SD WAN is provided by vendors, service providers, integrators, distributers and value added resellers (VAR). In almost 90% of cases, SD WAN solutions are not purchased directly from the vendor but rather from authorised partners which consist of the afore mentioned company types. IT teams are not only challenged to compare and evaluate SD WAN technology vendors but also potential delivery partners.
SD WAN Vendor - the typical SD WAN vendor will engage directly with the end customer to position their technology and capability. While this approach offers insights into how the service maps to business requirements, the delivery, ongoing support and contract is provided by one of their partners. If your business approaches the vendor directly (i.e. not via a partner), the sales team will often make recommendations based on what they understand of your needs. Netify often witness vendor sales teams recommend their own personal preference (e.g. the sales person may have formed a strong personal relationship) which may not result in the optimum partner for your business. We recommend performing the research into 2 or 3 options to understand whether the partner fits your requirements.
What are the PROS of SD WAN Vendors?
Direct contractual relationship with the vendor
Issues are dealt with by the vendor support team
What are the CONs of SD WAN Vendors?
Other requirements such as underlay are often not included
Some vendors do not have the experience of WAN delivery, i.e. security vendor with SD WAN
Service Provider - large telco's often offer SD WAN services which are developed as a scalable integrated products offered to multiple customers. With this in mind, service providers will typically position fully managed or co-managed services with a defined SLA (Service Level Agreement). In addition to their SD WAN overlay offering, the service provider will also provide underlay connectivity and additional capability across security, hosting and content delivery. The end result is a single contract service wrap for overlay and underlay services with additional capability as required. The typical large service provider is not known for agility which often means the agility of SD WAN is lost to legacy processes.
What are the PROS of SD WAN Service Providers?
Single contract, billing and SLA
Leverage other value add services
What are the CONs of SD WAN Service providers?
Difficult to deal with due to poor processes
Not very agile when compared to other buying options
Integrator - SD WAN integrators specialise in delivering the features you require across multiple products and services, i.e. networking, storage, security and cloud. In many integration companies, teams exist which are responsible for creating solutions across particular technologies. Integrators will design SD WAN architecture based on specific needs which often include bespoke requirements across support and delivery. An integrator leverages specialist accreditations with consultancy and additional capabilities to bring everything together.
What are the PROS of SD WAN Integrators?
Significant expertise across multiple products and services
Often accredited by SD WAN vendors at various levels
What are the CONs of SD WAN IntegratorS?
Some integrators do not offer a broad based solution capability
Your business may require multiple contracts
Distributer - the distribution business is positioned between vendors and their partners with responsibility to handle logistics and hardware support. As an end customer, you the distributer will not be visible during your contract. In some instances, the distributer is also capable of providing some integration services.
What are the PROS of SD WAN Distributers?
Distributers take the load off vendors to ensure logistics and replacement hardware is delivered within SLA
Some distributers also offer direct access to products which is normally more cost effective
What are the CONs of SD WAN Distributers?
Distributers may not offer the right expertise if you engage directly
One step removed from the vendor
Value Added Reseller - VAR's overlap with integrators but will normally work with small and medium sized businesses. If your business is considering DIY SD WAN, resellers may represent the best option to buy kit at the best available price. SD WAN with simple requirements may suit the reseller market vs the expertise of an integrator
What are the PROS of SD WAN VAR's?
Often a good cost effective way to buy DIY hardware
Better at dealing with simpler requirements
What are the CONs of SD WAN VAR's?
Might not fit larger global Enterprise business requirements
Expertise across multiple areas might not be available