Consider this scenario-you are a new-age Communications Service Provider (CSP) trying to stay relevant in today's fast-paced market. You recognize that to deliver innovative digital services to new-age subscribers who are used to instant gratification, you will need to ensure that your IT team is agile and responsive to evolving demands. You also realize that your legacy approach to networking is not designed to meet the insatiable demand for bandwidth intensive applications, and support high-demand cloud-based application and services. So you plan to transition from wide area network (WAN) to software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) to manage and orchestrate network traffic from a central location. With SD-WAN, you will also be able to improve scalability through rapid provisioning of new sites in remote locations-without support from IT experts, and effortlessly deploy and manage hybrid WAN topologies.
However, to achieve this you take a cookie-cutter approach and deploy a one-size-fits-all solution offered by a vendor. The result-it becomes challenging to justify the CAPEX required to transition to SD-WAN and realize the desired ROI.
Take networking to the next level with the end-to-end SD-WAN transitioning approach
The issues described above are not hypothetical. They are some of the real-life challenges faced by CSPs planning to take the plunge and transition to SD-WAN. It's important to understand that though a WAN to SD-WAN transition is the answer to delivering services more efficiently; designing, deploying, and managing SD-WAN network requires a customized approach. Starting with an issue and gap analysis, successful SD-WAN transition involves breaking down SD-WAN migration cost, estimating future benefits, and developing a structured framework. Following these steps can help provide clear insights into the capital expenditure required for the transition and calculating the ROI, to build a strong business case.
Collaborating with an experienced SD-WAN service provider who leverages partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and software providers is a great way to optimize costs, enhance agility, and achieve simplification with SD-WAN. Not only this, such a vendor can ensure significant operational efficiency through performance measurement and by co-relating the legacy network such as MPLS with the newly deployed SD-WAN network.
An efficient SD-WAN equipment management and virtual customer premise equipment (CPE) deployment, in turn, helps companies proactively choose SD-WAN services and products based on their particular needs. This further accelerates SD-WAN deployment and reduces time-to-market, and leads to improved revenues. In addition, CSPs can expand their service portfolio by bundling multiple customer Internet connections with SD-WAN to expand their service portfolio and resurrect MPLS-driven revenue streams that are continuously declining due to competition from OTT players.
Leverage best practices to realize SD-WAN potential
According to Gartner, spending on SD-WAN products will rise from $129 million in 2016 to $1.24 billion in 2020. This means more forward-thinking organizations are looking to jump on the SD-WAN bandwagon to seamlessly deliver business applications and enhance IT efficiency through automation. However, the reality is SD-WAN transition is becoming increasingly complex and the odds of having to confront low ROI are greater than ever. Companies will be better prepared to slash MPLS cost and reduce long wait times when they are armed with a customized end-to-end SD-WAN deployment approach and best practices.