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SD-WAN Real Life experiences from financial services, retail and healthcare industries.

SD-WAN was considered a relatively new technology up until recently, but with Gartner estimating that “by 2020, more than 50 percent of WAN edge infrastructure refresh initiatives will be based on SD-WAN versus traditional routers” adoption of the technology is beginning to become more mainstream. Within the Irish market there is a spectrum to the SD-WAN story – there are those vendors (primarily large and smaller / regional ISPs) who are holding back on delivering SD-WAN for fear it will reduce their MPLS hold on the market (and impact on their profitability).  On the other side of the spectrum you have lots of new players, typically IT providers, who have never delivered WAN services before, suddenly offering SD-WAN in their portfolio.   You also have the DIY approach.  Most SD-WAN equipment vendors tout the ease of setup and management of their equipment.

In this fractured marketplace Viatel have been successfully winning businesses’ trust to provide their SD-WAN network. So why is Viatel being chosen over the other ISPs, new players or indeed DIY, and what are the main lessons Irish businesses are learning?

  1. Businesses want a truly managed service

While it is more feasible for IT departments to take a more DIY approach to SD-WAN, we are finding that the majority of customers we speak to don’t want to take this on – even if they had the resources to do so (which many don’t). Many are happy to leave it in the capable hands of someone who has done this many times – allowing them to focus on their core business. CTOs and IT managers are also starting to see through the veil of managed services. While many providers claim to provide a managed service, in reality once the sale has been made and network implemented there is very little that they do on behalf of their customers.

Viatel on the other hand will design, configure, implement, monitor, manage and tune your network. Our SD-WAN solutions include the support of a service manager for the lifetime of the network. Our NOC is Irish based and will keep a watchful eye over your network 24/7/365, with a person always at the end of the phone. Our specialist engineers are on hand for changes and improvements.

  1. Businesses are willing to invest in reducing risk

For businesses that decide to take on SD-WAN themselves there is the risk that it may not be successful or take much longer than they predicted – sucking up time and resources. The DIY approach may suit some, but in reality, a lot of people don’t want to take that risk on and would prefer to invest a little extra to reduce it.

When our customers choose Viatel to deliver their SD-WAN we take on the responsibility for the success of the project and for the lifetime success of the network. And because we have done this before the risk is greatly reduced. We have deployed SD-WAN networks of all sizes, from a small handful of sites – to large networks scattered across the country with multiple layered services. We have the support systems in place to ensure that your SD-WAN network is delivered on time and in budget.

  1. Businesses want the massive flexibility that SDWAN provides

Businesses no longer want to be tied to the one provider for years, even if the service is sub-par. They also don’t want to wait months to make changes, add new sites or connect securely to the cloud. Business operations are not static, and neither should the network that supports them.

Viatel are in quite a unique position in the SD-WAN marketplace in Ireland. While we have a very extensive fibre and licensed radio network that extends into the UK and Europe, we are happy to overlay our SD-WAN over anyone’s network. The transport independent nature of SD-WAN means you are no longer tied to the one ISP for your WAN services. This is also the reason why so many IT providers have suddenly begun offering SD-WAN over any ISP’s internet lines.

However, having said this Viatel are finding that customers don’t want to have multiple contracts with multiple vendors. They are also worried that if they have their connectivity with one provider and their SD-WAN with another that when something goes wrong there will be a lot of finger pointing, delaying a resolution and affecting their critical operational uptime. Viatel can provide fully diverse, resilient connectivity over our next generation network, and overlay SD-WAN in a reliable and supportable manner. We monitor both the underlying connectivity and SD-WAN overlay 24/7/365 in our manned NOC. Fully supported by our stringent SLAs – the buck stops with us. But, for customers who do want to add in another ISP as part of their business continuity strategy, or perhaps some lines are in still in contract for some time- we’re happy to work with those scenarios. There aren’t too many other ISPs that can say that!

  1. Businesses understand this is not a niche technology – Global technology players are driving huge innovation here

SD-WAN has been around for some time now, and the marketplace is becoming increasingly crowded. There are so many hardware vendors now offering SD-WAN it can make your head spin when deciding which technology is best for you. If you look at the stats however – Cisco has over 50% of the entire SD-WAN infrastructure market, more than all the other vendors put together. There is a good reason for this – Cisco know networks.

Viatel have been delivering networking services to over 1200 customers for over 22 years. In order to provide a service that we can support and stand over we need technology vendors that we trust to deliver world-class components for our solutions. We cannot honestly standby our solutions if we don’t use equipment that is robust and reliable. We are not willing to take that chance for our customers – others may not have the same approach.

  1. While technology is a driving force for business, they need trusted partners to empower their digital strategy. No one can do it alone

While technology is key for all modern business in Ireland today, companies don’t want to get distracted from their core business. It is essential that they can hand off areas like the WAN to a partner who listens and understands their needs.

One thing we pride ourselves on at Viatel is our willingness to listen to our customers. We never try to over-engineer our SD-WAN to make an extra buck (in fact if SD-WAN is not a suitable fit we will come up with another solution). If budget is a driving factor, we will do all that we can to provide the best solution possible to fit within it. We are flexible on payment models – whether your business prefers OPEX or CAPEX, we will accommodate both or even a hybrid. From a delivery perspective, we have experience delivering networks in a big bang approach, or in a phased model. We are an organisation that is big enough to be able to deliver large, complex and international SD-WAN networks, but we’re also not so large that you become irrelevant to us. Every SD-WAN customer is given plenty of care and attention, from our first engagement, through solution design, project management, network delivery, support and continuous improvement.

There are real people at Viatel ready and willing to give you the benefit of the lessons we have learned. Contact us today if:

  • your network is up for renewal and you want a future-proof technology

  • there is a lot of change in your business that your network can’t support (such as mergers, acquisitions)

  • you are moving to the cloud and want to secure your assets

  • you want to connect international sites to your WAN cost-effectively

  • business continuity is something you worry about

  • managing teleworkers and mobile users is currently a challenge.

  • You aren’t getting enough support or attention from your current provider

  • You would simply like to learn more!

You can reach any of the team via our website chat, or dialing 01 2569200


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