How three companies from different industries use SD-WAN to streamline operations and reduce costs
APJ Sales Business Development Manager
Technology, Digitization, Retail, Enterprise Networking, SDN
Business never happened this fast. In one given day, a company has 200 stores up and running, a week or a month later there could be 100 more (or less). The scenario is real for many companies out there. Think of any retail or food chain like Starbucks that opens more than one store a day in China.
In addition, there’s everything else that any digital business praises itself for doing to enhance customer experience these days: new mobile apps, self-service kiosks, digital payments or CCTV security, for which they need more bandwidth than ever.
However, a business can only be as fast and agile as its network. Implementing or making policy changes across a large number of branches and services can be pretty complex, time-consuming and expensive. But it doesn’t have to be like this. And that is why SD-WAN is in full force amongst our customers who are pushing their digitization strategies forward, where application and bandwidth requirements evolve very quickly.
SD-WAN is like music to such companies’ ears. It lets them onboard new branches in real-time, rather than weeks and months, and helps to manage bandwidth intelligently across the board, whether they are in London, Sydney, or in a tiny village in Thailand.
This is incredibly important from a cost and speed to market perspective, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about simplicity and user experience. With such level of automation, it becomes a lot easier for increasingly leaner IT teams to manage hundreds and thousands of sites, services and users with a few clicks, as opposed to months! Same goes for new SaaS and cloud applications, that can be onboarded at the pace of the business needs. Also, isn’t great that a business can ensure a consistent user experience across workforce and customers, despite of where they are?
Learning from other companies using SD-WAN
SD-WAN presents a very compelling case, so it’s no wonder it has become such a topical subject in every customer conversation. Even more so as Cisco continues to expand its footprint in this market with an integrated and diversified portfolio.
Let’s look at three Cisco customers and how they are using SD-WAN to solve business problems and accelerate their digital vision.
Global healthcare provider looking to increase Cloud application adoption
With a network of close to 600 clinics, this healthcare provider used to experience frequent outages across its facilities due to running the existing private MPLS network at red line. This prevented the company from adopting key cloud Healthcare SaaS applications, which were pivotal in the company’s vision for best in class services for patients and careers.
With the current WAN at red line leaving no room for further bandwidth demands, something had to change. This corporation adopted additional broadband circuits along with SD-WAN, and literally grew their bandwidth capability 10x. They were able to self-service the roll out and circuit onboarding by themselves, author assurance policies to onboard the cloud based SaaS applications and, finally, removed all bandwidth related dropouts and latency across the 600 clinics.
Fortune 500 Bank with complex branch operations
When companies have a large number of branches, managing them all can be very resource and time-consuming, not to mention expensive. With thousands of sites, this large bank in particular was operating in a highly complex environment that slowed down onboarding new sites and the applications performance, namely those using video, which naturally affected services delivery to customers.
Things changed dramatically when SD-WAN came into the picture. Not only was the bank able to deploy 50 sites per night (3,000 in total!), application performance became 4 times better and bandwidth 20 times faster. All this with a time investment of 1.5 hours from IT, in contrast with 40 hours in the past.
Global Retailer under strain to boost in-store experience and reduce costs
Similar to the previous examples, this retailer was facing a cost situation as a result of a complex WAN environment that was not providing the needed bandwidth or application performance to ensure a consistent mobile and in-store customer experience. As the 3rd most vulnerable industry to digital disruption, this retailer really needed to up its game in digital customer experience.
The solution came with SD-WAN, which boosted bandwidth to 26 times more, improving the mobile experience for customers, as well as for employees in the stores. In doing so, the company was able to cut costs – 40% less in WAN and $20M USD saved over 3-years.
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