One of our regular discussions with Chief Technology Officer John Keyser and Operations Director Spencer Hanley. This month they share their insight into SD-WAN – why, when and how?
We start by discussing why it’s worth your organisation considering SD-WAN.
John explains, “What we’re doing at ISUMO, is explaining to IT Managers in practical terms what SD-WAN would mean to their business. If you go online to research SD-WAN, it is likely that you will be bombarded with ads from hardware vendors trying to sell to you. This makes it difficult to get the reliable information you need, and can be quite discouraging. Don’t go that route, pick up the phone and give our industry experts a call.”
“It’s important that organisations have the ability to adjust to change and be dynamic in today’s volatile commercial environment. Agility is a key component of a thriving organisation post pandemic. SD-WAN can be part of that approach.”
“Crucially SD-WAN reduces lead-times for making critical organisational changes. More than ever, organisations need to be able to close an office within a month, and have the ability to start up a new office just as quickly, without being tied into long contracts.”
You’ll need a scalable solution.
Spencer looks at this from the clients view point, “When we’re talking with large organisations, that typically have a network team and the talent in-house, we’re providing the specialist knowledge that enables them to deliver SD-WAN hand-in-hand with our team. A successful transition from a traditional network to SD-WAN is complex, but done well it’s key to reducing over-costs, increasing network speed and availability and providing higher-level security with many additional features and business benefits.”
“When we’re working with a medium sized organisation, who perhaps wouldn’t have a dedicated network team, but possibly one or two engineers and an IT Manager, we provide the audit, design, build and support with our managed solution. We’re effectively their network team end-to-end providing a secure, future-proof network.”
John says, in a nut-shell. “SD-WAN has been around for a long time but there have been different ways of configuring it. Now it’s all in a single dashboard, with a simplified management interface. You no longer need an MPLS supplier, you can be much more agile and take advantage of a whole suite of new security features.”
Is there an optimum time to change to SD-WAN?
John answers, “The biggest advantage of SD-WAN is removing the supplier lock-in. It’s a real problem for organisations needing to make changes when they’re locked into a 3, 4 or 5 year contract. So my advice is to review the terms of your existing MPLS supplier contract. Give yourself at least 6 months before your contract ends, talk to us, we will thoroughly audit your network, and begin the transition process.”
How would a multi-branch organisation approach the change to SD-WAN? And what should they be looking out for?
“Of course there is a use-case for MPLS but it’s getting more difficult to justify the costs of it.” Says John, “SD-WAN makes a case for cost savings, however you do need to look properly at the pricing of potential vendors. Don’t be put off SD-WAN by the prices you’ll find on the internet, costs of hardware, circuits and maintenance can appear not to stack up.”
“ISUMO is a different business model though. The reason we’re able to deliver cost effective SD-WAN to our clients is that we don’t load margin on the costs of hardware and circuits. We make our core margin on the expertise we provide through our Network Care Plan. It’s a different approach that gives our clients the advantage of reduced CapEx, alongside quality, cost effective, end-to-end support as your network and your organisation continues to develop”.
“We’re not selling hardware. We’re selling our knowledge, our practical expertise, the latest specialist advice, management skills and peace of mind support. The combined experience of our established team of technologists is the real advantage that our clients are gaining by teaming up with ISUMO.”
So, what is so good about the ISUMO Network Care Plan?
“The Network Care Plan is one of our USP’s”, John explains. “Traditionally you have a supplier providing the connectivity, a hardware supplier and a line provider. When issues arise, the IT Manager is stuck in a grey area between these providers. Communication between all these parties is complicated, and many IT Managers become frustrated with their suppliers lack of ownership. Well, it’s that grey area that we clear up with our Network Care Plan. It doesn’t matter where the hardware and connectivity come from, we study the solution from end-to-end. Caring for the whole network and completely eliminating this traditional grey area. We talk to everyone involved, from the employee sat at their lap-top, to the connectivity providers and we get the problem solved. It doesn’t matter where the problem is, we find it and resolve it – day or night.”
Spencer continues, “The Network Care Plan is designed to help any network, either one we have built or an existing network. Our process of discovery, monitoring and vulnerability assessment ascertains exactly what your bespoke Care Plan will be. It’s actually a really good way to start if you’re looking to go on a journey from one network architecture to another – MPLS to SD-WAN for example. Engaging with a trusted partner that goes on that journey with you and that looks after the network before and after, is so much better, and simpler for everyone. But hey, we’re getting into the details of the Network Care Plan now… I’ve got so much to say! Shall we save some of that for another edition?” John laughs, and agrees.
If you have an IT issue you would like some expert advice on, please email or call Spencer for friendly and sound advice.