Blog · 27 Apr 2021

Work from anywhere – the new business case for SD-WAN

Beyond the VPN – why SD-WAN is the enabler of ’working from home’.

Abe Ankumah
Product Marketing and Partnerships Team Leader for SD-WAN and SASE, VMware

Working from home is enabling businesses to deliver new experiences in a way no-one could have predicted, leaving many of us wondering, why didn’t we do this sooner?

But how do you make sure your employees get the best experience wherever their desk is?

It’s safe to say that SD-WAN is widely accepted as the model connectivity for office and branch networking but how does it fare with patterns of more widely distributed employees that have emerged over the last 12 months?

Overnight, IT teams had to figure out how to keep tens of thousands of employees working productively and securely from home. The scale and diversity of this new ‘network at home’ became mind boggling for many, but SD-WAN has proven it’s up to the challenge. And largely that’s because it’s easy to set-up, delivers application performance, provides great visibility, and extends control.

In IDC’s COVID-19 Impact on IT Spending Survey (May 2020) enterprise respondents indicated that just 6.3% of their employees worked from home before the pandemic. They estimate that nearly a third of them would be working from home in 2021.

SD-WAN is proving to be the perfect solution for a whole range of employees with differing needs, whether they’re in a physical office, or working from home more permanently.

Take one of our global business services clients, for example. They employ nearly 12,000 people worldwide, a large and growing percentage of whom are working remotely from home offices. To service their customer base and deliver the best experiences, they rely on all aspects of communications including email, video, interactive chat, and phone. And this means not only do they need a robust network to access customer data quickly, but they also need to ensure that all comms channels are online and available when they need them, with excellent quality of experience. They can’t afford bad customer experiences because the network cannot cope. 

VMware SD-WANTM - part of VMware’s SASE solution - as the best fit solution following a successful proof of concept which exceeded all expectations, and it was rolled out across the organisation, first at primary offices, then smaller branch offices and finally onto the large remote work force. The entire deployment was completed in just two months. And with zero-touch deployment, the IT team could pre-configure the VMware SD-WAN Edge devices for home offices, ship them to staff at home, and, with a 30-minute training video, have them up and running quickly and easily without needing the time of highly trained and expensive IT people. 

Installations are so easy, even our non-technical employees can do it in their own homes and connect directly to the corporate network.”

CTO, Business services client

By making the change, the client was able to realise an immediate 55% saving not possible with the previous network architecture and all remote users could work just as efficiently as they would in the office. 

VMware SD-WAN is enabling us to expand our business, hire the best, and support all our employees and customers so that user satisfaction becomes a key differentiator.”

CTO, Business services client

Beyond the VPN – why SD-WAN is the enabler of ’working from home’

Beyond traditional VPN connectivity, SD-WAN presents a new way to support the needs of a changing workforce. By its very nature, it’s quick and simple to deploy, using cost-effective edge devices that remote workers can ‘plug in and go’. And these can easily be uploaded and integrated with other virtual network functions (VNFs) like next generation firewalls, optimisers, and accelerators for extra functionality. It provides the same experience and security they would get when they’re in the office. IT teams also get a wealth of network information from these devices to show just how things are performing and step in when things aren’t running smoothly.

Through VMware SD-WAN, organisations have a way to build flexibility, speed, agility, and security into the technology fabric of their already distributed businesses.

And our partnership with BT enables you to optimise end-to-end network experiences in today’s software-defined world, maximising business outcomes and Return on Investment (ROI), to create dynamic, flexible platforms for innovation.

That’s something you can reap the benefits from not only today, but for many years to come.

Find out more

To discover how reliable, trusted SD-WAN technology from BT and VMware could deliver the benefits of multi-cloud to your business today and long into the future, get in touch with us today.