Savvy channel partners are well aware of the benefits of SD-WAN as a technology now. But partners looking to get into selling SD-WAN should know how to spot the opportunities available to be able to have the right conversations with customers and to best address business needs with this innovative networking technology.
Where Are the Opportunities in Selling SD-WAN?
Software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) represents a potentially extensive number of opportunities for selling, as long as there’s a good understanding of the potential use cases involved. The better you can present a value proposition, the better your chances of making a sale.
Competitive table stakes.
First, the sheer size of the growing SD-WAN market counts for something. The lure of the bandwagon is sometimes enough to convince partners to jump on board selling a certain solution, and it causes businesses to wonder if they need the solution in the first place. A Gartner study figured that SD-WAN sales are set to grow at a 59% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2021. That’s a lot of new businesses that will add SD-WAN capability over the next few years, and it means opportunity for partners.
Preventing downtime losses.
The value of downtime seems to vary depending on who you ask, or what size company you’re talking about. Regardless of the dollar value involved, almost one in five companies aren’t ready for a cyber-related downtime event, so says another recent Gartner study. SD-WAN helps insulate businesses from downtime with real-time voice failover and bi-directional quality of service (QoS) tools, among others, that help make sure users are as up and running as can be. Having conversations with your customers about the real risk of downtime and its related consequences to businesses of any size can present the opportunity to lead into SD-WAN.
There are few better selling points than security and how to improve it. If a new technology, tool, or whatever can make a business safer, few won’t jump at the chance unless cost is prohibitive. SD-WAN improves security in several different ways. Not only does it centralize many common control and policy enforcement operations for easier access, but it also allows for the ready addition of new tools like data loss prevention systems and firewalls to provide extra help for the overall system. Compare these benefits to the cost of MPLS as a way to open the door to an SD-WAN sale.
One of the biggest reasons to be selling SD-WAN is that it works well with cloud-based systems, and every enterprise is looking at cloud services as part of their digital transformation these days. Given the sheer number of cloud-based systems that are available—cloud-based voice, videoconferencing, storage, disaster recovery and so on—having tools that work well in getting these advantages into the end users’ hands is a step worth taking for even the most skittish business.
One of SD-WAN’s greatest points in its favor is the notion of removing “lock-in” with a service provider. Customers have the option to buy their own components and deploy them in-house, or they can work with one or several service providers to get their SD-WAN. Thus, customers can determine just how they want their SD-WAN access: high control and higher costs, or much lower costs with a bit lower level of control. Being able to tailor an offering like that makes it especially attractive since it specifically requires buy-in to go forward.
Improve the local router issues.
A lot of businesses really aren’t thinking much about their routers beyond “are they working?”. That’s a point that’s leaving quite a few businesses potentially behind the eight ball. Instead of leaving those routers running until they can’t run any more, the offer of SD-WAN is an excellent opportunity to move traditional router infrastructure to the latest and best. Why wait for the current crop of routers to just fall apart and once again cause downtime? Take advantage of the chance to replace old routers and get in on some major new technology in the process.
Beat the branch office blues.
SD-WAN is tailor-made for businesses with multiple branch offices. Whether it’s as simple as a second location across town or dozens of locations all over the state, SD-WAN can help keep these offices connected, and better yet, sharing information. Partners who are selling to multi-location enterprises have a big opportunity to connect with those customers, plan for their next moves and upgrades, and be there for them accordingly.
Improved access to analytics.
That last point segues wonderfully into the next. Some might wonder what the point is of sharing information across branches readily, and the answer to that wonder is analytics. Analytics allow businesses to feed raw information into a system and analyze it to produce what are called “actionable insights.” This basically just means “things you can do right now to improve,” and can be anything from knowing when to staff more employees to address rushes, to stocking items during certain parts of the year because that’s when they sell the most. Actionable insights can be a huge bump to the bottom line. Partners should talk with customers about their long-term strategies, how analytics can help, and move into how SD-WAN can help.
How to Get Started Selling SD-WAN
Understanding the benefits of SD-WAN is one thing, but understanding how to sell it is another. Reach out to us at Innovative Business Solutions to learn more about how you can reach businesses of every size with this unique networking solution. We have over 500 partners nationwide, so we can help get you exactly the kind of SD-WAN package that will help you make sales. Our excellent support means rapid updates and more value for your customers through improved education.