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MSP QoS Networks: SD-WAN Is Powering The Next-Gen Network

MSPs should lead with conversations around business plans and then focus on how SD-WAN can help build the next-generation network their customers are looking for, Frank Cittadino, CEO of QOS Networks, says at XChange 2019.

 

There's a growing emphasis on the network, especially as new endpoints join the network that were never there before and performance is arguably more critical than ever. SD-WAN can help MSPs take network conversations with their customers to the next level, said Frank Cittadino, CEO of QOS Networks.

QOS Networks, an SD-WAN-focused MSP, believes its fellow MSPs shouldn’t lead with products. Instead, MSPs should to start with an architecture conversation and learn what the vision is for a business and how the network can help, Cittadino said at XChange 2019, hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company.

"We're living in an automated world and partners expect the same from the network, where it always works and it's always on," Cittadino said.

"SD-WAN has become the heart of the network,” he said. 

[Related: NPD Group Presents Winners Of 2019 B2B Channel Performance Awards]

SD-WAN is growing because customers want faster circuits at a lower cost and they want to make sure their applications are performing at a high level, Cittadino said.

Advanced Systems Integrators (ASI) is a Holyoke, Mass.-based solution provider that is providing its customers with SD-WAN via its partnership with Fortinet. ASI is using Fortinet's FortiGate product as a next-generation firewall for its customers and has turned on the product's built-in SD-WAN capability for some of its multisite customers.

"[SD-WAN] is giving our customers better routing, easier manageability and failover," said Andrew Bialock, co-president and senior engineer for ASI. 

Bialock said that SD-WAN is helping ASI have more advanced network conversations with its customers. Some customers are able to save money on MPLS links thanks to SD-WAN, but it's also helping the network to become more application-aware, he said.

"If you need to get to your SaaS provider, or you want voice traffic to go ahead of Netflix traffic, for example, you can prioritize that across any link you have," Bialock said. "It gives organizations better control over applications."  

MSPs should be talking to their customers about their plans and evaluating how those plans are going to impact—or put greater demand—on the network, especially when it comes to IoT use cases like smart buildings and retail beacons, according to Cittadino. SD-WAN can help inject flexibility and automation into the network, he said.

MSPs then should steer the conversation to focus on how the new network requirements are going to add value to the business, he said.  

"That's really the conversation all MSPs should be having," Cittadino said. "Look at the business first and solutions last."

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