ChannelVision Magazine

continents and 30 countries; over the next two years we are looking to scale that to our 800+ locations globally. We never explicitly set out to replace any specific technology, we set out to build a better performing hybrid network us- ing SD-WAN alongside direct internet access (DIA) and MPLS. As part of this re-architecture, we are constantly assessing which transport mechanism is right for each location, based on the requirements of the location – and ensuring this aligns strongly with our application strategy. The end-to-end encryption built into the SD-WAN plat- form (even when transporting across MPLS) was a big requirement for the business, as we drive to add addition- al layers of security to our data. CV: Was this part of a larger digital transition? If so, why is SD-WAN an important piece of that initiative? Higgs: Our network strategy needed to evolve at the same speed as our application-hosting strategy, to ensure optimum performance and appropriate resiliency to our end-user populations. SD-WAN allows our network strategy to meet those demands. CV: How did you evaluate which SD- WAN solution to go with? What crite- ria were important to you? Howell: We began by collating a list of requirements and challenges that were important to the business that we felt SD-WAN could help address. We then met with a number of ven- dors and assessed how their solution could satisfy those requirements. By the end of the process, we settled with the solution that we felt was in the best position to help us achieve our key objectives. CV: What challenges did you run into during the implementation, and do you have any lessons learned that you can share? Howell: Planning is key. There are many considerations in moving to a hy- brid network architecture, and it’s very easy to get lost in the technical detail without considering the impact on ser- vice and support. There are a number of ways to consume SD-WAN, and you must take some time to consider which is right for you so that the platform is scalable and supportable within your enterprise going forward. CV: Do you have any tips for other enterprises that may be considering the switch? Howell: As above, planning is key. CV: Any final thoughts? Higgs: A direct quote from the Rentokil Initial 2016 Annual Report highlights how our leadership team understands the importance of technol- ogy and innovation within the business: “Over the next three years we see sig- nificant opportunities to drive revenues, reduce costs and help better serve and retain our customers through the de- ployment of digital technologies.” o buyers side January - February, 2018 | Channel Vision 51