[Article] SD-WAN and UCaaS Are Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter

September 12, 2017
 
Windstream's Austin Herrington

Austin Herrington

Windstream's Mike Frane

Mike Frane

By Austin Herrington and Mike Frane of Windstream Business

Chocolate is pretty darn good all by itself. And sometimes nothing is more comforting than eating a spoonful of peanut butter right out of the jar, like you’re a kid again. But do you know what’s even better? Combining the two. There might not be a better thing in this big, blue world than the combination of chocolate and peanut butter — they become even greater than the sum of their parts when they join forces.

Chocolate and peanut butter aren’t the only examples where a combination is better than the sum of its parts. Lennon and McCartney come to mind. And guacamole and chips. And SD-WAN and unified communications, which we happen to think are the chocolate peanut butter cups of the networking/IT world. The alchemy is even more pronounced for the 200,000 midsize companies in the United States, many of which currently rely on outdated WAN technology and voice systems whose age can sometimes be counted in decades rather than just years.

Many of those companies are – or ought to be – customers of the partners (or trusted advisers) reading this, and they need this sweet treat badly, although they may not know it yet.

Separately, SD-WAN implementations and unified communications upgrades can have dramatic impacts on day-to-day operations for mid-market companies when they upgrade from their legacy WANs and older voice systems:

  • Unified communications (in the form of a UCaaS implementation) transform obsolete, costly-to-maintain, difficult-to-expand legacy voice and messaging systems that many midsize companies have dealt with for a decade or more, replacing them with an integrated combination of web-based voice/messaging/video tools that enhance everything from uptime to customer experience to productivity. No wonder the market for UCaaS will grow at a 27 percent CAGR in terms of user base and more than 22 percent CAGR in terms of revenue over the next five years, according to a study by Frost & Sullivan.
  • And an SD-WAN implementation optimizes network spend and reduces the complexity, anxiety and downtime that so many midmarket companies experience with their traditional WANs, which are often poorly suited to support the diverse set of cloud applications that most companies are running today. SD-WAN provides a dynamic, adaptable, intelligent foundation for managing all of that traffic in a way that gives each application what it needs to perform well while making cost-conscious decisions about how to utilize various grades of bandwidth. No surprise then that nearly 64 percent of U.S.-based companies report plans to migrate from a traditional network to SD-WAN in the next 18 months, according to Forrester.

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