Cloud and SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions are fast-becoming the go-to pick for businesses of all sizes. Why? Three of the top reasons are greater efficiency, performance and scale. Cloud and SaaS solutions are more agile, more manageable and more reliable. And with their recurring revenue models, they are a boon for channel partners compared to old-school software sales.

While on the surface, moving applications into the cloud seems like a perfect solution, there’s always a flip side.  Accessing applications via the Internet means that, more than ever, a customer’s WAN must be optimized for capacity, performance and security.   Neglecting any one of these factors could have disastrous implications.  For progressive, service-minded agents and MSPs, this requirement is a clear call to action to do what’s right for the customer and embrace the power and productivity gains of new technologies and services including SD-WAN and SD-security solutions.

Unlike legacy WANs, a software-defined WAN can use all available WAN connections to optimize application performance.  This has significant performance advantages above traditional WAN designs that leave customers paying for backup connections that are only used in the event that the primary connection goes down.  Now, with multiple active connections and software to direct the flow of traffic according to customer defined business rules, customers can better use all of the network they are paying for to improve application performance for their users.

Any time data is passed over the Internet, security needs to be considered.  Particularly when that data is proprietary, confidential or otherwise sensitive, IT leaders should be concerned.  Data breaches can be catastrophic.  For partners, discussing cloud services without talking about security is, at best, a disservice to your customers – at worst, irresponsible.

On the bright side, this brings about an incredible opportunity – especially in the midmarket and enterprise – for channel partners with the right partnerships, expertise and solutions.

In fact, a new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that worldwide SD-WAN infrastructure and services revenues will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.6% and reach $8.05 billion in 2021.¹ Much of the growth both IDC and Nitel are predicting will come from the acceleration of cloud adoption, as well as the seemingly insatiable need for greater bandwidth to access cloud based applications.  This  shifts the status of network technology from a supporting role to a more strategic role within midmarket and enterprise organizations.

Channel partners who embrace both the opportunity and the responsibility that comes with this shift will reap the greatest rewards. Having in-depth conversations with your customers about the benefits of SD-WAN and security will position you as a trusted advisor and present opportunities to deliver a better customer experience.

1.       IDC Press Release: “IDC Forecasts SD-WAN Market to Reach $8 Billion in 2021 As Enterprise Branch Network Requirements Accelerate,” July 27, 2017.