly believe that the term ‘agility’, meaning making something quick and easy, should not only relate to the technology, but also to the integrator or managed service provider you’re working with.
With daily challenges linked to shrinking IT teams and large global project implementations, I hope you’ll agree that finding the right partner can help you balance your workload more effectively and bring you faster success.
All that glitters isn’t SD-WAN gold
But the marketing around SD-WAN, especially the ‘Zero Touch’ provisioning feature, suggests it’s very simple to implement. I hate to break it to you: that glittery image is very misleading. I’m going to use the example of a heart pacemaker to make my point here, because that’s also something that becomes slightly easier to manage once it’s in place, but you really need someone who understands the underlying ‘infrastructure’ to be able to prescribe it and install it first.
I’ve seen many Service Providers release SD-WAN options recently but, in my opinion, this only restricts agility, because those services are usually very rigid when it comes down to who’s responsible for what.
I often speak with customers who’ve encountered legacy issues with such managed services where for example, they’ve been unable to get their own SNMP access to a router or the provider would call and tell them a circuit was down 20 minutes after they’d discovered the issue for themselves. Such stuffy contracts risk holding your business back, which is certainly not what SD-WAN was designed to do.
Finding the SD-WAN Holy Grail
What does the Holy Grail of SD-WAN look like? I’d say that much of the power is in your hands. Before embarking on an SD-WAN project, my advice is to gain an understanding of the level of control you’re going to need during each phase: technology selection, design, delivery, implementation and importantly, the on-going management. That way, you can make better choices about the partnerships you’ll need in place.
We’ve been receiving more and more requests recently from customers asking for a hybrid approach to SD-WAN. That’s where we’re giving them the ability to utilise our vendor-independent services at different parts of their SD-WAN journey, supporting them wherever needed from workshop to POC, technology selection to high and low-level designs, then beyond to deployment and ongoing management.
Many of those businesses are looking for an extension to their internal team that provides a 24×7 approach and on-tap resources without restricting the control, visibility and agility they have over their network. If you’re with one of those companies too, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +44 7968 713 716 to talk through where you feel you most need SD-WAN support. We’ll help you make SD-WAN quick and easy.