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BrandPost: Assessing Your Current WAN State is Key to Making Effective Changes

If your wide-area network (WAN) has been with you for many years, it may be time to think about an upgrade, especially given the emergence of technologies such as software-defined WANs (SD-WAN). But rather than just dive in, assuming SD-WAN will be a good fit, it’s helpful to perform an assessment of your current situation and what outcomes you’d like to see out of an upgrade.Making this type of assessment means asking a series of questions, the answers to which may – or may not – lead you toward adopting SD-WAN technology. To learn what sort of questions to ask, I talked with Mike Lawson, Manager of SD-WAN/NFV Solutions Architecture for CenturyLink, a global network provider.Lawson spends his time in the trenches with network architects and customers, accumulating an excellent sense of whether a company is a good candidate for SD-WAN.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Know the True Business Drivers for SD-WAN

If a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) vendor calls you up and says you need their product because it will help you save money, hang up the phone. Okay, maybe you shouldn’t hang up the phone—but you should at least tell him that he’s selling his product wrong.It’s true that the early conversations about SD-WAN were all about cost savings, and those promised cost savings were to come via replacing MPLS with internet connectivity. To some extent, SD-WAN definitely delivers on this promise. That being said, saving money is not the real business driver for SD-WAN.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Do-it-Yourself SD-WANs: No Shortage of Complexity

With interest in software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN) heating up, companies are facing a key question: can they implement SD-WAN themselves or do they need a service provider to help?It’s a rather loaded question, with many issues to consider if you elect to go the do-it-yourself (DIY) route. In this post, we’ll examine some of the highest hurdles you’ll have to get over if you decide to DIY; paint a picture of what sort of company may be able to tackle an SD-WAN project; and define who will be better off with a managed service.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: The Latest in Innovation in the SD-WAN Managed Services Market

As enterprisesincreasingly focus on improving network performance to support applications and deliver a better customer experience, SD-WAN solutions are in the spotlight. One of the key components of providing ongoing IT support is ensuring that networks have the agility needed to adapt to changing business priorities at speed.In one recent IDG survey, 91% of enterprises that implemented SD-WAN technologies saw an increase in network speed. SD-WAN managed services have come to the forefront as a choice that allows enterprises to capture the benefits of SD-WAN, along with the expertise to make the most of the technology. Solutions offer access to the knowledge needed to design, deploy and manage SD-WAN networks, while letting the enterprise maintain visibility and control as desired.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Improving IT Operations – Key to Business Success in Digital Transformation

Forty seven percent of CEOs say they are being “challenged” by their board of directors to show progress in shifting toward a digital business model according to the Gartner 2018 CIO Agenda Industry Insights Report. By improving IT operations, organizations can progress and even accelerate their digital transformation initiatives efficiently and successfully. The biggest barrier to success is that IT currently spends around 78 percent of their budget and 80 percent of their time just maintaining IT operations, leaving little time and resource left for innovation according to ZK Research*.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: “Shift Left” to Push Customer Support into Overdrive

The “Shift Left” concept is all about efficiency and quality. In software development, shifting left means performing testing early and often in the project lifecycle instead of waiting until the end. By discovering and addressing errors and bugs earlier, teams can ultimately deliver a higher quality product, one that is better aligned with addressing customers’ needs.In support, it means shifting requests as close to the customer as possible – which includes offering the ability self-serve. Moving solutions closer to the operational frontline and to the point of the first issue allows customers get answers quicker and organizations to close tickets faster. There are 3 big benefits of taking this approach:To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: SD-WAN Buyers Should Think Application Performance as well as Resiliency

As an industry analyst, not since the days of WAN Optimization have I seen a technology gain as much interest as I am seeing with SD-WANs today. Although full deployments are still limited, nearly every network manager, and often many IT leaders I talk to, are interested in it. The reason for this is two-fold – the WAN has grown in importance for cloud-first enterprises and is badly in need of an overhaul. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the vendor community as there has been an explosion of companies bringing a broad range of SD-WAN offerings to market. The great news for buyers is that there is no shortage of choices. The bad news is there are too many choices and making the right decision difficult.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: How does David battle Goliath? With great strategy and the technology to implement it

The classic story of David battling Goliath resonates with any successful entrepreneur. At some point, small companies must confront large, entrenched rivals. Those big companies possess clear advantages: brand recognition, economies of scale, financial leverage and many others. Customers need a compelling reason to switch providers.How do would-be Davids compete? They need to develop their own modernized slingshot. Technology provides virtually endless possibilities for competitive advantage. Like David, though, you need to size up your opponent and adopt the right strategy before choosing your weapon.In the United Kingdom, a company called Ocado did just that in the exotic, sophisticated market of … grocery stores.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Three Support Trends to Fuel Business Advantage

Who hasn’t had an infuriating support experience as a customer? We’ve all been there. Waiting on the phone. Repeating details. Being passed like a hot potato from one agent to the next. Has no one in the universe ever had or dealt with our same issue before? It can be frustrating, to say the least. And we’re shell-shocked the next time we need to reach out for customer support.There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, though. Before we get there, let’s first consider why this is happening. If we look at the support landscape, we can see that it’s changing: The technology we use is changing. Think about how technology has changed over the last few years. Ten years ago, we didn’t have iPads. Now we have universal connectivity. And behind simple interfaces, underlying technologies are increasingly complex. The people we support are changing. ​End users are more mobile. People can work from anywhere, and they take their digital lives with them. ​And with nearly unlimited – and searchable – data, people are consuming information in a variety of ways. Customer expectations are changing. The more immediate and available our technology becomes, the more Continue reading

BrandPost: Mobile Support: Are Your Employees Getting What They Need?

We’re going to go out on a limb and say most employees bring their own mobile devices to work. You probably do too, and it’s not a bad idea. Using a smartphone or tablet you’re already familiar with – and to which you’re already attached at the hip – often helps you to be more productive as an employee. For companies, embracing the bring-your-own-device trend isn’t a bad idea either. That individual boost in productivity compounds across the enterprise.But that doesn’t mean it’s as easy as turning on the green light and letting employees have at it. Those mobile devices need to be supported – and at a high service level end users have come to expect – or companies risk taking a hit on employee productivity and job satisfaction. You can thank places like Apple’s Genius Bar for raising the bar on support expectations. That’s the same level of first-class support employees expect at work and the standard IT support teams are being held to today.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Disruption vs integration: The case against “rip and replace”

How do you deal with change? It’s one of the questions of our era.We can see technology disruption play out in a number of industries like computing where the mainframe gave way to the PC that gave way to the smartphone. Change sneaks up on you and before you can craft a response, those new technologies disrupt your business.Networking has seen plenty of changes over the years and when they arrive they often look disruptive at the outset. When I talk to customers about SD-WAN, some ask whether SD-WAN is so disruptive they can essentially replace their MPLS backbone with a mix of broadband providers plus a commodity box– and essentially rely on the public Internet as their backbone. Some of them even have one of those boxes they are experimenting with.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: You Can’t Afford Not to Use a Business-Driven SD-WAN

Digital transformation and cloud initiatives are changing the way IT organizations are thinking about and architecting the wide area network. It is estimated that over 70 percent of applications have already moved to the cloud. Yet, the transformational promise of the cloud is falling short as conventional networks can’t keep pace with demands of the cloud. Why? Because today’s router-centric and basic SD-WAN architectures have either hit the wall or can’t keep up with traffic pattern shifts, distributed applications and the open security perimeters inherent to the cloud. This blog will explore the limitations of today’s WAN approaches, offering a better way forward with a business-first networking model.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: What do Tesla and SD-WAN Have in Common?

I am the proud owner of a Tesla, a recognized leader in electric vehicles, which makes my daily commute (of almost 3 hours) less stressful and more enjoyable. I also work for Silver Peak, recognized as a Leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure. Both Silver Peak and Tesla have unique positions in different markets. So, why should I make the tie between Tesla and Silver Peak? Not only do the two companies continue to innovate in their respective industries, they also continue to disrupt the status quo of the way things have worked for decades to make them work in today’s fast-paced world. Just as Tesla has transformed the automotive industry by developing the most innovative self-driving vehicle, at Silver Peak, we don’t think of SD-WAN just as a Software-Defined WAN, but as a self-driving wide area network that learns and adapts to keep pace with the changing requirements of today’s cloud-first enterprises.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: How to Win at Customer Support in the Age of Digital Transformation

The era of digital transformation has injected new life into the old wisdom, “the only constant in life is change.” In our plugged-in world, change is happening at a breakneck pace and it’s pretty much impacting everything, including support. How users want to be supported and what defines a good support experience seems to be constantly evolving as the devices, connections, and channels users choose changes.So when it comes to providing fast and easy support for internal employees or external customers, what worked yesterday probably won’t carry you through tomorrow. Companies must strategize on how to keep up in this new support landscape or be left behind by your customers and the competition.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: How SD-WAN Turbo-Charges UCaaS in a Cloud-First World

Today, many enterprise CIO’s are of in the midst of a digital transformation journey, migrating more of their business applications and infrastructure to the cloud, including real-time voice calling, video conferencing and collaboration applications. Enterprises are increasingly adopting Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) services to streamline voice, video and web conferencing via cloud-based software. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2021, 90 percent of IT leaders will not purchase new premises-hosted Unified Communications (UC) infrastructure because future cloud-hosted UCaaS offerings will be far ahead in terms of features, functions, analytics and dashboards. To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Empowering Charitable Work with Scalable Cloud Networking Technology

Like most charitable organizations, The Salvation Army relies on volunteer help. Volunteers around the world serve people in need at service centers, retail stores, and satellite offices in metropolitan cities, rural communities, and at the scene of disaster areas. All of these locations have to stay online, connected, and sharing data, but with such a wide range of sites, networking is a challenge. Add in staff with varying levels of expertise and locations ranging in size from with one person at a small satellite office to hundreds at international headquarters, and you quickly have a very complicated situation on your hands.The wide variety of spaces and available talent to manage IT infrastructure has created a nightmare for network administrators trying to keep data flowing where it needs to go. That is, until the organization began upgrading to next-level networking, making configuration, setup, and maintenance of networks at each location far easier, and freeing up personnel—volunteer and otherwise—for more productive work.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Building the Network to Grow a Global Virtual Reality Company

This decade saw the spectacular rise of mobile devices as the platform of choice for everything from social media and gaming to customer service and online payments. Now it’s time for a new platform to revolutionize the way consumers and businesses engage with digital content. It’s time for the world to be introduced to the next generation of entertainment, shopping, healthcare, and more: augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).According to research firm McKinsey, immersive computing could actually replace mobile devices. While it’s difficult to imagine anything approaching today’s ubiquity of smartphones, Goldman Sachs estimates that the emerging AR and VR industry could see up to $182 billion in annual revenue by 2025 –  a figure that far surpasses the current $88 billion in combined in-home entertainment and movie box office revenues.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Digital Transformation: IT Leaders Discuss SD-WAN’s Emerging Role

The digital economy is here, and the ability to innovatively meet ever evolving customer expectations has become the new reality.  For most organizations accomplishing this goal starts with digital transformation.In order to realize digital transformation benefits, companies need to move beyond a legacy network and invest in next generation components, according to participants in a recent IDG TechTalk Twitter chat.Unfortunately, past investments in legacy technology are still serving as a significant road block. A1) Issues such as technical debt, legacy security problems, poor/inconsistent Ops & maintenance, and a long list of infrastructure/bandwidth inadequacies can hold back #DigitalTransformation. #IdgTechTalkTo read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: What to do when yesterday’s technology won’t meet today’s support needs

You probably already know that end user technology is exploding and are feeling the effects of it in your support organization every day. Remember when IT sanctioned and standardized every hardware and software instance in the workplace? Those days are long gone. Today, it’s the driving force of productivity that dictates what will or won’t be used – and that can be hard on a support organization.Whatever users need to do their jobs better, faster, more efficiently is what you are seeing come into the workplace. So naturally, that’s what comes into your service desk too. Support organizations see all kinds of devices, applications, systems, and equipment, and it’s adding a great deal of complexity and demand to keep up with. In fact, four of the top five factors causing support ticket volumes to rise are attributed to new and current technology.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Achieve Compliant, Cost-effective Hybrid Cloud Operations

Enterprises are introducing cloud services to improve productivity, increase business agility, and accelerate the pace of innovation. But adopting this new paradigm while delivering the right level of visibility and control can overtax resources and impact existing governance, risk, compliance, and cost strategies. In addition, organizations often lack a holistic view of their security posture and state of controls to satisfy internal and/or external regulators.This guide will help you discover ways to fine-tune oversight and operations of your hybrid cloud solution.Click here to download the white paper.To read this article in full, please click here

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