Sony picks Orange Business Services' SD-WAN for its global network

Sony is deploying SD-WAN from Orange Business Services across its film and electronics divisions. (Pixabay)

Sony Group has picked Orange Business Services' managed SD-WAN service for deployment across its film and electronics divisions.

Orange Business Services will connect more than 500 Sony locations in over 50 countries across five continents with its Orange Flexible SD-WAN solution, which launched last year using Cisco's Viptela SD-WAN technologies. In March, Orange Business Services announced it would deploy Flexible SD-WAN across 1,500 Siemens sites.

With Orange's managed SD-WAN, Sony's applications will be virtually available across business lines and regions via its cloud partnerships. Sony's IT services and suppliers can be on-boarded and managed by Sony through a single user interface. Orange Business Services is using Cisco's virtual gateways across its hubs as aggregation points regionally for Sony's network.

John Isch, director of the network and voice practice in North America for Orange Business Services, said his company first started working with Sony on deploying SD-WAN 18 months ago. After conducting deployment workshops and various planning stages, Orange Busienss Services has just started the deployment stage with Sony.

Prior to SD-WAN, Sony operated all of its business units separately, but it put out an RFP to aggregate its enterprise spending and network capabilities under one umbrella.

"We went in with what we call our 'walk in and take over' approach, which is basically managing the infrastructure as it stands today, and then helping them through the process of migrating to a common underlay network and then integrate that with an SD-WAN overlay," Isch said. "The challenge is that they want to centralize the spend, but there's obviously still requirements for segregation between the networks, which we can do with SD-WAN."

Orange Business Services has a local presence in more than 160 countries, which allows it to work with Sony's divisions on a local level while also providing end-to-end visibility over its global network. 

"We've got this global approach to the deployment and sales process, but we also have local entities that interact directly with the customer," Isch said. "That lets customers know they've got a local person they can talk to, versus somebody in a far away remote place that's running a program for them. So, I think another key element that we can bring to this is this idea of a global and local at the same time."

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As SD-WAN matures, service providers and vendors are moving toward managed SD-WAN solutions versus the "do it yourself" SD-WAN deployments. Orange Business Services competes with BT, Colt Technology Services, AT&T and Verizon globally.

According to Vertical Systems Group, carrier-grade managed SD-WAN services in the U.S. increased in the second half of last year to the tune of more than $282 million in revenue. Vertical Systems Group expects network operators to further ramp up their managed SD-WAN offerings this year.

While "zero-touch provisioning" and "plug and play" SD-WAN solutions are being touted by various SD-WAN vendors and carriers, Isch said network environments are complex and require multi-phase deployments of SD-WAN.

"There's a lot of complexity for getting this to work," Isch said. "We take out the complexity and make it simple for the customer to manage."

Orange Business Services' initial SD-WAN offering was launched with vendor partner Viptela—prior to its acquisition by Cisco—in 2017. Like other large service providers, Orange Business Services is covering all of the SD-WAN bases by offering several variations of SD-WAN. Orange Business Services also has hybrid offerings by working with Juniper Networks, Riverbed and Infovista.