Tag Archives: network security

How to tell your customer needs SD-WAN.

When Do Your Customers Need SD-WAN?

How to tell your customer needs SD-WAN.We all know there are plenty of benefits to software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), but not everybody has caught on to that point yet. Maybe some are making do with their current WAN setup, or others aren’t even hooked into a WAN at all. That means opportunity, and there are ways to tell when a customer could use some help from SD-WAN.

How Can I Tell When a Customer Needs SD-WAN?

Complaints about network quality. Using SD-WAN can leverage multiple WAN links (MPLS, DIA, Broadband, LTE) utilizing load balancing and WAN optimization features to increase network reliability. Any cloud-based application must have network reliability to perform as the business intends it to; uptime to the cloud is critical.

Complaints about network cost. Depending on the needs and requirements of the business, MPLS may be removed and replaced with a hybrid (MPLS and internet) or dual internet-based option. Most MPLS networks are single-threaded and vulnerable to downtime. SD-WAN can allow for redundant failover WAN connections working in real time.

Complaints about network reliability. One of SD-WAN’s core components is visibility into the network links’ health through a user portal which allows end users to view the health of the network in real time and in historical trends. This also allows network managers to make changes to positively impact an application’s performance. Another core SD-WAN function is to act in real time on the current state of the network links, making decisions on how to best route traffic over the various links.

Complaints about the network holding the business back. We now live in an application performance-based world. The network “does not move” or the internet is not “slow.” Rather the applications users are trying to reach and use are performing poorly based on network conditions. If a customer is actually fighting the network to get anything done, it’s a perfect time to talk SD-WAN. SD-WAN helps geographically-distributed offices better connect, and since SD-WAN is very agile, it allows for a fast turn up of new locations onto the WAN.

How Do I Get Started Providing SD-WAN Services?

If you’ve spotted some points that show a customer is ready for SD-WAN, then get in touch with us at MicroCorp. We have a dedicated, provider-agnostic SD-WAN Solutions Architect who can help you define the best SD-WAN solution for your customers. Our Ultimate Partner Training program focuses on SD-WAN, and we can address all the key points of SD-WAN use from network visibility and control to improving connectivity reliability. So when your customers look like they can benefit, just drop us a line, and we’ll help you get started.

SD-WAN answers many of the challenges posed by security that demands a higher focus on networks.

SD-WAN Offers Answers to Network Security Problems

SD-WAN answers many of the challenges posed by security that demands a higher focus on networks.Enterprises often take a layered approach to security, deploying solutions for network, compute and application. With so many solutions increasingly being network-centered, such as Internet of Things components and cloud technology, many organizations are recognizing the need for a network-focused security strategy. In many cases, software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is able to address the challenges of network security.

Networks are the area to which there’s been the most change in recent years, so it makes sense that security is more advanced in this realm. Here are five recommendations for implementing secure SD-WAN:

  1. Add encryption to your WAN transport. When they choose SD-WAN, companies have access to low-cost broadband and can encrypt all Internet flow to each site without the need for administrators to make manual configuration changes to routers after each change to the network. It’s also important to note that SD-WAN is more secure than most private IP services because there can’t be a breach to the data even if the carrier network is threatened.
  2. Make sure your cloud connection is secure. It doesn’t matter how secure your client’s public cloud service is, whether they’re accessing Amazon or Salesforce. Every time they transfer sensitive data over the Internet to get to the cloud service, it’s an opportunity for a security breach. The SD-WAN provider may offer granular Internet breakout so that your client can distinguish between security mandates to move traffic through particular secure gateways. They’ll also have next-generation firewalls stationed at your branch or in the cloud or data storage center. All of the inherent risks associated with cloud solutions is mitigated by SD-WAN.
  3. Cover local branch security. Each of your client’s branch offices will require security, especially in cases where there is direct Internet access. The cost of buying and configuring physical appliances for each site can be prohibitive, and this method requires an engineer to travel to each site. SD-WAN allows your client to deploy VPNs, firewalls or WAN optimization from a central location by using network functions virtualization. This makes it convenient to provide security coverage for each branch location.
  4. Meeting requirements for compliance. The rules governing healthcare and financial services, including HIPAA or PCI data security fit perfectly with SD-WAN technology. SD-WAN allows the enterprise to create virtual overlays to segment applications traffic.
  5. Create secure segmentation. Segmentation allows the IT team to isolate applications traffic for security purposes or to work with specific performance requirements. While legacy networks could do this, it was time-consuming and challenging. Segmentation with SD-WAN allows for consistency of configurations and best practices defined and enforced through business intent policies.

With security becoming a growing IT cost, MicroCorp anticipates more customers selecting an SD-WAN technology to create a secure and manageable cloud-based environment. As the demand for more agile, cloud-based WAN-technologies accelerates, we continue to provide focus to the variety of WAN technologies available. Contact us today to find out the best solution for your business.

Effortless on the Benefits of Staying Niche

Effortless, a technology and network security provider and one of MicroCorp’s provider partners, has made a name for itself in the medical, legal, and construction markets. Over the years, it has found success by staying niche. I caught up with Ben Gayheart, founder of Effortless, to talk more about why and how the company stays focused on those industries, and what benefits partners can experience from narrowing in on a couple of markets instead of trying to sell to every industry.

Phil Keenan: How does Effortless approach specific verticals to stay experts (and maintain success) in those fields?

Ben Gayheart: Our verticals are medical, legal, and construction. In the medical field, compliance is a big deal, so we stay current on HIPAA regulations and third party applications. For legal, we stay relevant on legal packages that are used by lawyers– specifically on how they operate working remotely from courtrooms. And we’ve been in the construction space a long time, so we understand the applications. We can do information-assisted selling because of our expertise.

Keenan: What are the benefits to focusing on specific verticals?

Gayheart: The markets are large spaces, so there are a lot of clients out there. And we are able to get a focused understanding of business processes in these areas.

I love business, business processes, and making business more efficient. Technology is an enabler — it’s your most important tool. But I don’t focus on the latest and greatest technology. I look at what technology can benefit a business to allow them to be more profitable. Staying in these three markets helps us focus on bringing the right technologies to businesses to make them the most successful.

Keenan: How should partners find their niches to specialize in verticals or other specific areas?

Gayheart: Focus on what problems people in those industries need to solve. For example, in the medical industry, compliance is a big buzzword. Most doctors are actually in the business of risk management. They need to stay compliant, but they don’t have time to focus on what that takes because they’re busy with patient care and a host of other things. What we do is allow them to check that box off their to do list, and for many, that is a huge deal. We close medical sales because we understand compliance. They feel comfortable with us because we enable them to do what it is they do best.

Keenan: Since you’ve always been cloud-only, what are some of the recent changes you’ve seen in cloud that are meaningful for partners?

Gayheart: We come from the MSP space, and ended up in the cloud. We were doing cloud before it was called cloud. We’ve always understood the value of using cloud technologies for lowering administrative costs, increasing flexibility, and enabling business.

But right now, the focus is on cybersecurity and disaster recovery. We are working with partners who understand those components, and that technologies need to have cybersecurity wrapped around them these days.

To learn more about how to make a name for yourself in niche markets, contact MicroCorp today.