Windstream's Gunderman: SD-WAN is a small but growing opportunity for our enterprise unit

Windstream office
Gunderman said that Windstream SD-WAN sales are ramping with the expectation that the trend will continue into 2018.

SD-WAN, still a relatively nascent service, is only a minor element of Windstream’s overall enterprise revenue opportunity. But the service provider is confident its internal investments and acquisitions of EarthLink and Broadview have raised its profile in this new segment.

For Windstream, the SD-WAN revenue is below $10 million today, which is a drop in the bucket of the service provider’s broader $2 billion enterprise business.

Bob Gunderman, CFO of Windstream, acknowledged during the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2017 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference that while the SD-WAN is not a big part of its enterprise business, the company is seeing the interest ramp quickly.  

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Bob Gunderman

“It’s small today, but growing rapidly,” Gunderman said. “The amount of proposals on SD-WAN has gone up significantly in the last three quarters.”

Gunderman added that in less than a year, the dialogue with customers has changed from curiosity to being about how can the service provider help customers migrate to SD-WAN to benefit their business needs.

“A year ago we saw this technology coming into the marketplace, but it had not caught the interest of our existing customers or any of our prospects,” Gunderman said. “In that short amount of time, we started to see that dialogue change considerably and our customers ask about that opportunity.”  

While not calling out specific numbers, Gunderman said that Windstream SD-WAN sales are ramping with the expectation that the trend will continue into 2018.

“We have started to see sales start to hit and we started to report some of those publicly, and I would expect that throughout the remainder of 2017 that velocity will continue,” Gunderman said. “In 2018, I expect to be selling a much higher percentage of our existing sales on SD-WAN and UCaaS versus what today is more MPLS or IP-based services.”

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