When it comes to optimizing mid-market enterprise networks, one size does not fit all

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Channel VisionWouldn't it be nice if everything was Plug and Play? We all crave that kind of simplicity in our lives, but sometimes simplicity leads to oversimplification that becomes counterproductive. In the network space, we see this a lot with mid-market companies who would welcome the types of solutions geared for smaller organization but which just can't seem to scale to their needs. At the same time, they often lack the resources of many larger enterprises who can more easily apply the time and money required to bring complex projects to fruition.

I've most certainly seen this in our ongoing development of SD-WAN solutions designed for mid-market needs, and in first hand discussions with IT leaders in such organizations. They know they need a new, cloud-ready, future friendly network architecture but they are pre-disposed to feeling exhausted by the concept of getting such a project underway.

With SD-WAN, one size fits all does not apply

A number of companies in the SD-WAN space seem to understand this mindset and there are no shortage of promises about how simple it can be to make the move. This can be quite a carrot to those companies that have reached the limits imposed on innovation and growth by their existing pre-Internet traditional network designs.

The problem is, while customers know they want SD-WAN, they are also pain and risk averse. So they are wary of false “one size fits all” promises some solutions imply. That's actually smart when it comes to SD-WAN, where every implementation is going to be unique, since every company is unique, with different applications, legacy technology, goals and objectives, etc.

I did a profile of a few such companies in a piece I wrote recently for Channel Vision Magazine, which details the dramatically different needs of several different kinds of companies. Whether you are a channel partner or potential mid-market SD-WAN customer, it offers a good picture of how to evaluate SD-WAN solutions to best suit your unique specific current and future needs.

This sort of insight is what led our team at Windstream to launch a fully-managed SD-WAN solution where our own expert team works with each customer to plan, implement, manage, monitor and optimize the solution to achieve the highest degree of success.

It can also be helpful to work with a channel partner or a network service provider that offers a range of professional services, including the ability to do a comprehensive review of the company's technology needs and business strategy prior to even talking about possible solutions. While the answer to your own specific needs may not always be a simple one, this approach does promise to make life a bit easier for those in IT as they plan their network evolution to adapt to a cloud and mobile centric future.