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Windstream Enhances SD-WAN Offering Post-EarthLink Acquisition

Windstream said it's new SD-WAN offering provides partners with numerous upselling opportunities.

Edward Gately

August 1, 2017

3 Min Read
New and improved
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Windstream on Tuesday unveiled an enhanced SD-WAN offering it says includes the best of its technology and that of EarthLink, which it acquired earlier this year.

The new offering includes additional broadband flexibility, improved self-service monitoring and control options, and a new SD-WAN Concierge managed service that automatically optimizes application performance, lowers costs and simplifies network management, according to the company. Customers also can combine SD-WAN with the company’s Diverse Connect for a 100 percent availability service level agreement (SLA).

Windstream launched its SD-WAN offering in January, while EarthLink launched its offering last year.

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Windstream’s Mike Frane

Mike Frane, Windstream’s vice president of product management, previously was EarthLink’s vice president of product and launched its SD-WAN service. He tells Channel Partners that both companies’ SD-WAN offerings were “based on the same technology platform and both leveraging the VeloCloud solution … and we’re really taking the best of both worlds and adding up to more than two.”

“The capabilities that we’re able to build on to what Windstream had and our ability to bring some of the solution over from EarthLink as well … it’s a lot more than the EarthLink solution on the Windstream platform,” he said. “We’re really excited about what we’ve been able to accomplish in the last three to four months as the companies came together.”

Windstream’s SD-WAN offering now offers customers:

  • Concierge service – a fully-managed service that helps customers get the most from SD-WAN with Windstream proactively monitoring and optimizing network environments for peak application performance

  • An integrated SD-WAN management tool, which provides visibility and control of a customer’s SD-WAN network via a centralized management portal. It includes the ability to deploy configurations for new locations, services and security policies

  • Business Aware Cloud Network, which allows traffic steering based on real-time network conditions to provide flexibility, agility and reliability to deliver application performance and a consistent end-user experience. The network delivers improved cloud-based application performance with connections to cloud providers, as well as Windstream-provided services such as UCaaS, MPLS and security services

  • A full suite of adjunct services aimed at improving the customer experience, including cloud-based UC and security – driven by the needs of verticals like retail, health care and banking

The new SD-WAN offering provides partners with…

…numerous upselling opportunities, Frane said.

“A lot of the partners that we have, their clients are legacy networks, so they have a lot of legacy MPLS and in MPLS you have a lot of legacy T1, and it’s those types of companies and those industries that are feeling a lot of pain as their demands keep increasing but their budgets don’t,” he said. “So there’s a tremendous opportunity by bringing in broadband capabilities, by bringing in cellular and wireless capabilities, and overlaying the SD-WAN technology, it gives them a great opportunity to have a new discussion with a customer because now we’re not just talking about networks and speed, we’re talking about applications and performance, and customer experience.”

Although Windstream has had a lot of success in finance, health care and retail, “we’re really seeing that SD-WAN and the story of hybrid networks is applicable to other verticals as well,” Frane said.

“You can move it into professional services, manufacturing, really across the board because there’s really not a vertical today that isn’t feeling pain because their networks are old and slow, and not ready to operate at cloud speed,” he said. “And that’s really what SD-WAN and the broadband portfolio hyper network capabilities that Windstream brings to bear can offer them. It’s a much more dynamic, much more cloud-ready solution than they had with their legacy networks.”

According to IDC, the global enterprise SD-WAN market is anticipated to reach $8 billion by 2021.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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