On Tuesday, April 3rd 2018 Videns IT Services hosted an executive lunch session titled ‘The SD-WAN Business Case’. The attendants: senior IT and networking specialists from more than 20 internationally operating companies, our partners VeloCloud, VMware, Cato Networks and Globalinter.net and of course the Videns team. In this article we describe the most important topics covered during this day, two real life SD-WAN business cases and the ‘lessons learned’ during SD-WAN implementations.
State of the SD-WAN market
Our host and moderator Jeroen van Hemel welcomed all attendants, after which he introduced our Director Business Development Ferran van den Berg for a presentation on the current SD-WAN trends. In line with the rest of the program, Ferran highlighted a number of striking similarities between Tesla and its founder Elon Musk and the WAN market. Elon Musk challenges established players such as Nasa, Boeing and the automotive industry. The SD-WAN vendors and service providers challenge telco’s and legacy network providers. In all industries the same trends happen: the existing players mainly are interested in protecting their investments and current technologies with low levels of true innovation.
SD-WAN market adoption
Ferran also talked about a recent Gartner report on how customers want to consume SD-WAN solutions and services. Gartner research shows that approximately two third of companies do not want to buy SD-WAN solutions from a telco. The majority of business seriously consider to outsource management and operations of their SD-WAN environment to a network independent service provider. For Videns this report is a solid confirmation we entered the SD-WAN market at the right time and with the right attitude: providing a great service, the first time right! Our goal is to work with the best of breed of SD-WAN vendors.
Ferran concluded his presentation with the recommendation to plan a visit to the Videns ExperienceLab for a workshop and live demo to understand if SD-WAN is a solution fit for your company.
The SD-WAN business case for Stolt-Nielsen
The following speaker was Perry van Vliet of Videns client Stolt-Nielsen. Stolt-Nielsen is a leading global provider of integrated transportation, storage and distribution solutions for chemicals and other bulk-liquid products. Stolt-Nielsen employs over 2,200 WAN users in over 40 branch offices spread out over more than 30 countries.
For Stolt-Nielsen, the main driver for investigating SD-WAN was the move from a central Citrix app farm to a more decentralized model, that changed traffic patterns and increased bandwidth utilization. Transitioning from MPLS to SD-WAN helped save over 50% in MPLS cost, which was actually a bigger saving than the company expected. An additional bonus was the increased bandwidth at the lower prices. Central management of the SD-WAN solution, including local connections in the USA and Asia, helped to achieve further cost reduction. Taking the SD-WAN investment and implementation into account, the overall savings for Stolt-Nielsen are around 30%. The company was able to phase out MPLS for 90% within four months, the whole migration to SD-WAN was completed in less than half a year.
Perry van Vliet also explained why Stolt-Nielsen chose Videns IT Services as their SD-WAN partner: “Videns provides the necessary expertise, services and continuity. We also experience the fact that we matter to them as a customer. We always get the right attention and fast response times.” He concluded with some of the lessons Stolt-Nielsen learned during the SD-WAN implementation. His most important advice: Stolt-Nielsen had an aggressive timeline and had some difficulties to keep up. Dedicated project management is recommended to meet all project objectives and timelines.
The SD-WAN business case for BBRG
In June 2016 Bekaert and Bridon have successfully merged their ropes and advanced cords businesses under the name Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group. In order to improve efficiency, speed and collaboration, BBRG wanted to move to a single global IT infrastructure with standardized and shared IT resources.
Joost de Rore of BBRG explained timing was very important so the company was looking for a secure WAN connection that could be deployed fast. Another important consideration was the performance of applications for users in all of BBRG’s worldwide locations. According to Joost de Rore, the SD-WAN business case is always company specific because of all the different influencing factors.
The Tesla factory
After finishing all presentations and the excellent lunch, the attendees proceeded to the Tesla factory where we got an interactive presentation on innovation, the Tesla brand and different models as well as a guided tour through the factory. It was an impressive and inspiring experience!
We look back at a successful and interactive event where information and experiences have been exchanged both during the presentations and informal one on one conversations. The SD-WAN business case is in most cases strong, however not per se financially. If you want to make a well balanced decision on an SD-WAN implementation, you will have to factor in aspects such as increased flexibility, faster roll-out of new services, shorter implementation time, higher speed and user satisfaction, efficiency improvements through central management and integrated security.
Do you want to investigate what the SD-WAN business case for your organization looks like? Please contact us, we are happy to help you!