Why Businesses Should Combine Unified Communications & SD-WAN

Many different flavors of network and IT solutions are gaining momentum today, but there’s one that tastes the best for small- and mid-sized businesses. At least according to Windstream’s VP of Product Management, Mike Frane, and Director of Enterprise/CPE Product Marketing, Austin Herrington.

In a recent article from Channel Partners, Frane and Herrington explore why software-defined networking (SD-WAN) and unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) are a delectable combination — delectable enough to even rival peanut butter and chocolate. And many businesses should already be craving it, too. Frane and Herrington estimate there are roughly 200,000 mid-sized companies in the U.S. today, many of which utilize outdated WAN and voice technologies that aren’t a match for modern network and collaboration requirements.

So, why should these businesses be paying attention to SD-WAN and UCaaS?

SD-WAN is emerging as a replacement for many legacy networking architectures that are poorly suited for the cloud applications used by today’s companies. It offers a more flexible, hardware-free solution that enables teams to dynamically manage their traffic to optimize bandwidth usage and network performance.

On the other side of the coin, UCaaS consolidates clunky, hard-to-scale voice and messaging systems into one integrated solution. Rather than having to manage siloed applications and numerous pieces of hardware, companies get a web-based combination of the audio, video and messaging tools their employees use every day.

Separately, these two solutions are good. But together, they’re greater than the sum of their parts. Here’s why — SD-WAN’s dynamic management of bandwidth ensures that the UCaaS applications get priority and perform optimally. This means that businesses have greater control over how their everyday collaboration tools perform and the experiences they create for end users. For instance, if a business wants to improve the quality of a mission-critical application, SD-WAN equips them to freely tap a higher-cost service, like a private MPLS connection. Then, they can run less critical traffic using lower cost services like the public Internet.

Interested in learning how the peanut butter-chocolate combination of UCaaS and SD-WAN can benefit your organization? Explore our network and data services suite.