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Putting SD-WAN to work in the Manufacturing Sector

For most enterprises in recent decades, multiple label protocol switching (MPLS) has been the go-to solution for their voice and data needs. Lately, however, as data footprints have become more complex, and traffic has become both heavier and more dynamic, this long-standing technology’s shortcomings are starting to hamper performance.

Recently a machine tool manufacturing firm based in Florence, KY, came to CBTS to see if they could improve their wide are connectivity without blowing their budget. Their MPLS service, it turned out, suffered from numerous deficiencies, including:

  • Rising costs
  • Inability to scale
  • Poor customer support
  • Poor visibility
  • Lack of redundancy

The key challenge was to offer an alternative solution that could be implemented quickly and non-disruptively while preserving the reliability that is the hallmark of MPLS.

In the end, the answer was a full replacement of the MPLS service with a combined SD-WAN and SIP solution connecting the company’s main office with more than 19 locations across North America. The solution provides excellent performance at lower costs both now and in the future as data loads continue to climb.

One distinct advantage of SD-WAN is that it enables users to access greater bandwidth dynamically. With its sophisticated software management, data loads adjust automatically to the appropriate set of resources based on costs, performance needs, and a host of other factors. These capabilities eliminate the need to pay for peak bandwidth at all times, leaving much of it idle during periods of light use. Also, this manufacturing company was able to replace its single-thread connection at each site with multiple redundant connections, providing high availability even during peak loads.

Another crucial factor for deploying SD-WAN was the desire to move more applications to the cloud. The company is a significant user of Microsoft Dynamics and Office 365, along with digital voice, and moving these applications to the cloud saves on licensing costs and local infrastructure. But these changes are only effective if the network is flexible enough to handle the bursts of application traffic over the long-haul. With SD-WAN, companies can easily support this cloud application traffic, allowing wide area networks to behave more like local infrastructure and data center environments extending over large geographic regions.

SD-WAN also provides greater visibility and control than traditional MPLS infrastructure. With its advanced monitoring and orchestration software, users can drill down into fine-grain performance data and determine where bottlenecks are occurring and then reroute the traffic to less stressed resources. In many cases, potential problems can be avoided up front, leading to a much smoother flow of data and more reliable service. Much of these adjustments happen automatically using increasingly intelligent algorithms, allowing network technicians to step back from day-to-day network management and focus on higher-level strategic tasks.

Looking ahead, SD-WAN also fits better with the emerging IoT infrastructure than MPLS. Manufacturers of all types are rapidly deploying sensors throughout their supply chains, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and delivery and distribution channels to drive inefficiency out of the business model. But all of this data needs to be collected and analyzed promptly, putting pressure on the enterprise to adopt low-cost, flexible bandwidth infrastructure across the wide area. By deploying SD-WAN now and reaping the benefits within existing IT infrastructure, manufacturers in virtually any industry can future-proof their networks for the data deluge that is just around the corner.

Rarely do businesses encounter a technology that produces immediate savings and better performance right from the start, but SD-WAN delivers on both levels. By migrating away from or augmenting solutions like MPLS, organizations will find the typical cost-benefit calculations do not apply – costs are lower, and the benefits far outweigh the initial investment.

For more information about how to improve your network infrastructure, contact us today.

Reexamining the fast-paced, ultra-competitive SD-WAN landscape

CIOs in nearly every industry recognize the benefits Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) can bring to their organizations. SD-WAN is proven to deliver better performance and greater control over traditional WAN infrastructure and the application traffic flowing across the network. SD-WAN technology is built specifically to handle all of today’s cloud-based applications, providing increased network efficiency and giving CIOs the agility they need to manage exponential traffic growth. 

With the right SD-WAN in place, network administrators can orchestrate traffic automatically, deploy applications faster, provide exceptional user experience, and bring down costs. But not all SD-WAN solutions and providers are the same, and with the technology changing so quickly, how can you determine the best fit for your organization?

Here are five key considerations to help you determine the right SD-WAN platform and provider for your needs:

  1. Experience. With dozens of available SD-WAN platforms offered by more than 150 providers, the SD-WAN landscape continues to expand. In this environment of numerous startups and continuous acquisitions, it’s essential to identify solutions that will be there for the long haul – companies with the people, processes, and financial stability to perform well globally, over time.
  2. Performance. The best SD-WAN providers will have the engineering support to customize the solution for your specific business needs. The differentiators between solutions are highly dependent upon the ways the platforms are designed to handle traffic, cloud application flows, and security. Today’s most advanced solutions can identify individual application flows, like a single phone call or app stream, and will duplicate and reassemble failing flows across connections. Additionally, the most effective platforms will provide cloud gateways and guarantee Quality of Service (QoS) of SaaS applications like Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce–and even for existing UCaaS environments.
  3. Flexibility. The SD-WAN solution must work with and boost the performance of your existing MPLS or Hybrid WAN infrastructure and provide the option for installation as a standalone MPLS replacement. Also, ideal solutions will give you the ability to deploy in both concentrated regions and global branch environments. 
  4. Agility. An experienced SD-WAN provider can help you assign specific policies to control and direct WAN traffic and align application priority, security, and performance with business intent. The platform will have a highly detailed level of manager visibility and control of traffic and application performance across every location.
  5. Security. Along with enabling extensive visibility into both data center or Software as a Service (SaaS) application use, the SD-WAN provider will help you apply network-wide security and business policies. Additionally, they will assist with the deployment of local, third-party cloud security services wherever needed to extend the WAN perimeter from the cloud to each branch.

We know choosing a provider to deliver on your precise, strategic SD-WAN business goals can be a daunting task. The decision involves not only the considerations we’ve laid out above but also aligning the value proposition with the overall costs for implementation and ongoing support. Ideally, we want to empower CIOs with the flexibility to engineer an SD-WAN solution with the best combination of traffic management and control technologies while improving the performance and security of cloud applications across all branches and users.

For CBTS, VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud gives our clients the best combination of financial stability, global reach and support, industry-leading features, customization options, and the security they need to handle the exponential growth in network traffic. Moreover, the VeloCloud solution can be deployed on existing WAN and UCaaS infrastructure to improve application performance, network visibility, and VoIP traffic while reducing branch network costs. Finally, our longstanding partnership with VMware means our clients have access to our in-house engineers and technical support experts who understand the technology and have the relationships to ensure success.

Learn more about the SD-WAN solution from CBTS.

To learn more about how advanced VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud capabilities like Dynamic Multi-Path Optimization (DMPO) and cloud gateways can give you a competitive advantage, download our SD-WAN Tool Kit and request a free 90-day proof of concept.

Improve voice and video conference quality by implementing SD-WAN and UCaaS together

The business world is continually evolving, and the success of your organization depends upon your ability to adapt quickly to the ever-changing competitive environment.

Collaboration among dispersed employees, partners, and customers is paramount for business success.  

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) from CBTS can transform your business  by allowing your distributed workforce, partners, and customers to communicate and collaborate via the cloud, combining voice, video conferencing, and text messaging applications on a single platform.

Additionally, Hosted UC from CBTS brings a flexible, scalable, cloud-based communications platform that is less expensive than onsite hardware and services typically leased from traditional telecommunications providers.

To get the most out of UCaaS, customers often pair the technology with a Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) from CBTS to avoid dropped calls, weak signals, and lagging video connections.

Standalone UCaaS can result in poor voice quality and video conference quality

As businesses have moved communications to the cloud, some users experience poor quality for voice and video conferencing, depending upon how their services are delivered. Poor quality service, for example, can occur when enterprises try to utilize UCaaS over the public internet. Unified Communications solutions over the internet treat voice and data the same way, which can result in communication lags and dropped calls, especially when using voice and video conferencing platforms simultaneously.

These communication lags and dropped calls result from network configurations that move voice and data packets to several data centers before reaching their final destinations. This type of packet transport can cause pixelated images, frozen screens, dropped calls, echoes, and poor voice and video communications quality. Moreover, these issues can be made worse through the use of modern collaboration and productivity applications, which are increasingly dynamic and require more and more bandwidth, further degrading user experiences.

Additionally, poor communications quality often occurs when public internet access-only systems cannot prioritize traffic to reduce congestion, jitter, and packet loss – factors causing the communications delays that negatively impact user experience and erode productivity. To solve problems with lag and dropped calls, companies often pair UCaaS with SD-WAN.

Combining UCaaS with SD-WAN for optimal user experiences

CBTS SD-WAN solutions streamline distributed organizations into an easily accessible enterprise where everyone, regardless of proximity, can connect to the main office network via the public internet. When deployed together, SD-WAN and UCaaS connect enterprise networks across significant geographical distances while managing bandwidth and using dynamic path selection to deliver optimal user experiences on voice and video conferencing applications.

A UCaaS and SD-WAN implementation routes network activity through the organization’s infrastructure in the most efficient way, eliminating voice issues and video delays and facilitating seamless collaboration between employees, partners, and customers.

Choosing the right SD-WAN and UCaaS provider

Choosing an experienced SD-WAN and UCaaS provider can reduce operational and capital expenses while improving voice and video conferencing performance. When paired together, UCaaS and SD-WAN consolidate WAN services – routing, Wi-Fi, ethernet, firewalls, voice, collaboration, and application visibility – onto a single platform.

The CBTS SD-WAN platform improves cloud-based application performance and facilitates communication between employees, partners, and customers at locations across the country and around the world. SD-WAN is quickly becoming a business imperative to support workloads and applications that are increasingly migrating to the cloud, while cloud-based UC systems allow businesses to connect the right people to make decisions quickly.

CBTS leverages UCaaS and SD-WAN technology together to transform the way your organization communicates by replacing aging, outdated phone systems. Because the UCaaS system is fully hosted, your IT team is freed to focus their time on vital business initiatives, rather than troubleshooting and repairing old telecommunications gear.

The right SD-WAN makes it easy for IT teams to configure, upgrade, and manage the network from a single dashboard. Using UCaaS in conjunction with their SD-WAN solution ensures employees can access their main office network via an inexpensive internet connection, creating an improved user experience that optimizes business performance.

Contact CBTS experts today to learn how SD-WAN and UCaaS can transform your business.

Discover better network performance with the CBTS SD-WAN Proof of Concept program

As we’ve traveled across North America, advising business leaders on the advantages of SD-WAN at our CIO Summits, one question always arises. Although attendees see the benefits of SD-WAN for improved traffic management and Quality of Service (QoS) for their cloud applications and VoIP platforms, we often hear, “How can you guarantee the SD-WAN solution will work in our existing environment?”

Great question.

First, you will want to work with an experienced SD-WAN provider with the engineering support and industry relationships needed to deliver a custom solution specific to your business goals. If your organization, for example, is enduring QoS issues with cloud apps like Salesforce and Microsoft Office 365, along with problems with an existing UCaaS, the provider will assess your current environment and design the SD-WAN solution to alleviate those particular pain points.

Secondly, the SD-WAN provider can set up a proof-of-concept (PoC) for an extended trial period to perform customizations on a limited scale and measure improvements in the flows of traffic, phone calls, and cloud applications. The provider will help you determine and assign policies for directing WAN traffic and align the priorities for SaaS applications, security, and performance with your company’s desired business outcomes.

Remember, just because a provider drops off a client premises device and compatible SD-WAN software doesn’t mean you have a viable PoC. That’s why CBTS has defined strict requirements for our 90-day proof-of-concept, a co-managed cloud SD-WAN solution for up to four client locations. For our VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud PoC, requirements include:

  1. The client and CBTS will co-define the goals, inputs, objectives, scope and success criteria within the PcC schedule.
  2. The client will work with CBTS to configure and test the required infrastructure and SD-WAN software and then will replicate the operational environment.
  3. The client will work with CBTS to prioritize functionalities across all use cases.
  4. CBTS will conduct a closing meeting with the client to deliver the PoC results.

The goals for a successful SD-WAN proof-of-concept are far more extensive than just experiencing the ease of zero-touch deployment or learning how to manage application policies through a centralized dashboard like the VeloCloud Orchestrator. The value is in giving our clients time to discover how SD-WAN can eliminate their top branch networking issues. Then they can learn to optimize cloud application performance, improve security, increase network visibility, and lower bandwidth costs and capital investment in infrastructure.

And by working directly with CBTS engineers, clients can be confident the customized solution maximizes existing MPLS, Hybrid WAN, or UCaaS infrastructure, or will perform better as a standalone SD-WAN deployment. Moreover, with the PoC in place, CBTS can show clients how the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of SD-WAN make it an ideal candidate for cloud-based, fully managed services. By offloading a majority of networking monitoring and management to CBTS experts, clients can focus on initiatives designed to drive future growth. Finally, the SD-WAN PoC program allows CBTS to demonstrate how the network can be a source of innovation, business transformation, and agility – addressing both current needs and future business goals.

Learn the right questions to ask a potential SD-WAN provider, clarify the key attributes of an exceptional SD-WAN vendor, and request a free 90-day proof of concept today.

How SD-WAN can transform the restaurant business

In the restaurant business, customer data is increasingly making the difference between success and failure. As diners become more accustomed to getting what they want when they want it and new food trends emerging on a regular basis, restaurateurs who can quickly deliver the latest made-to-order fare hold a distinct advantage over those who do not.

Recently, a restaurant chain with more than 100 locations across the Midwest approached CBTS about unifying its widely disparate network infrastructure under a single vendor. The company had just deployed a new POS and ERP solution and it became clear that managing connectivity at each location and conducting billing operations separately was leading to poor performance and inadequate customer experiences.

To optimize workflows, the company required a number of things from its wide area network:

  • A hosted Unified Communications solution that handles both voice and data
  • Rapid, dynamic scalability and optimized resource consumption
  • Cloud-based management
  • Rapid, seamless deployment
  • Access to rural locations with limited communications infrastructure
  • Built-in disaster recover

In the end, the company chose an advanced SD-WAN solution provided a service managed by CBTS. This delivers a number of key advantages in addition to the ones listed above.

First, as a managed service, it allows the company to offload day-to-day management of the network from its three-person IT staff to our team of experienced professionals. Not only does this all but eliminate the substantial travel needed to address network problems in person, it preserves the ability for internal IT to step in and make changes when necessary, which typically involve alterations related to higher-level, strategic objectives rather than the mundane tasks of resource provisioning and traffic management.

Network visibility leads to improved resource allocation

The keys to this level of functionality are the end-to-end visibility and advanced orchestration capabilities that are implemented as core assets of the system. With these tools in place, technicians are able to perform deep-dive analytics into network conditions to assess traffic flows and troubleshoot problems generated not only by faulty network components but by poor coordination between multiple components, something that single-system monitoring solutions often fail to catch. At the same time, the system has the ability to automatically adjust resource allocation and other attributes to ensure optimal performance at the lowest cost.

This is a dramatic improvement over the patchwork infrastructure previously deployed on the company’s dedicated T1 network. No longer is it necessary to provision enough resources to cover peak loads only to let them sit idle at other times. With proper management and resource allocation, consumption can be tied directly to workload levels, allowing the company to maintain broadband connectivity from local providers for about $70 to $80 per line, rather than $1,500 per line under a traditional infrastructure. With the money saved, in fact, the company was able to implement an entirely new phone system, including all new switches and a managed Wi-Fi platform.

High speed connectivity delivers reliability

This same solution also provides high-speed connectivity across all telecommunications infrastructure. Regardless of whether a site is located in the heart of a city or out in the countryside, users benefit from flexible broadband service with high levels of availability and top-flight applications. In addition, this provides a high level of redundancy between sites. Should one location lose voice service, for instance, it can be automatically failed over to a nearby site and then just as easily restored once the issue has been isolated and corrected.

SD-WAN transforms the restaurant business

Like any business in the digital age, restaurants need to become leaner and meaner by driving out inefficiency from their supply and delivery operations that, in turn, will provide increased profitability from tighter margins. The first step in this conversion is upgrading IT infrastructure to state-of-the-art virtual cloud-based environments, but it will also require a change in business processes, the workforce and perhaps the business model itself.

From a networking perspective, SD-WAN provides the foundation on which all other advanced digital ecosystems can be built, and it can do so at lower cost and with fewer management headaches than traditional infrastructure.

Contact us today for more information on how CBTS can improve your wide area networking.

Bringing 5G indoors – the new “must have” for in-building wireless connectivity

A remedy for unreliable in-building cellular connectivity

Everyone can relate to poor cellular reception inside a building. In fact, with 80% of mobile traffic happening indoors, dropped calls and cellular dead zones have become common in the workplace.

However recently, as fifth generation mobile technology (5G) continues to be deployed globally, the demand for indoor connectivity has grown, and is expected to continue to grow exponentially, making in-building wireless connectivity the new “must have” among building owners and managers. 

To address this need, CBTS has developed a fiber-based, multi-carrier Distributed Antenna System (DAS) that delivers strong, reliable wireless connectivity to any type of mobile device no matter where they are inside a building.

“CBTS understands that mobility is mission-critical for organizations that require employees to work in multiple locations throughout the day. Our DAS solution delivers seamless connectivity for mobile users anywhere inside their work location, and is designed to integrate with future technologies such as 5G.

John Scola, Director Mobility Operations at CBTS

The CBTS solution is ideal for multi-level buildings and areas that lack reliable cellular connectivity, while delivering:

  • 5G ready infrastructure that is scalable to meet growing usage needs while ensuring lower cost of ownership and the ability to use most available frequencies.
  • Higher speeds and lower latency for organizations that are adopting a mobile-first approach for employees.
  • Enhanced public safety through integration with most emergency notification systems and improved ability to call 911 throughout the building.
  • Level of network reliability required for IoT and machine-to-machine learning solutions

The in-building wireless solution is also available as a Service, which means CBTS provides the following:

  • Initial building and wireless network assessment.
  • Custom design and engineering of DAS solution.
  • Management of installation.
  • Carrier onboarding and management.
  • Turn up of network with close-out package.
  • Ongoing 24×7 monitoring.
  • Monthly status and analytics reporting.
  • Flexible financing options, including optional upfront CapEx and a monthly OpEx service fee model

Learn more about in-building wireless and the CBTS Indoor 5G solution at cbts.com/indoor5G or read a case study to see how a large aviation manufacturer achieved their “mobile first” objectives with the implementation of our Indoor 5G solution.

 

Serverless Example: Greater Cleveland RTA Case Study

This article provides a brief synopsis of how serverless technology transformed the Greater Cleveland RTA’s Short Message Service system. To learn more about this real-world serverless example, download the full case study.

Mass transit authorities are facing a wealth of challenges as they head into a new decade.

From the cost of maintaining infrastructure to keep up with growing populations to ensuring public safety and security, transportation officials find themselves caught between the rock of municipal budget limitations and the hard place of increasingly demanding consumers.

A prime example is the Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). The Greater Cleveland RTA serves upwards of 44 million people in the city of Cleveland and its surrounding suburbs.

Primary problem – antiquated Engagement System unable to sustain growth

The organization employs a state-of-the-art emergency communications system. Its antiquated Engagement System was used to relay general safety messages to riders and to report their concerns. This system was struggling to keep up with expanding workloads.

One of the problems was an inability to quickly develop, and ultimately support, cloud-native applications. This is crucial in the transition from traditional IT architectures toward a more service-driven strategy.

In the digital economy, applications require far less latency than what is available from traditional on-premises infrastructure, particularly when the data environment scales to multiple geographically distributed data centers.

Clearly, Cleveland RTA needed a next-generation solution to solve a next-generation problem.

Solution – a serverless cloud architecture

Ultimately, the organization chose to deploy a serverless cloud architecture backed by CBTS cloud management and support. This change opened a wealth of new tools to create a modern communications framework, including:

  • AI from IBM Watson
  • Text messaging technology from Twilio
  • AWS Lambda services
  • LiveChat capabilities

Even at this early stage of the deployment, the results have been impressive.

Safety improved with direct to dispatch short message service application

The RTA has been able to field a state-of-the-art Short Message Service (SMS) texting application. This application allows riders to transmit safety concerns and other issues directly to dispatchers from their cell phones.

This service is designed for non-emergency issues such as helping a lost child, reporting vandalism, or alerting officials to potential safety concerns. And as with any text, these messages can contain photos, videos, and other attachments. These attachments provide transit officials with more information about the concern. They also assist the rider with maps, instructions, or other tools.

Improved service and lowered costs with AI

In addition, the service provides a real-time dashboard that combines current and historical data with IBM Watson and other Big Data tools to improve service and lower costs.

This gives transit officials valuable information to direct equipment, personnel, and other resources to where they are needed most at any given moment. At the same time, the impact of various solutions over time are gauged to ensure a steadily improving transportation experience for employees and riders alike.

AI can also be used to automate many routine queries from riders, directing them to the proper knowledge stores or otherwise resolving issues much faster than a human operator.

The overall benefit of implementing serverless architectures

The overall benefit of the solution has been to streamline communications between transit operators and the traveling public.

Gone are the days when complaints or concerns were submitted manually, on paper, and then dealt with at the slow pace of the bureaucratic process. Today’s rider can submit a query or make a comment to the authority through a simple text. Just as quickly, they can get an accurate, informative response that is appropriate to the nature of the concern.

And best of all, the system gets better over time as both riders and operators become more familiar with its capabilities.

Conclusion

In this digital age, even public authorities must keep up with the demands of the public.

As new generations of commuters enter the workforce, they expect the same kind of functionality in their transportation as they receive on social platforms, productivity solutions, and shopping sites. Serverless architectures allow organizations to quickly create these environments, even when budgets are tight and there is no guarantee that the new services they support will contribute to additional revenues.

To learn more about how a serverless cloud architecture transformed the Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority’s new texting platform, download the full case study.

 

Related Articles:

Transform your business with a serverless solution

Serverless vs containers: complementary or competing technologies?

CBTS holding CIO SD-WAN Summit in New York

Today’s workforce is spread across branch offices and remote work sites in the United States and throughout the world. That means it is more important than ever for IT leaders to explore Software Defined-Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solutions that can improve enterprise WAN performance.

Employees expect effortless collaboration, regardless of location. They want instant access, on any device, to cloud applications and rich-media files that consume an ever-increasing amount of your bandwidth. And they look to employers to provide it.

CBTS SD-WAN provides unlimited, optimized access across the entire enterprise organization for cloud applications and services while simplifying implementation and allowing for central management of all network activity.

Join CBTS experts at the CIO SD-WAN Summit on September 26, 2019 in New York, NY
Join CBTS experts at the CIO SD-WAN Summit

Join CBTS September 26 at the CIO SD-WAN Summit in NYC

Join CBTS on September 26 at the CIO SD-WAN Summit at Morton’s The Steakhouse–Midtown Manhattan in New York City for an executive-level dialogue that will address the future of enterprise networking. Our panel of experts will discuss strategies that combine and integrate SD-WAN, NaaS, and UCaaS to support the constantly evolving requirements of today’s business enterprise.

We will explore the strategic, operational, financial, and technological imperatives that must be addressed to ensure that all critical enterprise networking requirements are met in a flexible, future-proof, and cost-effective manner.

Our panel of experts will discuss the new opportunities created by the integration of emerging technologies into business operations and the networking environment, and how they can be leveraged to accelerate the achievement of critical business objectives.

Attendees will have the opportunity to network with other CIOs and vice presidents in the New York City metropolitan area.

CIO SD-WAN Summit features CBTS expertise

Panel members include:

Joe Putnick - Vice President and Principal of the Communications Practice, CBTS

Joe Putnick
Vice President and Principal Communications Practice
CBTS

Joe specializes in leading high-performance teams that consult, design, and deliver data networking and communications solutions to customers across all industries. Joe has held leadership positions in operations, sales, product development, and management during his tenure with CBTS and has more than 24 years of experience in the networking-telecommunications industry. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Jon Lloyd - Director of Cloud Networking, SD-WAN, and NaaS Solutions for CBTS

Jon Lloyd
Director of Cloud Networking, SD-WAN, and NaaS Solutions
CBTS

Jon has over 12 years of experience designing, developing, and implementing voice communications, connectivity, cloud, and networking strategies for businesses nationwide. He is recognized for his expertise and knowledge and is widely regarded as a thought leader in the SD-WAN marketplace.

Charles Pelton - Contributing Editor, CIO.com

Charles Pelton
Contributing Editor
CIO.com

Charles is the former Editor-in-Chief of InformationWeek Magazine. He has run dozens of business and IT roundtables, moderated IT and other business focused panels, and hosted executive conferences for CIO, Computerworld, and other groups. He co-founded Modern Media Partners which focuses, in part, on producing live events and conferences. A business journalist for more than 25 years, Charles has worked as a reporter for Time and USA Today and on events for The Economist and The Wall Street Journal.

CIO SD-WAN Summit to focus on key topics

Our experts will discuss the evolution of the enterprise network in the context of decisions by a growing number of organizations to pursue major digital transformation initiatives and the move away from siloed networks to an integrated SD-WAN, NaaS, and UCaaS strategy.

Our panelists will cover the impact of the rise in SD-WAN on the way enterprise technologists design, develop, and deploy network infrastructures to meet current and emerging business requirements, and the implications of these decisions from the perspectives of leadership, management, and talent requirements.

Finally, they will address the impact of emerging technologies on enterprise network design and how an integrated approach to SD-WAN, NaaS, and UCaaS can lead to real business outcomes; how actionable analytics and real-time visibility can enhance strategic business decisions; and how an integrated SD-WAN, NaaS, and UCaaS solution can enhance capabilities and streamline management through support by a single provider.

Register for the CIO SD-WAN Summit and get the SD-WAN CIO Toolkit.

Join CBTS experts at the CIO SD-WAN Summit on September 26, 2019 in New York, NY

Why SD-WAN is a powerful healthcare technology solution

Organizations face unique challenges when adopting a new healthcare technology solution. In addition to HIPAA and HITRUST compliance, hospitals must also conform to a federal mandate that requires meaningful use of electronic health records.

Healthcare organizations experience additional technical challenges, including:

  • The need to quickly share X-ray images, CT scans, test results, and other critical data with colleagues to collaborate on patient health management.
  • Advanced security measures to segment access to private information.
  • Integrating new acquisitions into the system.
  • Creating a positive patient experience.
  • The cost of multiple Internet links to ensure 24x7x365 operations.
  • Training and managing an IT staff to monitor technology and troubleshoot problems.

How SD-WAN can help

Software-defined networking in a wide-area network (SD-WAN) provides unbounded, optimized access to cloud applications and services across an entire healthcare system, including satellite and mobile offices. It allows healthcare providers to extend computer networks over long distances to connect remote branch offices, and to deliver the necessary applications and services.

SD-WAN technology allows healthcare systems to alleviate many of the following pain points:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Security
  3. Consolidation
  4. Patient experience
  5. Cost
  6. Staff

Collaboration

The continuum of care and increasing focus on patient experience demands that healthcare providers efficiently collaborate to support patients that see different specialists for different conditions. Ultimately, individual patient data must be accessible by every provider that supports that patient.

SD-WAN technology, a healthcare technology solution, gives clinicians the ability to quickly view and share data-heavy information without slowing down the network. This includes high-definition images and scans.

Security

CBTS understands the security needs of hospitals and healthcare systems. CBTS helps develop the right security posture for each of the organization’s needs. Through regional on-ramps, service insertions, or even virtual or cloud-based firewalls, CBTS provides a plan to make sure your data is safe.

Consolidation

In an era of continuous mergers and acquisitions, hospitals and healthcare systems can use SD-WAN technology, a healthcare technology solution, to create a single network infrastructure that includes many connection types, such as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), broadband, or wireless LTE. This allows healthcare systems to integrate newly acquired practices into the network that may use dramatically different technology infrastructure with separate providers.

SD-WAN technology also has the benefit of increased flexibility, which allows businesses to scale connectivity up and down for peak-and-valley demand. Ultimately, this will improve an enterprise’s connectivity between locations, the main office, and the cloud.

Patient experience

Patients want to be able to access the network as fast as possible. This SD-WAN technology allows for patient access whether they are in a facility or making an appointment from home.

Cost

In general, SD-WAN is much less expensive than the standard Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) or dedicated Internet links many healthcare facilities use. This healthcare technology solution is much less expensive because it removes expensive routing hardware and instead provisions connectivity and services from the cloud.

SD-WAN also has the benefit of increased flexibility, allowing businesses to scale connectivity up and down for peak-and-valley demand. This flexibility also means that businesses can avoid over provisioning, further lowering overall WAN expenses.

Staff

CBTS is a partner in a healthcare system’s technology. With 24x7x365 monitoring, providers don’t need to worry about deploying their staff to troubleshoot problems. CBTS proactively manages your network and identifies issues immediately.

CBTS can implement and manage your healthcare technology solution

SD-WAN provides healthcare systems with cutting-edge technology. CBTS has more than 800 highly certified engineers who take on the burden of IT management and maintenance for your organization. As a result, healthcare systems receive higher Quality of Service (QoS), reliable access to real-time voice and video services, and the luxury of focusing on their core business operations instead of overseeing complex networking infrastructure.

SD-WAN: 2019 strategic roadmap for software defined networking

The continued surge in digital business initiatives leveraging cloud-based IT delivery is a force that’s reshaping the enterprise network landscape and moving clients toward software defined networking.

The ever-rising cost model associated with traditional networking makes for an inflexible and highly inefficient solution in terms of capital allocation. Costs include replacing obsolete hardware and applications, securing the proper IT staff to manage and maintain the infrastructure, and relying on multiple vendors for deployment and ongoing support.

The future of networking is the cloud. We are increasingly deploying sensitive data migrations to the cloud as our clients’ on-premise data centers and servers reach end-of-life. We are also delivering more cloud-based applications as a service, which are scalable and tailored to your unique business needs.

The future-state of the network

According to a study conducted by Gartner with CBTS, the primary external forces driving network change are a desire to:

  1. Improve speed and agility
  2. Maximize uptime
  3. Reduce costs
  4. Optimize performance in the adoption of digital business initiatives

However, traditional network offerings are not suited to deliver agile, cost-effective, and high-performing solutions in support of hybrid cloud IT architectures. Plus, as the number of Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices connected to your enterprise campus network continues to increase, so do the requirements of your network.

After decades of sharpening network performance and adding on new features, the future of network innovation will require a strategic focus on:

  1. Operational simplicity
  2. Automation
  3. Reliability
  4. Scalability
  5. Solutions with flexible business models

Operational innovation and the network of the future

Network leaders should focus on solutions that simplify the deployment and operation of the network. Zero-touch configuration, orchestration with application programming interfaces (APIs), business-policy-based configurations, automation, and virtualization are just a few of these solutions.

Organizations should aim to future-proof enterprise data center investments by preferring solutions like software defined networking that can extend management capabilities into a multi-cloud environment.

Software defined networking increases connectivity, efficiency

CBTS Software Defined-Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) powered by VeloCloud, now part of VMware, provides limitless and optimized access across the entire enterprise organization for cloud applications and services. At the same time, it simplifies implementations and centrally manages all network activity.

CBTS SD-WAN delivers:

  • Maximized MPLS connections. Augment current, costly MPLS with a cheaper secondary connection, or even replace MPLS entirely in favor of broadband with SD-WAN.
  • Orchestrated services. SD-WAN orchestrates services among Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Local Area Networks (LANs), Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, security systems, and private and public clouds, including clouds hosted on Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS platforms.
  • Optimized usage. SD-WAN enables IT managers to build in rules for applications, specify 100 percent uptime for a specific application, and deliver remediation of packet loss or jitter.
  • Improved Quality of Service (QoS). The centralized, policy-based routing capability of SD-WAN can increase the performance and reliability of branch networks.
  • Successful business outcomes. SD-WAN delivers cost savings, drastic improvements on end-to-end voice and video communication, more efficient use of private and public networks, and the ability to optimize hybrid network activity and application-aware routing.

Strategic roadmap for software defined networking

Replacing traditional routers in favor of SD-WAN appliances will enable greater network agility, simplicity, and performance. Software defined networking distributes internet access and ensures the enterprise campus network can support current and future requirements for digital business such as IoT by leveraging Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity.

By embracing digital business initiatives and focusing on agility, automation, scalability and being output-driven, your enterprise network can evolve from a cost center to an entity that offers demonstrable business value for the organization.