Your customers will love SD-WAN. But it can lead to so much more.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

December 30, 2019

8 Slides

Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) can help you sell to more parts of your customer base.

We can no longer consider the technology a niche offering. Brandon Butler, IDC’s senior research analyst of network infrastructure, said SD-WAN is moving into full-scale enterprise adoption.

“SD-WAN technology has been one of the fastest growing segments of the network infrastructure market in recent years due to the significant advantages this technology enables including: centralized policy-based management of hybrid WAN connections and dynamic path selection of application traffic between enterprise data centers, clouds, and other branch offices,” Butler said.


IDC’s Brandon Butler

And this increasing demand is leading to demand for additional services related to SD-WAN. For example, IDC states that companies are deploying virtual network functions (VNFs) or cloud network functions (CNFs) alongside SD-WAN in a trend known as software-defined branch (SD-branch).

“SD-branch represents a more holistic view of all the network and security functions that are needed at enterprise remote and branch office sites. Based on IDC survey data, we forecast that the top VNFs/CNFs that will be used with SD-WAN in an SD-branch context will include: WAN optimization; a firewall/next-generation firewall or unified threat management system; WLAN controller; data loss prevention; and network management/monitoring to provide visibility and analytics,” Butler said.


MNJ Technologies’ Ben Niernberg

Ben Niernberg, senior vice president of MNJ Technologies, urged partners to start the customer conversation by determining their needs.

“Does the customer have bandwidth and/or reliability problems with applications that are deployed in the cloud? Is there a quality-of-service issue with their VoIP phone system?” he said. “Are they moving from on-premises applications to SaaS and need to ensure 24/7 data availability? The answers to questions like these will determine the best network connectivity strategy for enabling the business and improving the end user experience, including whether the customer needs a hybrid MPLS/SD-WAN deployment.”

Niernberg said partners should consider the types of data the customer will be transferring and prioritizing. Familiarizing oneself with the “lay of the data land” factor heavily impacts vendor selection, as SD-WAN solutions vary in their strengths and capabilities.

“Voice may be the No. 1 concern for a call-center customer or an organization with a large sales force. Layer 7 applications running in the cloud, SaaS applications driving the business, or email traversing the open internet with associated security concerns may be top priority for other companies,” Niernberg said.


Cisco’s Jason Gallo

Jason Gallo, global senior director of enterprise networking for the Cisco Global Partner Organization, said partners have used SD-WAN to kick-start managed service and life-cycle service revenue.

“More and more partners are standing up these business models to address customer managed SD-WAN demand, and also to differentiate themselves by adding on various monitoring, security or cloud integration services. In addition to managed services, with enhanced life-cycle service practices, partners are creating long term strategic relationships with their customers — from onboarding, to adopting, and ultimately renewing.”

We asked Gallo, Butler, Niernberg and MetTel’s Gary Gluzman about offerings that partners can sell alongside SD-WAN or after having deployed it. Scroll through the eight slides below to see how SD-WAN can create sticky customers and drive extra revenues for you.

This gallery is the final installment of a three-part SD-WAN series. Check out the previous edition, “8 Factors to Consider when Selling SD-WAN.”

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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