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How to drive significant WAN savings

With zero risk and zero downtime
By Mick O'Donnell on 22 December 2020

As more and more organisations look at ways in which to transform their businesses digitally, we are seeing an unprecedented level of enquiries for support in managing the procurement process of finding an outsourced provider to move to SD WAN.

Why? The main reason organisations are moving to SD WAN is to avoid network downtime, increase efficiency and to create a more resilient network. However, is there a better more cost-effective alternative with zero risk of migration, or downtime?

All of our WAN re-procurements have resulted in significant savings of between 26% – 43%!

What is SD WAN?

A Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a virtual WAN architecture that allows enterprises to leverage any combination of transport services – including MPLS, LTE and broadband internet services – to securely connect users to applications. An SD-WAN uses a centralised control function to securely and intelligently direct traffic across the WAN.

The way in which the traffic is directed increases speed and performance as well as driving efficiency through agility and automated processes. This has a knock-on effect that the potential for error is decreased, service interruptions are rare and cost savings are commonplace.

What are the differences between SDN and SD-WAN?

Both SDN and SD-WAN are based on the same method – separating the control plane from the data plane to enable more intelligent networking. The main difference, however, is the way in which they are used.

SDN might be used in a data centre to enable services on demand. This reduces operational costs and improves performance. SD-WAN provides connectivity for geographically dispersed locations in a more scalable – and critically – a more secure way.

What are the benefits of moving to SD WAN?

  1. Visibility: you will have access to centralised data which provides you with performance metrics for each of your locations. This enables IT teams to have more visibility of whether their services are performing at optimal capacity.
  2. Speed: faster application performance is one of the main things that attracts IT directors to SD Wan. A better quality of service means faster applications and a better experience for the user, without interruptions caused by spikes in traffic levels.
  3. Agility: it is far easier to add additional new broadband locations – with lead times shifting to a matter of days to set up a new location. This is critical in our current climate as we see working practices changing and more employees working from remote locations.
  4. Efficiency: some of the tasks which were previously managed manually – such as broadcasting new locations across your network – are now handled automatically. This saves your IT team time and reduces the possibility for human error.
  5. Continuity: this is a critical one given the potential for further disruption. Each device has multiple means of access. If one fails, it will pass over to one of the other links seamlessly. This helps to mitigate risk of failure and to ensure business continuity.

By increasing performance and efficiency and offering a more agile way to deliver services, the key benefit organisations report when transition to SD WAN is reduced costs for their IT departments.

How can you make the move to SD WAN?

This is often the stumbling point for a lot of organisations. They anticipate that the process of transitioning to a new supplier will involve a lengthy tender process, and that the transition will involve a period of downtime, which they simply cannot afford.

Most organisations then have to weigh up the cost saving benefits vs the time and resource required to manage the selection and transition process.

This is when we can help. eXceeding’s team have managed a number of projects on behalf of our clients – whether that is to renegotiate existing contracts or to run a tender process to identify a new provider for SD WAN.

It may be surprising to hear that 97.6% of our customers have realised significant cost savings of – on average, 37% cost savings – through engaging us in their WAN renegotiation, versus a SD WAN migration!

There are always options available to improve on your current WAN provider’s agreement, cost, performance or service, but they won’t offer them if you don’t negotiate hard!

If you’d like to talk to use about your outsourced agreements or more specifically about negotiating a new WAN contract, please feel free to book an appointment with one of our IT category experts.

Image of BD & Sales Director, Mick O'Donnell

Mick O’Donnell

Mick spent 20+ years working for EDS and HP in the IT and BPO outsourcing industry, solutioning and managing complex Pan-European delivery models. This background has created a real passion for service excellence and delivering solutions that deliver true value.

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