5 questions for SD-WAN partners

December 6, 2018
Justin Rice

As technology develops and your company expands, you may find siloed systems across your corporation. While this poses a problem for your business, there are emerging solutions on the IT horizon. More and more companies are embracing software-defined networking in a wide area network (SD-WAN) to connect their enterprise networks and data centers.

Typically, SD-WAN platforms are not exclusive to the provider but rather delivered by a third-party SD-WAN vendor. This is why having an understanding about the prospective SD-WAN partner’s technology, capabilities, and functionality are critical to your success with SD-WAN.

SD-WAN partners should be able to provide multiple proof points regarding the legitimacy of their solution. At CBTS, we believe you should ask these questions to a prospective IT solutions provider to ensure they have the experience necessary for success.

How many clients have been successfully deployed on SD-WAN?

As IT service partners add SD-WAN to their solution offerings, it can be difficult to discern which provider has a history of success. Many vendors will market themselves as a proven provider, but are only doing so to take advantage of the growing popularity of SD-WAN solutions.  If you’re hinging essential business operations on the success of an SD-WAN solution, you may not want to connect with a provider that is still working out their system kinks. You’ll want a provider that has a proven record of experience. Make sure you ask how many successful clients they have deployed before staking your business on a new partnership.

How many sites have been deployed?

The primary goal of CBTS SD-WAN is to streamline all company location networks into an easily accessible enterprise for everyone, regardless of proximity, connectivity, or devices in use. SD-WAN is ideal for organizations with multiple site locations. If you want to ensure that your SD-WAN accurately converges all of your various data hubs, your partner will need to have proven experience implementing solutions that successfully integrate a large number of locations and operating systems. The more sites in which a provider has successfully deployed an SD-WAN solution, the better assurance you have for your business.

Are there any use cases that are representative of my business model?

This is an important question when you’re trying to find the right partner for your business. Find a provider that has catered to similar organizations. Look for experience with the same industry, similar goals, challenges, and business models to get a feel for the experience level and success rate of serving your sector. You can ensure that your new provider has a thorough understanding of your sector’s specific infrastructure needs by asking for examples of successful SD-WAN deployment cases that are similar to your business.

What is a typical deployment period?

It is essential that you consider the timeline on which your SD-WAN will be deployed to ensure your service provider is a good fit. Your company’s goals, current initiatives, and budget constraints all factor into creating a roadmap for system implementation and an experienced provider will understand that. Be wary of providers that claim to deploy systems in too rapid a time frame as they may either lack the industry skills to do a thorough job, or are making false promises to gain your partnership.

Do you have an established network that can be leveraged immediately?

SD-WAN allows you to take advantage of a variety of networks to expand your business activity. By partnering with a provider that has well-established systems, you can begin your business expansion once your solution is deployed. Your organization will benefit from increased visibility among departments, control of activities, and insights that were previously unavailable. By asking this question, you are essentially asking your provider how they can help your business. An SD-WAN provider with an established network has proven experience, and industry knowledge to drive successful business outcomes.

When partnering with CBTS for your SD-WAN solution, you are partnering with a proven provider of IT services, backed by years of industry experience and know-how. CBTS provides an agile platform with flexibility, scalability, and reliability, enabling your business not only to reach, but to exceed its goals. We have successfully deployed SD-WAN for numerous companies, giving them the power to control operations from a single, unified location. Our industry-leading IT professionals have expertise in every sector and work with you to understand your business and tailor each system to fit your business needs.

Check out more of our tips on vetting prospective SD-WAN partners by downloading our free guide, “Choosing an SD-WAN Provider.

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