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How to Choose The Right SD-WAN Managed Service Provider for Your Business

Many factors can influence an enterprise's decision regarding which MSP to work with for SD-WAN, SSE and a SASE framework. But most agree on which are the most important.
July 3, 2024

How to Choose The Right SD-WAN Managed Service Provider for Your Business

To understand why customers choose one Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) solution over another, GTT engaged Hanover Research, a leading provider of research and analytics for worldwide organizations, to conduct a study. Hanover explored the current and near-future use and adoption of SD-WAN, including which attributes are top of mind when selecting a Managed Service Provider (MSP).  While the need for improved security was expected, the hypothesis was not only supported but was proven crucial to their architecture. In this article, we will reveal several key takeaways from the study.

SD-WAN & Security

When asked what the most important reasons are to deploy SD-WAN, 81% of respondents stated that SD-WAN directly contributes to improving their security posture. The only higher response (86%) was the use of SD-WAN to optimize connections to their cloud-based applications, a response we had anticipated. The third highest response was to leverage lower cost transport options (57%). Moreover, 100% of respondents said their organization plans to integrate security when deploying their SD-WAN. From these responses, the ability of SD-WAN to optimize productivity and other applications and to improve security are dominating the conversation.

MSPs: Reliability, Security, Service Quality & Performance

On a follow-up question about what’s most important as far as a provider of SD-WAN, respondents said that the level of an MSP’s reliability (87%), security (86%), and quality of service (80%) are “Extremely Important” or “Very Important.”

Against the same set of attributes, respondents rated the positive impact of a Managed SD-WAN as far as security (83%), reliability (81%), and quality of service (80%) as "Extremely Important" or "Very Important." Lastly, more than 3/4s of respondents (77%) said they rely on an MSP to keep their SD-WAN at peak performance. Here, too, we can see how the need for a high-quality managed SD-WAN is essential to doing business today.

Top Reasons Organizations Selected Their Current Managed SD-WAN

The top three reasons organizations selected their SD-WAN provider were extremely close. In fact, the need for product quality (81%), availability (80%), and quick installation (79%) came in at just one percentage point apart from each other. Those were followed by dedicated customer support (76%) and the ability to provide multiple parts of networking infrastructure (68%). By examining the top reasons respondents chose their current Managed SD-WAN, it's clear just how mission-critical the solution is to enterprises.

Top Drivers for Selecting a New MSP for their SD-WAN

According to the respondents, the top five reasons their organization would select a new SD-WAN provider were also close. Those reasons were improved security (84%), improved reliability (80%), and a three-way tie for improved performance, cost savings, and improved analytics (all at 76%). From this data, one can infer that for some respondents, the benefit of improved security will more than pay for itself over a lower priced option.

When looked at together, these reasons show what leaders in IT, operations, networking security, and others should seek in choosing a new MSP and a new SD-WAN for their organization. While this article offers a glimpse into what we learned from the study, we encourage you to download our white paper, which provides a comprehensive and deeper look into the results.

Learn More by Downloading our White Paper: Unlocking the Potential, Understanding Managed SD-WAN Adoption

This white paper, based on data gathered by Hanover Research, offers additional insight into how to rank MSPs as you look into getting the most value from your SD-WAN, including secure access to business-critical applications as well as remote sites and branch offices, enhanced cybersecurity, complete network reliability, and high quality service commitments. Your business can gain flexibility, speed, security, and cost control through SD-WAN technology from GTT. Contact us today to learn more.


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