Sprint says SD-WAN deployment strategies depend on business customer size


As Sprint makes its entry into the growing SD-WAN service space, the service provider said that a business customer’s choice to implement the technology themselves or have a third-party manage it depends on their size and focus.

The service provider plans to launch an SD-WAN offering to its business clients globally starting early next year.

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With software-defined wide area networking still a nascent opportunity, businesses will take three approaches to implementing SD-WAN: do-it-yourself, hybrid, or fully managed solutions.

With a DIY solution, a business will use a hybrid WAN and hybrid cloud that allows the organization to manage some critical functions in-house while outsourcing others to a third party.

In a fully managed solution, an enterprise can hand off all of the solutions management to the service provider, while a hybrid solution calls for a business to retain some functions and hand off others to a third party like Sprint.

Some enterprises will opt for a total managed service while others might want to keep these functions in house, with overall cost and control being key factors.

Don Briscoe, manager of network solutions product and marketing for Sprint, said that although there are differences between customers the provider serves he expects most will opt for a managed solution.

“For the majority of the mid-market to smaller enterprise would want a fully managed solutions while the very largest enterprise customers will want to be a bit more hands on because they have the resources to manage it,” Brisco said. “Obviously, there’s going to be some customers in all three of those tiers, but probably the majority will opt for a fully managed solution.” Working in tandem with VeloCloud, Sprint will begin SD-WAN trials in the fourth quarter and will formally start offering the service to customers early next year.

At this point, Sprint has begun an SD-WAN trial with one customer.