SD-WAN promises to guarantee the performance of the network, dramatically simplify network management and operations and reduce cost. With SD-WAN, you might even argue that the network itself is being automated! However this network simplification presents organisations with a whole range of new choices.

Of course there is the question which technology is the best fit with your business requirements. But at least as important is the question which service partner you should turn to. Which type of partner is best qualified to ensure your organisation fully benefits from all advantages this new technology has to offer? In this article we describe the three most important capabilities to look for when selecting an SD-WAN partner. Each of these capabilities is essential for optimum use and performance of your SD-WAN service.

Does the partner understand application behaviour?
Cloud applications behave differently than traditional datacentre applications. Does this service partner have adequate levels of knowledge on applications and the way they behave over different networks, for example the performance of unified communications like voice and video on a global level? Does the partner have the knowledge and experience needed to translate application behaviour and business policies to network policies?

Delivery of the underlying connectivity
Can the service partner provide you with the best and independent connectivity? Can they provide the best local connections at the lowest cost, and can they manage, continuously work on performance improvements and lower the cost of our network? An important consideration at this point is if you will source the connectivity yourself, or if you want to rely on the experience, network and buying power of your service partner.

Understanding the technology and SDWAN service delivery
SD-WAN allows for changes to be implemented in minutes instead of days or even weeks with traditional WAN solutions. Are the processes of this partner optimized for such a fast response, so you can gain maximum advantages out of your SD-WAN? Does this partner offer true end to end monitoring on connectivity as well as on application performance and do they proactively anticipate on possible issues? Innovative technology delivered through a traditional service delivery organisation doesn’t deliver all the benefits associated with SD-WAN. To make the technology work for you, you need a partner which understands the full potential of the technology and has the knowledge, experience and processes to make it work.

What is your choice?
Global research from industry analyst Gartner shows that there is a shift going on in where to buy SD-WAN and SD-WAN related services. Today, more than 60% of businesses consider to buy SD-WAN and related services not any more from traditional NSP’s but from alternative network independent providers who are specialised in delivering SDWAN services.

As a vendor and network independent provider of next gen SD-WAN services and solutions we offer the application knowledge, connectivity, services and processes needed for a successful SD-WAN implementation. Contact us to learn more about our unique approach.