About The Author: Sean Weisenburger

Strategic Partner Sales Engineer
Sean has more than 20 years of engineering experience across multiple providers. He has a carrier agnostic approach to directing the pre-sales activities for complex cloud and MPLS deals.

SD-WAN: Get Past the Hype

While SD-WAN officially flew past the hype stage of Gartner’s emerging technologies cycle in 2015, but it is still in that stage for many a partner, agent, and CIO.

It’s important to step back and recognize what SD-WAN can and cannot do for businesses. With all the noise out there, SD-WAN is still in its “wild west” phase. How do we cut past the industry buzz and get to the heart of what SD-WAN is all about?

Examine how its benefits apply to your customer’s business.

Not everyone needs SD-WAN, contrary to what you’ve been hearing. Additionally, some SD-WAN providers have crafted marketing to make it seem like their solutions apply to everyone, but they can’t look at each business’s network. Partners should look at what applications their customers are running to determine if SD-WAN is for them.

If your customer is primarily a mid-market account that’s not doing much other than running voice across a WAN and their apps are in-house, that is a perfect case for SD-WAN. But if you’ve got an organization that is highly regulated (such as banking, healthcare, or government), they are going to be slower to adopt, and it might hamper their business instead of bolstering it. Remember: they were also slow to adopt MPLS.

Oh yeah, what about MPLS?

Great question. MPLS is not going away — it’s a proven technology. There are likely to be some improvements to MPLS because the SD-WAN market is forcing the hand of the providers to change the way they deal with MPLS from a customer standpoint.

Some carriers are urging not to sell SD-WAN against MPLS, but instead, with it. This is an important point considering that not all businesses need SD-WAN, and some are going to continue to do just fine with their MPLS solutions.

So, if some verticals aren’t suited best to SD-WAN, which ones are?

Retail is a great example of a market that will benefit. With dispersed malls, various stores, and large footprints, those outlets are running on slim margins, so they want good bang for their buck.

Where does security fit in?

This is tied to the vertical point. Banks need high-level security, and some SD-WAN solutions aren’t there yet. While every business needs top-shelf security (including retail), those businesses that consistently deal with classified or confidential information might need something stronger than what many SD-WAN solutions can offer right now. This is why partnering with the proper provider, can help layer on additional services that SD-WAN does not solve.

SD-WAN is on the incline that’s getting ready to peak, but there are a lot of things left to prove with this technology. Security is one of them.

As SD-WAN entrenches itself in the networking world, education will be a consistent requirement for partners. Contact us today to learn more about how the latest changes to the software-defined world affect how partners can succeed with new technologies.

Tech Stat: The Internet is Everywhere… or Not!

Given the ubiquity of high-speed internet access in the United States, it’s easy to assume that everyone enjoys the same convenience. Not so much. In 2012, the number of internet users increased by 8.8% to 2.4 billion.

With seven billion people in the world, we’re talking about a penetration rate of just 34%. And here’s the real shock…The country with the fastest-growing internet population is… Iran. Last year, the number of users there surged by 205%.

At the other end of the scale, India is the most under-served country, with only 11% of its population using the internet. The takeaway: Bringing the web to those billions of people without it should provide ample growth for telecoms and wireless carriers for years.

Pokemon Go…how about Pokemon Stop?

This downloadable game has overtaken the top spot for all apps in a mere week…ah….but with a price. Upon deeper investigation there is malware embedded into its code with a remote control access tool that allows hackers to have full control over the device.

Not to mention all the information the app is collecting your email address, IP address, the web page you were using before logging into Pokémon Go, your username, and your location. And if you use your Google account for sign-in and use an iOS device, unless you specifically revoke it, Niantic, the company that created the app, has access to your entire Google account.

THIS IS A SERIOUS TOPIC. Security is going way beyond a firewall and some Anti-Virus. Companies like Effortless who provide some malware/ransomware cybersecurity product and MetTel who offer free Mobile Device Management for their wireless products is just a start. Having a good security roadmap for businesses is inevitable. Look for more security products in the MicroCorp portfolio to help protect your customers.

Contact Me! Cloud Contact Center

MicroCorp Sales Engineer, Sean Weisenburger, Elaborates on CCaaS

When the industry speaks of “CLOUD”, a more in depth clarification of this term is needed to define what the solution is to look like. It could be as simple as a server collocated in a data center or a full blown business platform an entire company runs off of. The migration of on premise to a “CLOUD” solution is increasingly becoming a conversation the CEO, CFO and CIO are having.

One segment of this increasingly hot “CLOUD” conversation is the Cloud Contact Center or Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS). If you are following this specific “as a service” industry you will see some recent acquisition in this space. ShoreTel and their purchase of Corvisa, West and their purchase of Magnetic North, Intelepeer and their purchase of Adventone to name a few. You have industry veterans like inContact who is accelerating their exposure and going deeper into the call centers capabilities with Workforce Management and Workforce Optimization.

Needless to say this is a completely different sale than your typical WAN or Voice solution. This is a true solution sale. These are conversations where IT does not drive the solution. This is a C-level conversation, marketing discussion or even the call center director’s decision on how to enable and engage their customers on multiple platforms (Text, Chat, Dial, etc.) and optimize the company’s expenses of running a call center. This is where agents can show their value as a true consultant.

The days of owning the infrastructure to support the Contact/Call Center software are ending. CFO’s want to know what their budget is 3-5 years down the road. They rather see OPEX and not CAPEX on their books. Moving platforms like this into the cloud mitigate the risk of buying hardware, software, maintenance and labor for an on premise solution. There are many upsides to looking at this as a business owner or decision maker.

As the erosion of pricing on circuitry keep declining, the traditional channel agent needs to re-invent himself.

Go ahead and get started. Let MicroCorp help you along the way.