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UCaaS + SD-WAN: A Winning Combination

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Image: banphote kamolsanei - Alamy Stock Photo
Why combine UCaaS and SD-WAN as a single solution for your enterprise? Well, let’s first look at the numbers. Today, most UCaaS vendors provide either 99.9% or a 99.99% reliability model, which equates to eight hours of outages per year or one hour of downtime per year, respectively. The UC and contact center premises models have always operated at a 99.999% reliability model — five-minute outages annually — effectively “always-on” technology.
SD-WAN, along with UCaaS and CCaaS, delivers a higher reliability model and is now being sold as a single solution by some UCaaS vendors. Those vendors now provide a 99.999% uptime model through this enhanced UCaaS+SD-WAN model and a guarantee better quality of service (QoS) too. This solution also provides better visibility into the UCaaS and SD-WAN portals and better vendor accountability.
This trend follows what Layer 1 cable providers have been promoting for years. If a customer purchases ‘XY’ cable brand plus ‘XZ’ brand jacks plus ‘YZ’ brand patch panels, all three vendors combined will deliver to the client a 10-year warranty, in many cases including labor and materials. So, in order to up the game on reliability, a concern for mid-to-large enterprises, some UCaaS providers are now partnering with SD-WAN providers to deliver a better, more reliable solution.
In my Enterprise Connect session entitled “UCaaS & SD-WAN: A Winning Combination,” we explore the benefits of combining a UCaaS solution with SD-WAN and managing the migration to the cloud with better service letter agreements (SLAs) to meet or exceed the needs of the customer. Have you and your organization considered an SD-WAN solution that would pay for the UCaaS solution costs (UCaaS costs have been historically higher than a premises-based solution replacement)? Are you looking for the benefits of an Ethernet or MPLS private network without the cost and timing requirements? Then, SD-WAN may be that solution for you and your organization.
SD-WAN is one of the latest trends to migrate an existing MPLS or ethernet network to a network that is more reliable and costs less. UCaaS and CCaaS are cloud-only solutions and historically have been less reliable than a premises-based solution for uptime and quality of service (QoS), using the public Internet only with no QoS. MPLS and Ethernet private network solutions have significantly higher cost models than SD-WAN. A redundant design network model has been around for years, and SD-WAN follows that model. UCaaS and SD-WAN combined by UCaaS vendors can offer a more reliable model and cost less. Some UCaaS vendors are offering now a 99.999% model as long as an SD-WAN is acquired along with the UCaaS solution.
With the lower operating expense (OPEX) that UCaaS+SD-WAN providers, it will help pay for the increase in new UCaaS costs. This can provide the customer with a net savings model by moving from a premises UC model to a cloud UCaaS model.
In this session, I will share a case study of one of my clients that combined UCaaS and SD-WAN. The client is a not-for-profit and needed a way to pay for a UCaaS solution. The client had an MPLS regional network that was up for contract renewal. Our client was very specific on the desired outcomes they were looking for, including improving redundancy to all sites (large and small), significantly reducing costs, less management than an on-premises solution, local and LD included a 4-digit dial plan among all in-house endpoints, and a high-reliability 99.999% model. Our consulting firm provided many of the professional services that are typically not available in the UCaaS marketplace today.
This model is in the early adopter stage, and not all UCaaS vendors deliver on a UCaaS and SD-WAN solution.
This session will cover all of the above and will help provide insights for your own UCaaS + SD-WAN solution. We will also provide answers to the following key questions:
  • How does SD-WAN save you money, and how do you maximize these savings?
  • What’s the best approach for procuring UCaaS/CCaaS and SD-WAN services? Do providers offer them as a bundle, and is this necessarily the best deal?
  • What contract terms and SLAs are most important as you’re planning your UCaaS/CCaaS + SD-WAN migration? Where are the pitfalls?
  • What best practices must your IT/communications teams follow in planning and executing the migration to make sure you realize the promised savings and deliver the overall service at or under budget?
By attending this session, you'll also have the advantage of understanding SD-WAN and how it can provide the ROI that you need to help pay for the UCaaS and CCaaS solutions. Also, I will be available to meet privately one-on-one after this session to discuss the topic in detail on Tuesday from 4:00-5:00 p.m ET and Wednesday from 9:00-10:00 a.m. and 1:00-2:00 p.m ET at the Speaker Lounge. I look forward to seeing you at Enterprise Connect, and make sure to check out my other session, “NOT Moving to the Cloud: What Are Your Risks?,” which will explore the costs of not migrating to a cloud-based system.