Small and medium enterprises (SME’s) make up an increasing percentage of existing companies. As a result, they account for almost all of the business fabric worldwide. However, given their limited size, their budget for human resources, technology, safety, and infrastructure tends to be restricted and they must obtain the highest yield and efficiency (more so than large corporations, which often focus on quantity rather than optimization). In brief, small companies usually have as many demanding requirements as big ones.
What advantages does an SD-WAN solution offer SMEs?
Despite the market image it projects, SDN / SD-WAN technology can solve the network-related needs of most SMEs. From a financial point of view, the technology does not need to be expensive but must be scalable. An SD-WAN product that specifically focuses on this type of companies can offer a better and more cost-effective solution to their current issues.
1. Access to the cloud from any location.
Since most take up more than one role, SMEs need their employees to be connected at all times. Data and network connections must be guaranteed, regardless of the location. The office is now mobile, and the workplace is no longer found at a set location but is cloud-based. As such, it can be accessed from home, the office, or the street.
2. Efficient tools & applications
Once connected, employees need a series of tools that have to be available and fully operational at all times. Nobody can be idle and stop producing, so everything must run perfectly (regardless of whether we’re talking about e-mail applications, videoconferencing, or access to the internal server). This can be achieved in two ways:
- Increasing the bandwidth available through link aggregation (which not only increases traffic but diversifies it thanks to the use of several providers)
- Prioritizing applications, which is precisely what SD-WAN does. Every company is different and operates independently. Therefore, it is very important that critical applications (i.e., those directly linked to business) run smoothly and take precedence over less crucial ones. These two functionalities optimize the performance of Internet access lines and guarantees tools will run at their best.
Safety is another important factor worth considering, especially now that employees are meant to work from any geographic location without this affecting the reliability of their connection. In order to manage this, all communications must be encrypted so that, when an employee connects to the office network or accesses the server, the data does not become exposed. Believing that big corporations are the only ones targeted by cyberattacks, given the sensitive nature of their information, is wrong. Asking a large number of SMEs for a smaller ransom is way more profitable than requesting large sums from a few firms. Wannacry, where payoffs amounted to the equivalent of €250 in bitcoin, serves as the perfect example. A content-filtering tool such as those on SD-WAN solutions would have offered protection against this virus, since it would have prevented the user/employee from accessing a link hosted in a server already deemed unsafe. Thanks to the technology available, these solutions are available to all sorts of SMEs.
4. Centrally managed
Last, but not least, SME usually have few employees that perform a wide range of tasks and have little time to do anything else. As a result, when it comes to handling connectivity-related requests or claims, the service should be as centralized as possible. Ideally, one contact person/company should provide assistance in terms of safe connectivity, Wi-Fi APs in the office or points of sale, and even switches. Having a sole contact saves time and helps optimize resources. An SD-WAN solution that is specifically designed for SMEs should be totally flexible and allow the same interface to manage everything (thus increasing transparency, manageability and compatibility).
In the coming weeks, Teldat’s SD-WAN solution for SMEs, which goes by the name of CNM SD-WAN, will be launched. It perfectly meets the particular needs of this type of companies and provides endless flexibility when it comes to making changes based on new business requirements. Moreover, it manages to make what once was difficult easy and achieve peak productivity, based on the resources that are available to SMEs.