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Systematic Support for Next-Gen Networks


What’s more, software platforms have the ability to go even further than gathering and presenting accessible data.

When attempting to capture the kind of data that can create a detailed proposal for a client, there are three key obstacles to overcome. The first challenge is a lack of easily accessible data. The kind of information providers need is typically far from their fingertips. Instead, fragmented and insular pieces of disparate data must be hunted down and gathered in an often-beleaguering process. Next, this data must be cobbled together somehow to create the kind of comprehensive view required to make smart recommendations.

On the whole, it’s difficult to execute a reliable decision when insight is disjointed across 40 data silos. Providers need to establish a way to integrate data points into a central, actionable application workflow. Finally—and perhaps most critically—once different SD-WAN options can be detailed, the technical aspects of each must be associated with financial considerations. Comparing different network configurations virtually always involves different cost details. For instance, a system uptime of five nines could be achieved by leveraging a new fiber route or by employing two existing broadband connections. Both options achieve the goal but carry vastly different costs. When accurately appraising trade-offs in a situation like this, costs must be part of the equation.

A systematic solution

If all of this sounds daunting, that’s because it is. Fortunately for service providers, help overcoming the obstacles associated with architecting an ideal SD-WAN deployment exists. Purpose-built, API-enabled software can paint trusted context around which networks can serve which enterprise locations in one platform. These platforms can also interact with all the other applications involved in the process, from custom web applications to network engineering software, in order to centrally assemble all of the relevant and dependable intelligence needed to make the best decisions regarding SD-WAN architecture. With a location-based and data-driven support system painting a full picture of the market landscape and its relation to a client’s enterprise from the start, a network provider’s planning capability comes sharply into focus.

What’s more, software platforms have the ability to go even further than gathering and presenting accessible data. First, platforms can automatically process network data to intersect with product pricing. The days of manually jumping between spreadsheets and portals in piecemeal fashion to compare broadband, DIA, and Ethernet rates can be relegated to the past. The economics of SD-WAN deployments can therefore be measured quickly and compared to alternative approaches by leveraging automation.

Secondly, software can detail the performance aspects of one network over another. From available networks, support systems can calculate latency and report diversity for any given route. With this detailed intelligence, support systems empower providers to make the right decisions so the right SD-WAN deployment can empower the client’s business.

Service providers that aren’t prepared to embrace data-driven decision-making and automation are leaving opportunities—and dollars—on the table. Simply put, providers can’t maximize ROI for their clients and growth for themselves if they are using a swivel-chair approach to evaluating SD-WAN options. Rather, providers need support systems that surface critical, trusted insights in a unified interface with context around economics.

SD-WAN presents enterprises with the exceptional ability to lower costs while guaranteeing high standards of quality for each of their applications through the dynamic management of their own network. As a result, the rapid embrace of SD-WAN by the business world provides each service provider with an opportunity and a test rolled into one. To keep pace, these providers must rely on support systems that are purpose-built with the actionable intelligence and workflows needed to drive their go-to-market activity and set a course for significant growth as SD-WAN continues its widespread adoption.



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