MSI: Taking the complexity out of SD-WAN management

Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) adoption is growing apace and promises increased performance, business agility and responsiveness; but the technology is complex, made in different molds and weighted down with contracts. This is where Multisourcing Service Integration (MSI) comes into play, taking the burden of the management strain.

SD-WAN technology provides an overlay running onto an underlay of different network technologies (IP VPN, Internet, 4G, etc.) that can be provided by several service providers. It provides organizations with the ability to dynamically connect their branch offices and data centers across geographies. Cost and operational benefits include the flexibility to control the efficiency of connections, prioritize business applications over other network traffic and enhance continuity.

This is all undoubtedly a boon to global business efficiency. But the downside is that large organizations can have in excess of 100 different Internet and telecom contracts to manage, for example, many with different SLAs. Managing these contracts is a gargantuan task, often requiring dedicated in-house teams and tools to carry out tasks such as governance.

MSI is a logical way for your organization to manage your SD-WAN estate, allowing a service integrator to take over the performance measurement, management and control of the contracts. This frees up your internal resources to concentrate on core business, while still retaining control of budget and choice in suppliers you want to work with. The service integrator provides a single point of contact between your organization and service providers, designed to orchestrate proceedings and make processes faster, easier and more productive.

By putting in an additional layer between your organization and each individual underlay service provider, which will undoubtedly include multiple ISP's, management is streamlined and efficient. It means that you don't have to mobilize resources dedicated to spending man hours chasing down underlay service providers if there is a system failure, and work out which time zones support operates in, for example.

A single point of responsibility

The real beauty of MSI is that it offers your organization a single point of responsibility for systems and services from multiple vendors. These are all adeptly and cost-effectively coordinated by the MSI provider to deliver seamless end-to-end service integration and management that supports daily business requirements.

This way your organization is retaining control of its IT estate, but at the same time leveraging the MSI provider's experience, vendors and expertise in continuously monitoring end points to ensure you are efficiently optimizing your investments.

Experienced service integrators, however, don't just manage the infrastructure that already exists. They also help your organization plan roadmaps for the future, recommending solutions that will support your business goals. At the same time, MSI providers can help you overcome major transformation challenges such as poor transparency or deficient integration.

Retaining control

MSI is fundamentally bespoke. MSI can be tailored according to your organization's requirements. This can run the gamut from managing support desks to looking after the complete IT infrastructure.

In the majority of cases, organizations want to keep ownership of their local contracts. Here, the service integrator works on behalf of the organization via letters of authority or an agency to manage third-party vendors and continually improve services. Through a centralized catalog of contracted ISPs and telcos, organizations can see in real time exactly which services they are paying for. MSI providers can ensure ISPs are adhering to the organization's security policies properly and so forth.

Cost reductions

MSI not only provides your organization with greater flexibility, scalability and performance benefits – it can also help to make valuable cost savings.

Where duplications were made by teams, for example, the cost savings made via MSI can be significant. These can range from between 5 percent and 20 percent. We would expect to achieve cost savings along the same lines when MSI is used to manage SD-WAN.

A straightforward answer to complexity

Don't ignore SD-WAN because of its inherent complexity. SD-WAN can provide your organization with a next-generation networking solution that can support transformation and deliver on both performance and customer experience. MSI is here to remove the stress and let you enjoy the operational and financial benefits.

Discover more about Multisourcing Service Integration from Orange Business.

Alex Rigaldo

Alex helps enterprises to simplify, secure and increase cost efficiency across their ICT operations using Multisourcing Service Integration (MSI). He joined Orange in 2001 and has held positions in strategic marketing, product management, pricing and business development. Previously he was marketing director for cybersecurity, our cloud computing Chief Operating Officer and worked at Orange Labs. Alex has 17 years’ experience in the IT and telecommunications industry. Earlier in his career he launched a startup and sits on the French Tech board in Rennes where he acts as a mentor and pitch trainer to innovative companies. Alex graduated from the EM Lyon in France, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Universidad de Salamanca.