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With all the chatter about networks and the numerous acronyms floating around, it can be challenging to decide which provides the greatest benefits for a business.

I spoke to a woman last month who called about her professional situation and needed technology advice. She was based in southern California, with a global client base. Her company developed a line of products, manufactured in Hong Kong where she hired an on-site team of two staff members for a local presence, who facilitated communications and logistics. Her distributors were based in Seattle and New York, close to major international ports for ease of transportation and customs.

Her opening line?

“I have a very unique situation, and I need advice on what I should do.”

Her situation was unique for her but was one we encounter often and there is a relatively straightforward solution that would simplify everything for her. After gaining deeper insights to understand her business model, her process, and her needs to comprehend everything that would impact the right choice for her, our team was able to offer expertise that guided her in the right direction – and most importantly, she felt comfortable with her decision.

We do this every day – customers in her position make these decisions far less often, and it’s always our goal to make sure our customers are confident with their decision and have the right solution for their needs.

Whether faced with the purchase of an entirely new network or investing in a network overhaul, it’s our goal to balance the needs of a business with their bottom line and offer the most cost-effective options for today and the future. Investing in technology should be a long-term investment, not just a short-term “fix”. In the case of this caller, she had been communicating entirely by email, telephone, fax, and other manual methods and the effort the team was putting in to share files, information, transactional elements, and every other detail was becoming the opposite of productive!

In this case, the caller needed to establish a network for her global team. She’d read about our Cisco certification and understood the difference Cisco Certified Professionals bring to the table. She’d learned LA Networks’ Chief Networking Architect was a speaker at a Cisco event, leading her to inquire with LA Networks given the topic of the cloud and networking solutions.

Her initial inquiry was on setting up a wide-area network (WAN), since her team would need a better bandwidth solution and more secure data flow. A WAN is a great option for global networks that span large geographical distances, like hospitals and universities and global enterprises like Fortune 500 companies, etc. A WAN can also easily work for smaller enterprises, too, who want to take advantage of the same efficiency and productivity enjoyed by global enterprises.

A newer solution is the software-defined WAN, or SD-WAN, that promises simpler, faster and more economical options for a WAN taking advantage of multiple technologies simultaneously while still benefitting from secure connectivity.

What’s so great about SD-WAN?

  • SD-WAN can be delivered as a service, allowing a network to be used the same way as a cloud service, allowing the user the same great flexibility and performance expected in a network but in a more cost-effective presentation.
  • The “SD” in SD-WAN allows the network to be controlled by software, making the set-up easier for users to add features and functions from a centralized location – like a dashboard.
  • Network considerations require users to factor the type of technology their network uses, and this caller’s case was no different, though this was a great example of the need for a cloud solution., and an SD-WAN is flexible to be great for on-site, virtual, or cloud options.

Since the concept of the WAN was introduced, users and providers have been testing ways to decrease WAN costs without sacrificing performance – in fact, trying to improve performance. With the widespread adoption of cloud computing and the pace of business operations ever-increasing, the need to do more with less and the demand for improved technology and performance has SD-WAN positioned squarely as today’s solution.

In the case of our caller, if she needs to expand to a new location for additional team members as her company grows, a new location set-up takes just a few minutes. Multiple locations can impact cost, in terms of a network. In cases like these, cloud-based network traffic is routed through a series of links to the hub site for security, impacting speed and performance from WAN bandwidth issues.

  • How is SD-WAN better than WAN or a VPN? In fact, they’re rather similar, but SD-WAN offers the ability to adjust much more rapidly to optimize latency. Internet users who experience a slowdown on a page or a delay in a file transmission on a network are experiencing latency. In this sense, SD-WAN is able to reduce latency through improved technology.

A Cisco Certified Partner is the best expert to offer guidance on which network is the right choice, a step-by-step plan for launch strategy, and as a provider to manage the service and guarantee success and continuity. Any questions should always be addressed by a Cisco expert!

By calling LA Networks, this caller’s global endeavor worked with experts to design, implement, and have her network monitored by a Cisco Gold Partner, and is enjoying a simplified solution with great benefits:

  • Specialized experts
  • 24/7 Incident management
  • Predictable network costs

Perhaps the greatest advantage to any LA Networks customer in this caller’s position is the ability to focus on her business and strategic priorities while knowing her network is secure and in the right hands. Our executives have more than 50 combined years of expertise in networking, and our team shares regular updates with the latest news and information in technology.

Contact us today about our Strategic IT Services and the benefits of SD-WAN!