ChannelVision Magazine

If proponents and champions of the technology are right, SD-WAN means some big decisions must be made by agents and distributors. That’s not just because of the projected size and impact of the market, although it’s estimated to grow at a compound annual rate of 69 percent, hitting more than $8 billion in just a few years. It’s also not only a matter of the anticipated disruption and transformation brought by SD-WAN, although it does push the corporate WAN to new places and simplifies service deployment from a closet of “dusty boxes” to check marks on a list in one unified device. When we put those realities together, SD-WAN seems to have moved from “if and when” to “how and who,” and when it comes to picking SD-WAN part- ners, sales organizations might want to give extra special consideration to whose SD-WAN platform they are putting their customers on. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, warned Eric Knight, CEO of SimpleWAN. Indeed, it’s a relationship that could be more about matrimony than speed dating. “When you pick an SD-WAN provider, you better be right because the next four or five solutions that you are going to be providing [your customers] are going to be through that platform,” said Knight, speaking to a room full of top-selling agents and master agents at the Tech+Connect conference last fall. SimpleWAN’s data suggests SD-WAN customer relationships can be expected to last seven years, “longer than they typically do with T1s or MPLS,” said Knight. So agents want to make sure that’s due to the sticky service and not customers feeling stuck. Sales cycles also can be longer than many agents might be used to, said Knight. “Most are multi-location and go three to six months. Bigger ones go even longer.” And don’t expect to go from signed paperwork to signing checks particularly quickly either. A deployment can involve significant rip and replace, according to Knight. “It can take some time to go through the entire process of replacing and designing networks,” he said. All the same, these realities don’t change the fact that choices have to be made. Staying single or non-committed to SD-WAN don’t appear to be options. And while there will certainly be chances for some quick encounters or “playing the field,” viewing SD-WAN as simply an MPLS replacement or a cheaper connectivity solution is similar to viewing IP telephony and hosted VoIP as nothing more than an office POTS line replacement. “There is not going to be a ‘next SD-WAN,’” said Knight. “It is going to be: the next service somebody needs is a click in a box. So you have to be educated, and you have to be right, because you are going to be married to your provider for a long time.” In other words, “research and pick well,” advised Knight. Alas, it appears sales organizations must once again tie the knot with technology transformation. The SD-WAN Commitment Martin Vilaboy Editor-in-Chief Tara Seals Contributing Editor Percy Zamora Art Director Berge Kaprelian Group Publisher Rene Galan Associate Publisher Anthony Graffeo Associate Publisher Beka Business Media Berge Kaprelian President and CEO Neil Ende General Counsel Corporate Headquarters 15560 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd Suite B4 – 5433 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Voice: 480.503.0770 Fax: 480.503.0990 Email: © 2018 Beka Business Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in any form or medium without express written permission of Beka Business Media is prohibited. ChannelVision and the ChannelVision logo are trademarks of Beka Business Media LETTER 6 Channel Vision | March - April, 2018