April 17, 2024

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The Benefits of Choosing Managed SD-WAN for Your Business

4 min read
The Benefits of Choosing Managed SD-WAN for Your Business

SD-WAN enables businesses to save time, money, and hassle with centralized management. However, choosing the right provider is critical to the success of this network solution. Traditional router-based WANs require manual configurations updated regularly as business demands change. However, SD-WAN can automate these processes to ensure policies align with business intent.

Photo of a modern office space where a diverse group of IT professionals are gathered around a large screen, discussing SD-WAN configurations. Network diagrams and flowcharts are visible on the screen, showcasing how different branches connect to the main office using SD-WAN.

Flexibility

A key benefit of choosing managed SD-WAN is the flexibility it provides. This service allows businesses to monitor, change, and manage their WAN network remotely through a cloud-based management portal. It also eliminates the need for businesses to buy and maintain expensive hardware at each location, reducing capital expenditure. A managed SD-WAN solution uses intelligent routing to ensure that data travels over the best paths for specific applications — improving the quality of experience and application performance. This helps to alleviate the need for costly MPLS private connections between locations and saves on management overhead. The flexibility of managed SD-WAN also helps to accommodate business growth. This is particularly useful for larger businesses with many locations or a growing remote workforce. In these cases, the IT department would typically be unable to handle a migration to a more advanced network independently, meaning they’d need to rely on a third party to manage an SD-WAN solution. A managed service provider can handle the migration of an existing WAN at your preferred pace to improve your business’s agility and speed.

Cost-Effectiveness

Managed SD-WAN is a fully managed solution that provides a simpler, more cost-effective alternative to legacy network technologies. The service streamlines the network design, Internet connectivity options, installation, portal-based management, and ongoing support of a robust enterprise-grade wide area network (WAN). Many business applications require data to travel long distances, often over multiple transport services. An advanced SD-WAN offers a more efficient and cost-effective solution using application-aware routing to direct traffic over the best-performing path, ensuring consistent application performance and QoE, even in changing conditions. Maintaining network uptime is essential to employee productivity and customer satisfaction. An hour of downtime costs an average organization more than $300,000 in lost revenue and productivity. In addition, a fully managed SD-WAN can reduce the complexity and sprawl found in multivendor, multi-technology legacy networks, helping to simplify operations and improve ROI and security.

Scalability

A managed SD-WAN provides a comprehensive network infrastructure that can be scaled for growth without costly upgrades or equipment. With a business-driven design, operational policies are programmed centrally and automatically pushed to 10s, 100s, or 1000s of locations without the risk of configuration drift. This allows your team to grow confidently and provide a seamless customer experience. Depending on your company’s IT team size, you may not have the workforce or capacity to handle installation, patches, upgrades, monitoring, and management of all new WAN edge devices across multiple locations. Choosing a managed service provider with experience managing your WAN underlay networks (Internet, MPLS, LTE) can reduce the number of products to maintain, eliminate product-specific knowledge and skills gaps in the IT department, and allow you to focus on core IT projects. Cost reduction has long been one of the most attractive features of SD-WAN. But you might save less than you thought when you factor in all the access charges, add-on security services, and management fees with DIY SD-WAN solutions.

simplified SD-WAN architecture diagram

Security

Modern businesses demand a fast, secure network that delivers the personalized, anywhere, anytime experiences customers and employees expect. But legacy WANs aren’t up to the task. Consequently, IT leaders face costly outages, performance problems, and frustrated end users. SD-WAN simplifies IT management by automating security policies, enabling access to the public Internet, and providing a more resilient WAN with multiple transport options. It also enables direct cloud access for branches, avoiding backhauling traffic that can cause slow application performance. When evaluating managed SD-WAN providers, it’s essential to consider their backup plans, mean time to repair, and customer support. Choose a provider that offers centralized, easy-to-use management through a portal to simplify monitoring and make changes to your network. Choosing a fully managed SD-WAN service can accelerate your business and free up IT resources. Masergy’s software-defined networking solution eliminates the need for IT teams to build and apply virtual routing segments, implement new access control lists, or apply quality service policies to individual applications in each location. Instead, network, security, and application policies are applied – across all locations – through the central control plane.

Convenience

Choosing an SD-WAN provider that offers a single, unified package can reduce complexity and ensure a smooth, seamless transition to new technology. It can also improve ROI by reducing network downtime and increasing performance and security. The centralized management features of managed SD-WAN make it easier for IT teams to manage and monitor all aspects of the network. This helps streamline operations and frees IT staff to focus on other projects. It can also save time and money by eliminating the need for IT to travel to remote locations to resolve issues. Choosing an SD-WAN with a simple user interface can make it easier for employees to understand and use. This can require training training required and the time it takes for employees to get up to speed. It can also ensure that the solution works effectively, allowing for more efficient work and boosting productivity. It can also improve employee satisfaction by minimizing the impact of network problems on their jobs. The average organization suffers annually, which can be reduced with an SD-WAN solution.

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