The potential for software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) options to disrupt the market is causing the technology to gain a lot of attention. It’s a big opportunity for those in the as-a-service technology industry, and many are rushing to find a way to offer SD-WAN to their clients.
How can you be sure, when you invest in SD-WAN for your company, that you’re getting a high-quality service that can handle the complexity of your IT environment? There are several good questions to ask your provider to ensure a successful transition.
Who provides the SD-WAN component of the solution? Many providers name SD-WAN in their list of services, but they are hiring a third-party vendor to handle SD-WAN implementations and management. If this is true of your provider, you need to get more information about the third-party vendor’s experience in handling implementations like yours, and use the additional questions listed below to see if they can manage your needs.
What are the proof points for the SD-WAN solution? While there are a lot of questions along the way to ask an SD-WAN provider, there are certain proof points to inquire on before getting started:
- How many customers does the provider have that have experienced successful deployments?
- How many total sites have been deployed by the provider?
- Are there examples of cases handled that are representative of your situation?
- How many Gateways or POPs do they have, and are they available for immediate leverage?
What is the provider’s roadmap? A good roadmap takes time and research, and it should clearly lay out the future plan of your SD-WAN provider. You should be able to see how they will be able to support your goals for digital transformation and company growth.
How complex or easy is deployment of the solution? Initial deployment costs can skyrocket, so determine from the beginning what a particular solution will cost in terms of both CAPEX and OPEX. Any good SD-WAN provider will be fully aware of the need to keep deployment costs down and to make implementation quick and easy.
Is the solution flexible? You want a solution that is fully adaptable, flexible, and scalable. As your company grows, the limitations of existing technology solutions can hinder your progress and create expenses. Make sure your SD-WAN solution is designed to grow with you.
What about ecosystem partners? You need to know whether you can easily integrate other cloud solutions with your SD-WAN. Whether it’s data storage, security, or other cloud technology, seek confirmation that you’ll be able to integrate with the best technology for your industry.
If you feel stressed by the prospect of choosing an SD-WAN provider, talk with our consultants at Cory Communications. We’ll help you cut through the noise and choose the provider that best fits your needs.