SD-WAN is going to be the ultimate driver in the convergence between the telecom and IT markets, and solution providers should have this important technology on their radars, according to master agent WTG.
Many businesses today are relying on the cloud and have distributed IT environments. As SD-WAN offerings grow in popularity, so does the opportunity for WTG channel partners, Julie Dzubay, the company's vice president of sales operations, told CRN during the XChange Solution Provider conference, hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company.
"SD-WAN is really starting to meet the needs of more business, instead of just the elite, large companies, so the opportunity for the channel is huge," Dzubay said.
The Comtel Group, a VAR turned telecommunications and IT consulting firm that partners with WTG, already is deploying SD-WAN solutions, leveraging technology from SD-WAN startups, as well as through its partnerships with carriers that are also touting SD-WAN offerings for its customer base. The provider works with its customers to evaluate whether the business needs a traditional WAN, or point-to-point network, a hybrid WAN, or a SD-WAN-only architecture.
While SD-WAN deployments aren't yet widespread among business, The Comtel Group believes that SD-WAN should be a part of every conversation with customers today, said Samuel Singer, senior analyst and department manager for the Irvine, Calif.-based provider.
"Frankly, after evaluating customers, we are more often moving away from traditional [WANs] and moving more toward hybrid and pure SD-WAN deployments," Singer said.
SD-WAN can help customers connect to cloud environments or to multiple locations while saving money on private connections, such as MPLS, and give them more bandwidth, reliability, and a consistent network across disparate locations, he said.
As SD-WAN gains traction, partners -- especially VARs and MSPs -- are going to embrace this technology because instead of having the burden of maintaining hardware, they'll be managing the network, Dzubay said.
"SD-WAN is the gateway. The work that VARs are doing with hardware and on customer premise today, they are going to be able to start doing that work within the network instead of within boxes," she said. "It's going to turn their attitude to, 'This is the way we do business.'"
Singer agrees that SD-WAN solutions will free MSPs from some of network management burdens. An SD-WAN solution will also give partners recurring monthly revenue, rather than a one-time payout for a hardware sell, he said.