Many of the developments in managed services have been a boon for both large enterprises and SMEs. In particular, the power of cloud platforms has helped many entrepreneurs to launch new operations at a speed and with a power that was heretofore unimaginable. One of the more recent developments, SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Networking), can truly leverage the paradigm shift in IT services delivery to strengthen the stability and growth of smaller organisations seeking to expand their branch networks. Helping smaller organisations empower themselves with SD-WAN offers a huge opportunity for your MSP business.
Along with the exponential growth of digital-based business comes a giant expansion in the need for bandwidth. Even more important is the need for flexible, affordable bandwidth that is both reliable and secure. SD-WAN helps to address these needs in a way that makes it accessible even to smaller businesses.
The accessibility to enterprise-standard SD-WAN and the MSP’s ability to provide that to SMEs creates a huge potential growth area for your own business.
Video, Mobility, and Cloud
The growth of businesses dependent on delivery of video, access to mobility applications, and use of cloud platforms is driving the need for bigger bandwidth. Furthermore, the latency and quality of WAN services have become of vital importance for many of today’s applications. Even smaller organisations typically need a way to ensure QoS (quality of service) and the availability of sufficient bandwidth between their branches and to applications served from remote data centres.
SD-WAN sales are slated to grow by an annual compound rate of 69% over the next five years. Clearly, demand for SD-WAN is only going to grow. Large enterprises can afford to invest big budgets in buying the hardware and hiring the IT expertise required to support their SD-WAN needs.
SMEs may not be so fortunate. And, with the demand both for SD-WAN and the technical skills needed to implement and support it growing, SMEs are at risk of struggling to compete in a key resource area.
Fortify the SMEs
As an MSP business, you are in a prime position to support SMEs by helping them implement SD-WAN services that they can understand and afford. Expansion has always been a challenge for smaller organisations, especially in competitive markets. By helping to provide key technical knowledge and experience, you can help SMEs avoid the dangers and worries associated with what is quite a big technical challenge.
Key Areas for SD-WAN
There are three main areas in which MSPs can utilise SD-WAN services to help customers reduce branch network costs and enjoy higher quality services:
- Out-of-region WAN connections via third-party ISP or 4G network
- Enhance network timing and quality to improve video/voice services via video or unified communications platforms
- Boost bandwidth and/or lower bandwidth/operational costs for distributed networks
These are just three primary areas, examples really, of where MSPs can provide SD-WAN to support enterprises.
Of course, in order to utilise the power of SD-WAN, businesses will need to migrate some or all of their services. This is another big area in which the MSP can support SMEs.
The technical challenges of migrating to SD-WAN can be huge, especially for SMEs already facing the problem of trying to recruit skilled IT staff who can help with that migration. As a service provider with experience and knowledge, the MSP can help SMEs better understand the technical challenge, prepare for migration, select providers, avoid downtime or failures, and even identify cost or resource savings that can support the argument for migration.
The specific ways in which the MSP business can support businesses of all sizes with provision of SD-WAN would probably take many large books to list. We only have room to touch on key points here, but you should already see the huge opportunity becoming available thanks to SD-WAN, both to client companies and your own business. Helping to strengthen smaller operations offer a great way to leverage the power of SD-WAN.