The Two Biggest SD WAN Challenges Holding You Back and How to Solve Them

When it comes to evolving networks, you can hardly read an industry article nowadays without seeing the trend towards SD WAN.  It's no secret why companies are quickly adopting this technology: better agility, more capacity, increased resiliency, and yes, cost savings.

While we ALL get the benefits of SD WAN, we still see companies clinging to their traditional MPLS networks even with the higher costs, longer provisioning times, and risks inherent in dealing with traditional providers.


Let’s dive into the two biggest challenges enterprises face today in moving to SD WAN and how to address them.

sd wan challenge


SD WAN Challenge: Difficulty in Last Mile Connectivity

Arguably the biggest change from SD WANs to MPLS is in the last mile. Traditionally, the MPLS provider has covered last mile connectivity, managing the backbone, consolidated billing, etc. Many companies do not have the internal resources or process defined to address procuring, managing and paying for Internet last mile access.

Yes, it's true that last mile connectivity can be a real timesuck for your IT department. You have a few options there…

  1. Go ahead and use your internal team for procuring last mile connectivity and use a provider for aggregated contracting, invoicing, and billing. However, this is still quite the new burden for your IT team and still pretty expensive. In addition, the aggregator is technically the customer of record which means they actually own the IP addresses, not your company.
  2. Outsource a component of last-mile connectivity as part of a "project". (However this still requires resources to manage the project and all the inherent issues that arise)
  3. Enlist the help of a partner to evaluate solutions, vendors, and manage the transition to SD WAN. (We'd like to think this is the best of these three scenarios. Learn more here.)

Last mile connectivity shouldn't be a challenge holding you back from adopting SD WAN, but it is something that should be carefully planned for.

Read more: SD WAN: The Winners and Losers - How will you stack up?

SD WAN Challenge: Ongoing Management

We see enterprises struggle with the resources to address all of the ongoing components that are critical to ensuring SD WAN benefits. These include analysis of performance metrics, traffic flows, event logs, experience data, policy verification, SLA driven workflows, spare kit deployments, and 24x7x365 service and support.

It’s no wonder some enterprises with resource constraints may push off investing in SD WAN technology.

Why are enterprises outsourcing SD WAN?

IT organizations are stretched thin and this reality may cause some enterprises to move slowly even though they know the ROI and business benefits are compelling. Best-in-class enterprises are not letting resource or expertise limitations stop them from embracing the competitive advantage offered by SD WAN adoption. They are actively seeking out and partnering with reputable managed services firms with proven models to Assess, Architect, Procure, Implement and Manage the SD WAN road map. 

Next steps for your WAN transformation

The truth of the matter is religiously clinging to MPLS will prevent your company from realizing the competitive edge modern networking can bring to your organization.

Need to chat through the details with an expert? Contact us to learn your options with SD-WAN.


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February 02, 2019 / Colleen Kranz
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