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Blog · 03 Jul 2020

How SD-WAN technology supports business in a post-pandemic world

SD-WAN can improve the homeworking experience and help businesses operate safely as they start to reopen offices, shops and branches.

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Senior manager Edge Solutions

As businesses settle into new working patterns, it looks like a lot of people will be working from home for the foreseeable future.

Home internet connections have held up well as a stop-gap solution, but they’re struggling to provide the connectivity and security many homeworkers need. An executive or knowledge worker may now be vulnerable to an entirely new set of cyber threats because they’re working from home; potentially more exposed to phishing and malware. A financial trader dealing from their spare room, may no longer have the same level of protection as they would in an office environment, shielded by their corporate LAN. It’s time to empower the digital workplace and stop homeworking being the poor relation to working from the office.

Improve the user experience at home

An SD-WAN solution that runs over home broadband services adds the control a business needs, providing the capability to extend business security policy into the home office environment. You can use the same authentication methods to check who’s connecting and apply corporate policies as if the employee was sat at a desk in your HQ, connected to the corporate network. Your support teams can also analyse and troubleshoot user connectivity issues with the same level of visibility and detail they’re used to, so they can fix problems easily and keep users working productively.

Most importantly, an SD-WAN solution allows you to analyse how an application is performing in real time and identify problems that are affecting service, giving a more rounded picture rather than a binary one where an application is either working or not working. You even have the option to prioritise bandwidth using traffic shaping to work more effectively from home. 

SD-WAN delivers robust security, protecting sensitive data from the inherently insecure internet. You don’t compromise on security because it’s embedded in the device. And for those employees who need increased levels of protection, you can create encrypted tunnels for their data, bringing office security levels to the home.

Add security cameras to the edge to open up your business safely

As well as giving homeworkers a better overall experience, businesses also need to work out how to reopen offices, branches and outlets safely and securely. Adding security cameras into your SD-WAN can be transformative, and the ways they can support your pandemic measures are innovative. Imagine a set up that can recognise objects such as PPE or hard hats and only auto-unlocks a door when those items are registered, and any tailgaters trying to sneak through trigger an alert. Or think about cameras that can count people in and out of a shop, so you can manage visitor numbers easily and safely. What if your security cameras and system could identify and flag up groups of people that weren’t following social distancing guidance, so you could move them on, keeping your employees safe? 

SD-WAN technology for a post-pandemic world

Our latest collaboration with our partner, Cisco, delivers all this functionality, helping you to improve your digital workplace and supporting you as your business moves into a new phase of operation.  With Meraki SD-WAN technology, reporting and analysis tools you have central visibility of your network and control over your traffic so that all your people get the best  experience.

An intuitive, menu-driven cloud portal simplifies your data so you can identify the insights you need to drive efficiency in your organisation. You can see all the user activity on your network, how applications are performing and even drill down to understand effectiveness at an individual level. In virtual real time, you can monitor trends in usage and productivity to help you to plan your business’ evolution and maximise your profitability. 

If you’d like to find out more about how we can improve your homeworkers’ experience and support your move to a safe and secure post-pandemic environment, please get in touch.

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