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Buying SD-WAN Often Starts with a Discussion on Something Else Entirely

While today’s enterprise company is faced with tons of options for upgrading their technology infrastructure, many of these choices are best considered in combination with one another.

Take SD-WAN for example.

Let’s say your Trusted Advisor has come to you with a proposal to sideline your aging PBX in favor of a new, state-of-the-art Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offering. This is a pretty common occurrence nowadays, given that UCaaS has emerged as a very popular option for delivering phone service plus voicemail and various other forms of messaging. But suddenly the term, “SD-WAN” has entered the discussion – and SD-WAN and UCaaS are clearly two very different types of technologies. So, what just happened? Are you being subjected to a bait-and-switch sales tactic?

The short answer is, probably not!

Your Trusted Advisor knows that delivering the value of UCaaS, or any other technology, is wholly dependent on the capability of the underlying network. In short, if your network cannot effectively speed those data packets across the miles, the native capabilities of the applications will never live up to expectations. Thus, providing you with the promised bang for your buck often requires upgrades to the enabling infrastructure. In addition to UCaaS, this is also true of Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), Office 365, Salesforce, AWS, cybersecurity, and a host of other offerings that play at or near the application layer. Begin your evaluation for any technology upgrade at the level of the business case, and then refocus your attention further down the stack to assess what other adjustments may be necessary.  Recognize also that you might also need to recommend this approach to your colleagues who might otherwise see the discussion around network upgrades as an unnecessary upsell or cross-sell.

AVANT’s 2019 State of Disruption Report names SD-WAN as the most disruptive technology on the market today, often displacing long-entrenched MPLS technology. According to the survey, 78 percent of respondents expressed plans to use SD-WAN within their corporate network by the end of 2019. So, you’re in very good company.
Software defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) are designed to help companies amp-up their wide area network performance while taking advantage of the lower costs associated with the public Internet. It’s generally viewed as a very viable, less expensive alternative to MPLS, though it’s also true that MPLS is unlikely to fade away in the near future. In any case, when your Trusted Advisor brings SD-WAN into the discussion, it’s safe to assume they are trying to prepare your network for your future technology choices as well as to assure the success of the proposal currently on the table.

For more information on how SD-WAN can help your company, contact your Trusted Advisor.