In working with one of our newer brokerage clients who owns hundreds of retail stores across a handful of international brands, we’ve been appreciating just how complicated a legacy MPLS audit is, made more complicated by a migration to a new SD-WAN platform.  Not to say that SD-WAN isn’t the right move – it definitely is in the case of this client – however, it requires the know-how and the right relationships to get the job done to maximize bandwidth while keeping time frames and budgets in check.

One of the biggest benefits of SD-WAN is that it provides the flexibility to select your own Internet circuits, which affords the opportunity to reduce cost and increase network reliability.  That being said, effective SD-WAN deployments hinge on having the right DIA connections and working with the right provider(s).  Many end users source their Direct Internet Access through an aggregator for simplicity sake.  Aggregators are third-party providers that source network from a number of providers to resell to end users.  The major benefit of going through an aggregator, which is why many clients and SD-WAN vendors themselves choose this option, is that you have one throat to choke:  one contract, one monthly bill, and one number to call for service issues.  However, by procuring DIA through an aggregator, you don’t know that you’re always getting the best on-net option and you are most certainly not getting the best price.  In many cases, the aggregator follows the same process as the incumbent when they need to source type II/off-net circuits.

With 60-75% of the cost of SD-WAN being circuit pricing, one of the biggest contributors to cost is not selecting providers who are already on-net, and not vetting enough options to get competitive market pricing.  Enter NEF.  Our sourcing process focuses on identifying the underlying on-net carriers.  Through our proprietary data and close relationships with hundreds of domestic and international carriers, we can show clients network maps of every service provider at each site, the physical path of the last mile loop, where their PoPs are located, as well as provide a cost analysis between multiple providers to ensure you’re getting the best possible solution at the best price.  The other benefit?  Security and diversity.  We stay abreast of M&A activity, knowing which providers are healthy and stable versus those whose network may be compromised and/or have to Type 2 into a location.  It’s time consuming and hard to do without the insight and bargaining power of a team that sources millions of dollars worth of telecom spend every year.

Companies can simplify a migration to SD-WAN by leveraging experts who are well versed in DIA sourcing.  For more information on what’s involved in sourcing DIA for SD-WAN, download our white paper.

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