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Networking in a hybrid world: SD-WAN a cost-effective way to transform in 2021

28 Jul 2021
Peter Terry-Brown 

Peter Terry-Brown

Unified Communications and Connectivity Director
Vodafone Business

While businesses continue to face up to today’s unique challenges, the need to support remote workforces remains the biggest priority.

Overnight, the number of locations where data and applications needed to be accessed exploded. No longer are businesses working across one or multiple offices, but from anywhere.

This has quite rightly got business leaders thinking about their network infrastructure. Following last year’s boom in video calling, will the network have enough bandwidth to cope in a ‘hybrid’ world of work? How do we keep staff productive and free of tech frustration? And how can all of this be done securely?

As businesses continue to embrace the cloud, it means legacy networking looks increasingly less suited.

What’s emerged are software-defined networks which both are automated and intelligent. Impossibly complex tasks become simple, allowing an organisation to move much faster, and in a way which enables growth while staying secure.

What is SD-WAN, and why should I care?

To take advantage of this, SD-WAN offers a route to bridging the gap between old and new – the ‘SD’ standing for software defined. This is a hybrid way of reducing the cost of hardware and services when using the cloud, allowing a business to build on top of existing network infrastructure.

By providing a single, real-time view of the network, SD-WAN gives businesses a level of flexibility and control they simply haven’t had before. This allows them to respond more quickly as needs change.

Working with one customer in the industrial sector, we focussed on how SD-WAN can be used to manage the increasing bandwidth demands on the network. This means the business can get the highest performance on important applications, even at the busiest times.

For this customer, SD-WAN also lays the foundation for using AI in the future, as well as 5G. It will be these building blocks which will allow businesses to take advantage of Intent Based Infrastructure in the future.

With this in mind, we have invested heavily across major markets to allow for a global footprint with SD-WAN. On top of this, we’re focussing our attention on orchestration and automation, meaning businesses can gain an edge today, rather than being hampered by a legacy system tomorrow.

This is all in a breadth of offering which suits businesses of any size - from major multi-nationals, right down to SMEs.

Recognised by the analysts

You don’t need to take it from us – our work being delivered today has been acknowledged by industry analysts. We have been identified as a leader in SDN services in the Forrester Wave report, ranking top for strategy, as well as being named a leader in the Gartner Network Services Magic Quadrant.

The Forrester Wave report says: “With multiple SD-WAN platforms and security integration across each, customers can focus on finding the right one for their unique applications and the traffic entering and leaving their remote sites. Global organizations that have a strong presence in EMEA and Asia and need deep SD-WAN expertise should consider Vodafone.”

We were also named a major player in the IDC Marketscape Worldwide Managed SD-Wan 2020 report.

Whatever your reason for transformation, we’re the partner to work with when it comes to SD-WAN.

See what analysts had to say about our offering: click to view the Gartner and Forrester Wave reports.
You can also explore Software Defined Networking with Vodafone and how we can help here.

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