Tag Archives: network management

The right vendor designs SD-WAN according to the needs of the client.

Demand Customization in Your Clients’ SD-WAN to Ensure Success

The new enterprise has arrived. No longer are employees required exclusively to arrive at a set start time at a physical location, find comfort in a cube and churn out unrealistic outcomes. Today, technology has made flexibility possible through the cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications that help companies achieve success regardless of physical location. As such, professionals now work from home, the road and any other location that supports their focus on work-life balance.

The drive to implement software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) solutions is facilitated by the demand for improving branch office connectivity and mobile capabilities among those branch employees who must be able to be productive on the go. Plus, companies are looking for solutions that enable them to integrate existing services that meet the requirements of the customer base. The best way to accomplish this is with custom installations, initiated by experienced teams.

To truly get the benefits associated with SD-WAN, it’s also crucial that licensing is simple, and all-inclusive. This simplified connectivity ensures features are more easily configured to meet the needs of the customer, without adding to the price. The solution also needs to incorporate access to hybrid networks to solve connectivity challenges at each location. Wireless, of course, is a must as it is no longer a back-up service, but instead a key element of productivity.

Still, there are a number of different elements inherent in the operation of the multi-location company that must be considered before SD-WAN can be implemented and start to deliver value. For instance, a particular company understands they are ready to make the move to SD-WAN, but has long relied on multiple carriers to support branches across many states. In order to modernize the network, simplifying connectivity and network management is critical, while keeping application performance top of mind.

The best approach is to study the needs and usage patterns of each independent branch so as to truly understand the needs that must be met in order for SD-WAN to deliver value. Then, in the process of designing the right SD-WAN development plan, it helps to consider best practice applications that help meet the needs of the individual users. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies, for instance, help to leverage existing services, while preserving device and usage habits employees already have.

Working in collaboration with internal IT and IP teams is also essential, as they will bear the responsibility for the SD-WAN and anything supported through this new deployment. Their understanding, buy-in and support are essential to any project with the primary goal of changing the network so as to support leading-edge technology and new ways of doing business.

This is where MicroCorp comes in. Our experience in the industry revolves around understanding the needs of our clients through their lens, not ours. When we partner with you to deliver solutions to your clients, they’re focused on benefits and not processes. We’ll work with you to design solutions that best meet your clients’ needs, and you determine the best approach to customization through key collaborations. Contact us today to start those conversations.

Security: It’s Time to Pull Your Fingers Out of Your Ears

If you haven't talked to your clients about cyber security, don't put it off any longer.If you’ve been avoiding the topic of security — in general, or with your customers — you aren’t alone. Most agents avoid the subject entirely if they don’t feel 100% comfortable discussing the latest trends in cyber protection and network management. (And, let’s be honest, few do.)

But it’s 2017, and 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber attack. That figure alone should indicate that the time has come to do what no one wants to do and contemplate how to stay up-to-snuff on security. (It’s like going to the dentist.) What are the risks involved of falling behind, and what can you do to feel confident in talking to your customers about security?

First, know that the issue of cybersecurity poses more risks to your business than just actual hacking. If you aren’t educating yourself on how to talk to your customers on the topic, someone else is. Usually, if partners feel uneasy to broach a subject that is outside their areas of expertise, they’ll avoid it altogether with customers. But that tactic leaves room for another company — perhaps one that has done more research — to home in on those customers.

So, short of spending precious hours training to become a security expert, how can you approach the issue?

Look to the experts. Seek out partners who have already established themselves as security experts. A Fortune 500 customer hired one of our partners who is a security expert, and that relationship enabled the partner to gain a ton of buying power from the customer. The customer’s trust in that partner translated into giving the partner a blanket of sorts to recommend any provider they deemed fit. The power involved in being the expert in your field is real.

Try to educate yourself. Ideally, partners are taking the initiative to educate themselves each week on a broad view of topics — not just security — to stay relevant. But, of course that is easier said than done, especially when sales and customer service are at the forefront of business priorities.

Training! If both of those points sound daunting it’s because they can be. MicroCorp established the Ultimate Partner Training program to enable partners to learn about security, SD-WAN, cloud, and other topics that they might not be experts in — or even familiar with — so they can get high-level views of those subjects and stay relevant. Sticking your fingers in your ears and pretending nothing is changing makes you irrelevant. We want to help our partners be as well-rounded as possible.

The nature of the security world mirrors the nature of technology: it’s dynamic, ever-changing, constantly surprising, and difficult to keep up with. Our Ultimate Partner Training program aims to make the fluid world of technology easier for partners to navigate so that both partner and customer stay successful. Security expertise is a part of that equation now, more than ever.