SD-WAN: Fueling the Channel Shift to Recurring Revenue
March 29, 2017
The channel is known for sometimes adapting to change at a snail’s pace. Their business has, for years, been served well by technology vendors who relied on them as conduits for their hardware sales (and sometimes installation services). And, for those resellers—whose sales can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per transaction—there hasn’t been a good reason to change.
The technology landscape is evolving, however, and more resellers are waking up to a new reality. Technology trends such as cloud applications and resources, along with the Internet of Things, are putting intense pressures on traditional networking infrastructure, and enterprises and carriers alike are feeling the pinch. At the same time, enterprise technology teams aren’t keeping up with demand. As a result, more companies are looking to managed services to help them bridge the gap between what they have and what they need.
Technologies including software-defined networks (SDNs) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are part of a new evolution in infrastructure and managed services, enabling service providers to expand the reach and capabilities of their customers’ networks with much lower capital expenditure. But while customers are reaping the benefits of more robust networking and security as a service, they’re leaving their traditional hardware-focused resellers out of the equation.
Offering networking as a service (NaaS) can be a slam dunk for resellers that have previous networking experience. Narrowing the focus to SD-WAN, which is a cost-effective, faster and simpler-to-manage alternative to traditional WANs, can help this new breed of reseller-turned-service provider differentiate from its hardware-focused competitors while reaping recurring revenue. What’s more, SD-WAN and its counterpart SD-Security offer benefits not found in traditional WANs:
Transport-agnostic: The virtualized nature of SD-WAN makes it able to support any type of transport, from broadband to LTE to MPLS to Ethernet and even Wi-Fi, resulting in significant cost savings and adding much needed bandwidth for cloud access and new digital projects.
Easier provisioning: Appliances can be sent to branch offices unprovisioned and can download their policies automatically. They also can start to learn traffic patterns as soon as they’re connected, minimizing downtime.
App-based traffic management: SD-WANs can support app-based traffic management for routing network traffic in real-time and dynamically rerouting packet flows for the best performance. Routing decisions are made based on data such as latency, load and QoS policies.
Better security: SD-WAN with SD-Security integrates a broad set of security functions with the network, streamlining security tasks for administrators and providing the full protection needed for direct Internet access.
What’s more, using virtualized network functions (VNF), service providers can create customized services that extend their value proposition beyond offering basic networking. Security, for one, can be a tremendous opportunity for service providers to deliver functionality and establish themselves as a trusted provider to their customers.
Versa’s SD-WAN/SD-Security solution makes it easy for resellers to become service providers and offer managed services that provide advanced connectivity and security functions at a fraction of the cost of traditional WANs. Leveraging Versa capabilities such as multi-tenancy, multi-service, elasticity and zero-touch provisioning—they can help their customers transform their WAN and branch be more agile and save money.
The software-defined revolution is changing networking as we know it, along with customers’ perceptions of what is possible from their infrastructures. The channel, too, must evolve to address changing business models, as hardware budgets shrink and customers look to do more with less. SD-WAN can be the technology that transforms resellers into true service providers.