Unified Communications as a service (UCaaS) has become a cure-all communications technology due to its ability to transmit powerful voice, video, and collaboration services through the cloud. It helps businesses save money, enhance productivity, and increase their flexibility, making UCaaS one of the most transformative and exciting enterprise technologies we have seen in recent years.
With so many applications now running in the cloud, the modern enterprise needs a way to keep up with increased network demands and manage traffic. This is where UCaaS and Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) come together to overcome a new breed of enterprise challenges. When a business' network cannot support their traffic demands, they are likely to encounter problems such as jitter and latency during conversations. This can negatively impact the customer experience, frustrate employees, and lead decision-makers to question the benefits of investing in UCaaS in the first place.
How SD-WAN Solutions Enhance UCaaS Platforms
To help customers overcome these issues, a growing number of UCaaS providers are now partnering with technology vendors offering SD-WAN solutions and services. SD-WAN is a broad term with many different components, but it can be described as a technology that allows businesses to manage and adjust WAN traffic in real-time using software-based controls. With SD-WAN, you can guarantee that your UCaaS applications receive the critical resources they need to function properly. SD-WAN also provides backup connectivity, protecting you from link failure, as well as heightened security through encryption.
Over the last few months, we have seen a major uptick in SD-WAN adoption at the enterprise level. SD-WAN is now considered a top priority for enterprise network managers, so it should come as no surprise that UCaaS providers are responding to this demand—especially when considering how well the technologies support one another. SD-WAN provides the dynamic network environment that UCaaS requires to enable fast, efficient, and cost-effective data transfers.
Choosing Your SD-WAN Solution
There are many different vendors offering SD-WAN services today, making it challenging for businesses to narrow down a specific provider. Here are some important things to keep in mind when browsing for the best SD-WAN solution:
Many SD-WAN solutions on the market may seem equivalent, but not all architectures are made equal. Look for the solution that fits with your existing architecture and networking needs, instead of trying to work around them. Your SD-WAN vendor should be able to accommodate any internet connection, firewall, or cloud application you are using.
Identifying a provider to help you improve upon your networking demands is already hard enough. The last thing you want is to go through a complicated installation process that involves unnecessary downtime or additional configurations. Look for a provider that offers plug-and-play installation so that you can get your enhanced network up and running faster and get back to business.
Look for an SD-WAN solution with built-in QoS that prioritizes your VoIP and real-time traffic needs across any connection and network, including the public Internet. The ideal SD-WAN service will have bi-directional QoS features which ensure enhanced functionality and dynamically adapt to varying bandwidths and traffic demands.
Direct Peering Options
For the best user experiences, look for an SD-WAN solution that offers direct peering with a variety of third-party applications. Direct peering is a pre-set connection between two networks which removes the complexity of a third component to manage the information they want to share. SD-WAN with direct interconnections to other services allow you to enhance your experience even more with faster access to all of the tools you rely on.