Why Organizations Don’t Want SD-WAN Offered by Their ISP or Telco

Karma BennettSD-WAN, Visibility, Voice/VoIP

Lock in is just one issue with getting SD-WAN from your carrierEarly adopters have found that getting SD-WAN services from their phone or Internet carrier doesn’t deliver the biggest bang for the buck. A recent Gartner survey unveils the problems for those looking at SD-WAN offerings.

The software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) market continues to grow at a phenomenal pace. SD-WAN solutions only started coming on the market in 2015, but the technology was already seeing mass adoption in 2017. Gartner predicts that 2018 and 2019 will be key years for growth as early adopters continue rapid uptake of the technology.

With a market this hot, many vendors are jumping on the SD-WAN bandwagon. Back in 2015, all SD-WAN deployments were “do-it-yourself”—the organizations purchased, implemented and managed the technology. By early 2016, managed services providers (MSPs) had begun offering SD-WAN services, and by mid-2016 traditional telecom carriers and Internet service providers had introduced SD-WAN products. Research firm IDC has predicted that by 2020 the majority of SD-WAN services will be provided by the companies that sell phone and broadband.

Often it appears that getting another service from a vendor you’re already paying is easy and convenient. They may even bundle the product in with phone or Internet, suggesting there is a discount.

Do Customers Want to Get SD-WAN from Their ISP or Phone Carrier?

But is that what customers want? A recent Gartner survey says it’s not. Only 30 percent of U.S. respondents said they preferred SD-WAN delivery through a carrier or network service provider. Most (37 percent) preferred to obtain services through the SD-WAN vendor, and 30 percent preferred a non-carrier provider such as an MSP or systems integrator.

The reasons for these preferences become obvious when you consider the top drivers for SD-WAN adoption. Organizations implement SD-WAN to gain increased availability, performance and agility while reducing WAN transport costs. Buying SD-WAN from a carrier is not going to give them the flexibility they’re looking for, and likely won’t provide the cost savings they’d get with an independent solution.

Carriers and some MSPs embed an SD-WAN service in a larger solution and make it look inexpensive. However, these SD-WAN offerings are more complex and expensive in the long run once you include installation, configuration of the rules and ongoing management of those rules.

Carrier-bundled SD-WAN often costs more in the long run once you include installation, complexity and configuration of the rules and ongoing management of those rules.The perceived challenges associated with SD-WAN offer another perspective:

  • Almost half (48 percent) of Gartner survey respondents were concerned about the lack of visibility into the operations of the service provider.
  • 48 percent were concerned about service provider lock-in.
  • 43 percent about lack of control over the SD-WAN solution.

Even if the ISP provides a bundled discount, SD-WAN offerings are not going to solve those problems.

Addressing the Problems Created by SD-WAN Resold by ISPs/Telcos

When organizations purchase services through an SD-WAN vendor, the WAN transport layer becomes commoditized. Customers can mix and match carrier services such as MPLS with broadband Internet, 4G/LTE wireless and even satellite technologies. Within these categories the services are interchangeable, giving customers the flexibility to obtain the best connectivity at the best price.

InSpeed’s SD-WAN solution goes even further. InSpeed Quality Service (IQS) installs on your existing network—no waiting for your carrier or ISP to install a new circuit and hit you with special charges. You don’t have to worry about changes in the network and IP addresses causing issues with your service. Simply plug in the InSpeed appliance and IQS automatically prioritizes interactive traffic and optimizes bandwidth over any connection. You gain:

  • high-quality voice and video conferencing
  • guaranteed application performance
  • the cost advantage of avoiding a carrier-class circuit
  • real-time visibility into ISP performance and site or data center issues

Our unique Control Center provides graphic visibility of the ISP’s performance, making service calls simple because you can easily and accurately describe the issue to the ISP. You’ll see exactly how your circuits are performing and how IQS is responding to changing traffic conditions. The big win is visibility into the ISPs performance and the ability to triage an issue among site, ISP, or data center

InSpeed does not charge for bandwidth or require a second connection. If you want to install an additional connection for business continuity it’s as easy as a song—simply add a low-cost 4G/LTE modem to be used only for network failover.

Unlike other SD-WAN services, InSpeed is self-managing, and operation and maintenance are included. No IT time is required to make modifications to the service or keep it working properly. Plus, InSpeed provides a secure network, so there is no need to add a separate firewall or VPN.

The benefits of SD-WAN are well documented but a lot depends on the service provider you select. Early adopters have found that telco SD-WAN services fail to deliver the best value. InSpeed provides an independent solution that’s highly effective, cost-efficient and easy to use.

Contact one of our sales specialists to answer all your questions about SD-WAN.

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