Winning at SD-WAN

The Story of How a Leading Logistics Outfit Adopted SD-WAN to Unshackle Operations and Drive Digital Transformation.

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Case Study
  3. About Vince Sparks


A major logistics brand was looking to migrate from its legacy wide area data network, and adopt the emerging software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology.

This U.K.-based organization operates in more than fifty U.K. and several European locations. The business focuses on the third-party logistics (3PL) space, supplying warehousing and transport services to a range of well-known global brands, as well as to U.K. manufacturing and retail organizations.

The 3PL market typically follows a regional depot deployment model, with wide geographic coverage of warehouses and transport depots. While this case study is focused on the logistics business, many of the same considerations apply to other industries in terms of the overall approach to evaluating and selecting new technologies.

SD-WAN is a generic term that covers technology sold by a number of vendors; each with their own equipment, software, and licensing model.

Key Findings:

  • SD-WAN provides greater flexibility to optimize digital services consumption, as well as enabling improved performance for applications, cloud telephony, video, and collaboration services.
  • Observed reduction in TCO was 25%, even after accounting for installation delays and one-time infrastructure spending associated with the effort. The three- and five-year TCO outlooks are very favorable compared to traditional WAN deployment.
  • The build out produced significant and measurable improvements in bandwidth and direct internet access routing. Lower latencies and reduced network hops further improved user experience, especially in latency-sensitive applications such as voice and video.
  • As an overlay technology, SD-WAN is not necessarily more costly to implement and operate than conventional networks.
  • While implementing SD-WAN (and potentially changing network providers and network routing technologies) has some risks, the benefits are significant and achievable.

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