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Proof of concept is key to picking your partners, says WAN panel

WAN Summit London 2.JPG

As the day 2 at WAN Summit London progressed talk turned to WAN managers and supporting them to make informed decisions on selecting the right partners for their businesses.

Catherine Lucas, founder and CEO of Navigacom, led the panel session, her first question to her panellists was how does SD-WAN change the sourcing model that enterprises could have?

Chiming in first was Richard Brown, managing director, Straxia, who replied “Yes, it does, for transport especially for the under layer. I think many enterprises are struggling with their global MPLS network which aren’t really providing them access to the cloud.”

 “I think as long as the overlay aspect is still centralised and that is has a global function to minimise the need for expertise, is key” added Mark Bayne - director of sales engineering, EMEA, Cato Networks.

The overarching message of the session was not to take the work of SLAs and other types of quality assurance agreements but to do a proof of concept. In doing so you will indenifty and understand “exactly what it is you need” from your partners, said Brown.

“Do a proof of concept, not just into the technology but also into how your partner reacts to problems, how does the process work and how they solve It as a partnership rather than just selling technology,” said Anthony Hopewell, head of global managed network services, Telstra.

As the session drew to a close, a question from the audience brought about an interesting devivation for our panellists when they were asked about the impact of net neutrality and broadband performance.

But Hopewell seemed nonplussed about the scenario explaining that broadband performance are highly variable anyway and therefore net neutrality won’t dramatically change this.

“In the real world, you’ve got varying qualities of MPLS; you’ve got varying qualities of multiple types of connectivity versus the internet. A lot of internet is exactly the same price of MPLS in some countries. As for broadband performance, there is no difference to before and after the net crumbing, net neutrality and only being able to access certain things. It’s not going to change dramatically the traffic profiles,” he said.

“Customers will continue to have certain expectations for levels of service and that’s not going to change,” added Dimitri Voutsinas, head of network design and development, Refinitiv.

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