Windstream Enterprise has added white glove elements to its Fortinet-based SD-WAN service. After first deploying SD-WAN three years ago by working with VMware/VeloCloud, Windstream added the Fortinet flavor a little over a year ago.
Over the past year or so, organizations are migrating their SD-WAN services from the initial "do-it-yourself" (DIY) model to managed SD-WAN services. Windstream's SD-WAN Concierge service is at the opposite end of the SD-WAN spectrum from those DIY efforts.
With the addition of SD-WAN Concierge, Windstream has added a white-glove managed service that delivers a variety of high-level service benefits, including technical consulting resources, advanced service delivery, and an assigned technical service manager who provides guidance and support.
All of Windstream Enterprise's SD-WAN customers have access to its WE Connect portal, which was launched early last year, for real-time visibility and insights into their network and enterprise-wide application performance, as well as one-click drill-downs to view bandwidth usage by location, end-user or device.
“Making SD-WAN Concierge available with Fortinet technology is a logical next step," said Mike Flannery, chief marketing officer at Windstream Enterprise, in a statement. "We found our high-touch managed service resonated with customers, and extending SD-WAN Concierge to the Fortinet platform was a natural fit.
"The co-management through the WE Connect portal and mobile app, along with their technical service manager, helps customers migrate from a DIY mentality to utilizing a managed network communications service provider.”
While Fortinet is well-known for its next-generation firewall work with SD-WAN vendors, it also has its own SD-WAN solution.
During its fourth quarter earnings call in February, Windstream CEO Tony Thomas touted the company’s SD-WAN achievements, noting that the company ended the year with 2,700 SD-WAN customers, making it the largest in the country. It also had more than 22,000 SD-WAN endpoint locations.
Windstream launched its first SD-WAN service in combination with the SD-WAN assets it picked up from its EarthLink deal in 2017. Concierge was included in Windstream's initial offering.