You have a smartphone. Shouldn’t you also have an intelligent network?

The intelligence of a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is the best way to get more out of your WAN. More performance, more insightful management, more flexibility and more success. All companies, whatever their size, want that.

The SD-WAN is increasingly the way businesses are choosing to deploy and manage their geographically dispersed corporate networks. It provides the highest levels of application performance across the WAN, enables traffic management over a mix of private and public network links, and importantly, it automates many IT activities.

SD-WANs are designed to route data in the most intelligent way possible, providing advantages such as bandwidth optimization via load balancing and mitigating congestion for high priority data. With its inherent intelligence, it can recognize latency-sensitive and mission-critical traffic, delivering better and more reliable performance for applications and services. It can also help improve network demands associated with unified messaging – particularly for prioritizing collaborative applications that demand high bandwidth and low latency.

As a bonus, SD-WAN can offer potential cost advantages through its as-a-service, pay-as-you-go structure. But the magic of a SD-WAN isn’t in whether it reduces costs; rather it is in the value of enhancing networks with less investment.

Let’s look more closely at some of the ways SD-WAN helps a company get more out of its network.

Performance

SD-WAN improves the performance of multi-site networks and the apps that run on those networks. With intelligent routing, it transports network traffic based on company-defined business policies. That also ensures that an organization efficiently uses bandwidth at its branch locations, for instance, along with providing the ability to rapidly set up profiles for new branches.

Because of the intelligent routing and application prioritization, network performance won’t be impacted in the event of unexpected spikes in bandwidth usage.

As far as applications performance, SD-WAN enables a single, consolidated view of application performance across your organization. It doesn’t matter whether the app resides in the cloud or on-premises; either way, its availability and performance can be better managed now and in the future.

Management

The bigger your company, the more likely it is that your current network configuration is highly complex, spanning multiple locations and multiple networks. But even smaller companies face these challenges, depending on where their offices and branches are located.

SD-WAN allows management of your network and business applications from a single, centralized platform. Not only is this a simpler structure, but the single network and single point of control approach offers real-time visibility into network and application performance. If there are troubles, they can be quickly detected and addressed.

The SD-WAN secure overlay network brings far more intelligence to the way that traffic is transported and leverages simple edge devices at branch locations managed by a centralized, cloud-based service orchestration platform.

Flexibility

In a business environment where rapid response to changing customer needs and preferences is critical to success, SD-WAN enhances a company’s flexibility in addressing those challenges.

For example, an SD-WAN streamlines deployment and configuration of performance rules for various types of new business applications. Routing decisions, for example, can be optimized based on any number of factors, such as business priorities, the best transmission paths, the traffic destination, network costs, or the extent to which a company wants to prioritize its business-critical applications.

Success

An SD-WAN can actually translate into a competitive advantage. One recent study found that enterprises using SD-WANs spend only a small fraction as much time troubleshooting their networks as other companies. They also require only about half as much IT staff time overall. A company with an SD-WAN can devote those IT resources to more productive and more profitable purposes.

By taking the round-the-clock responsibilities of network management off the IT staff’s plate, it frees those individuals to work on new and different technology initiatives that can enhance the customer experience and foster business growth.

There is a reason why so many companies are now embracing SD-WANs. They recognize that the technology and its ability to improve operational efficiency is a great fit for their business and technology needs. Sprint offers a managed SD-WAN service that brings more intelligence and efficiency to existing network transport operations and that provides the option of a phased migration.