SD-WAN: 1,000 Enterprise Deployments and Counting

by Joseph Harding
August 28, 2018

It’s hard to believe that it’s been just over a year since Windstream Enterprise fully launched its software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution. We have seen remarkable growth since our launch last July and were pleased to end 2017 with more than 500 enterprise customers at our six-month mark.

As I sit here now, roughly over six months after reaching that milestone, the number of customers adopting SD-WAN has more than doubled again – Windstream Enterprise today leads the market with more than 1,000 SD-WAN customers.

There are multiple factors that play into this success, but the clear common denominator is the talent and commitment of our team. Enabling a new service to scale at this pace is no small feat. Our sales teams are leaning in and helping customers understand the value. Our service delivery teams are constantly challenging themselves to do things better, faster and with high-quality results, fewer manual touchpoints and more automation, while still providing the agility that our customers and the market require. Our IT and product development teams have championed DevOps and agile methodologies to allow us to rapidly deploy new features and functionality (internally and externally) at a cadence that is completely unfamiliar to most traditional network service providers (aka many of our competitors). Our architecture and product teams are always looking around the corners and out into the future to understand and anticipate customer needs and further differentiate our solution from the competition.

A doubling of a business every six months does not happen without some growing pains along the way. The measure of an organization is in how you respond. We aim to respond with accountability, agility and an appetite to invest as needed to drive continuous improvement.

Windstream Enterprise SD-WAN achieves 1,000-customer milestone

The fact that so many have embraced this new solution means their homework convinced them of the fundamental gains to be made by making the switch. If you’re in the “still cautious” mode, consider the core advantages SD-WAN offers, as explained in our original product announcement – the benefits we promised then still ring true for more than 1,000 customers and growing:

  • Simplified network management. By converging voice, data and video applications on the same IP backbone, customers can use existing hardware and available access types to connect locations—reducing capital investment, lowering provisioning time and simplifying technology migration. There are no manual switches to engage or monitor, and automatic updates and upgrades protect against downtime or business interruptions.
  • Increased efficiency and resiliency. Business policies dynamically prioritize and de-prioritize traffic, making better use of available bandwidth to enhance performance and overall user experience. While dual active links provide redundant and/or diverse connections at each site, increasing network resiliency.
  • The ability to scale easily. Standardized low-touch provisioning allows Windstream Enterprise SD-WAN to scale quickly and seamlessly to accommodate new sites with easily activated circuits.
  • Keeping critical data safe. A secure, abstracted overlay creates a virtual private network on top of existing connection points. All network traffic is encrypted, for security in a borderless environment.

If your enterprise is still on the fence, you should take a very serious look at SD-WAN today. There’s an excellent chance you’ll be using it in the coming years if you aren’t already and realizing SD-WAN’s benefits sooner rather than later makes tremendous economic and operational sense – as 1,000-plus and growing, Windstream Enterprise customers can testify.