Jun 06, 2022

Partner or Vendor: Who should you engage with for SD-WAN and Managed Network Services?


Taking lessons learned from a Bacon-and-egg sandwich

You have perhaps heard this business story before: 

Question: In a bacon-and-egg breakfast, what's the difference between the Chicken and the Pig?

Answer: The Chicken is involved, but the Pig commits!

We believe that this analogy well represents the difference between the benefits of engaging with a partner (which would be the pig) instead of a vendor (the chicken). A partner is always going to be more committed to your business.

Vendors are organizations that you must manage. Sometimes, they provide good service, often they do not. They are generally reactive and will do only that which you tell them to do. 

Partners on the other hand share your goals, will consistently go the extra mile whenever needed, and work proactively with you to continuously raise performance. 

Perhaps, one reason why several businesses struggle with growth is that they have relied on vendors for a long time for infrastructure and network management. As a result, they have not been getting the service or value that would propel their overall success.

Many businesses prefer vendors because it comes with less risk of disruption and also helps them maintain the status quo.

While it is always easy to select a replacement vendor, their services are vastly insufficient for an organization that needs to embrace the digital future.

Chances are that you have set your expectations too low because of the services that your current vendors provide.

Now is the time to change the path so that your business can reach a different and better place, and at a pace defined by you.

The Microland edge as an SD-WAN and Managed Network Services Partner

Graphic showing Microlands edge as an SD-WAN and Managed Network Services Partner

Your network is the backbone of your infrastructure connecting all other pieces, and it must become the enabler to your business digitization. 

No enterprise becomes a successful digital business with a mediocre network. Many enterprises make the mistake of seeking economic optimization by bundling network management with transport thereby typically favouring a telco as the selected services provider.

Unless you are a very large organization, while you may gain a cost-benefit in such a scenario, history tells us that you are going to suffer in terms of service as most telcos are not known for their proactivity.

Thankfully, there is another means of accomplishing both cost and service advantage which comes by splitting network management away from the commodity transport links, awarding them separately, and charging the network management provider with operationally managing the transport provider(s).

In this paradigm, Microland can benefit you in the following ways as a partner:

  • Smooth transition away from your current network services provider and quick stabilization of ongoing services from your current estate.
  • An accelerated, optimized deployment of SD-WAN technology and internet-based circuitry that will increase the User Experience and operational agility of your WAN fabric and access to the cloud.
  • An extreme focus on service quality that begins with providing complete real-time visibility against SLAs with transparency. The underlying metrics help with proactive measurement and management of User Experience in your network, and always include an incessant drive for continuous service improvement.
  • Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of your network through the development and deployment of a robust set of automation playbooks spanning technology and all ITIL processes and setting a course to treat your network infrastructure as code.
  • Enabling future value by deploying a software-defined technical solution with the ability to scale and transform your network from a heterogeneous collection of providers to a single secure and performant fabric. 

So how does a managed SD-WAN work?

SD-WAN provides enterprises with a software defined approach to manage their wide-area networks, so that networking can be consumed the same way as cloud services. Managed SD-WAN provides a holistic view of the network status and dynamically routes traffic based on predefined policies and controls. SD-WAN edge devices provide deployment agility with zero-touch, centralized management, and orchestration through a cloud portal.

Key benefits of engaging an SD-WAN managed service provider

SD-WAN managed service providers (MSPs) provide end-to-end remote support for all your enterprise network needs that can enhance user-experience and improve business connectivity. This includes end-to-end WAN and cloud traffic optimization and the ability to considerably reduce network downtime via link failover without impacting performance. With an SD-WAN MSP, enterprises can focus on running their business operations while the service providers ensure optimal utilization of enterprise network resources. Managed SD-WAN service providers are increasingly providing bundled security services.

Here are some of the top reasons why enterprises choose an SD-WAN managed service provider:

  • They bring domain and technology expertise in network and aggregation capabilities to support enterprise digital transformation initiatives
  • They offer competitive SLAs with 100% committed uptime for SD-WAN sites deployed with high availability
  • They provide centralized self-service customer portals that CIOs can use to control site activation, troubleshoot network and security issues, manage policy changes, gain visibility, and generate network status reports - the self-service portals can be co-managed by client and service provider teams
  • They can identify non-business traffic from business-critical traffic and make the right policy changes to deprioritize non-business traffic helping decongest the network and free up bandwidth
  • They can dynamically scale up and down network bandwidth depending on network status and business requirements
  • They provide follow-the-sun global NOC and SOC support services to enable CIOs make real time decisions
  • They can seamlessly implement SD-WAN features such as multiple traffic steering and link optimization options
  • They offer flexible pricing models including fixed monthly rate over the contract period or pay-as-you-go model (hourly / monthly) without entering long term commitments, some providers may also offer burstable and aggregate billing options
  • Certain providers include optional procurement and management of first and last-mile circuits which allows clients to outsource some of their vendor management concerns
  • Enterprises do not want to deal with one-time investments in network components and hardware, they would rather have a partner manage and optimize the procurement in adequate measures

Why choose Microland as your preferred SD-WAN and Managed Network Service provider?

Microland has been recognized globally by both Gartner and ISG as being a Leader in the SDN Transformations and Managed Network Services space. 

We have earned these titles because of our ability to act as a trusted partner (and not a vendor), to execute at the highest levels of performance driving both User Experience and Customer Satisfaction, and to proactively drive our clients’ digital transformations in a manner that increases their business capabilities.

Microland Smart Branch SD-WAN services are a one-stop shop solution for every SD-WAN requirement. Our services range from Software Defined-WAN proof-of-concepts to design, deployment, and managed services, offering a complete lifecycle solution delivered in an “as a service” model.

Microland has been recognized as a leader for the third consecutive year in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Managed Network Services. Click here to download your complimentary copy. Click here to learn more.

Further Reading on Managed SD-WAN Services