In the new digital economy, there is an increased focus on delivery of superior customer experience as a means to competitive advantage. A recent study by Walker Research predicts that, “By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.”

To support strategies for more effective and agile customer experiences, companies are working to make their applications and services accessible from anywhere, from any device, by moving them to the cloud. But the days of a single cloud strategy are behind us — businesses are now leveraging multiple clouds around the globe.

As a result, a growing challenge is managing the complexity, security, and compliance requirements of connecting enterprise networks across multiple clouds, data centers, campuses, branch offices, and remote workers.  Businesses must also improve their data security and privacy strategies, improve network visibility, and provide more flexible bandwidth.

Cisco has been working with our largest global customers, both enterprise and service providers, to ensure that their network infrastructure is ready to support growth without compromising security or performance. Key to achieving these goals is Cisco’s newly launched SD-WAN Security. Software-defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) is part of Cisco’s broader Digital Network Architecture (DNA)™ and Intent-based Networking strategy across the campus, data center, cloud, and WAN.

With the rapid growth in SD-WAN requirements, Rohit Mehra, vice president of Network Infrastructure with analyst firm IDC, stated, “SD-WAN is not a solution in search of a problem. Traditional WANs were not architected for the cloud and are poorly suited to the security requirements associated with distributed and cloud-based applications.”

The Cisco Customer Experience (CX) team, and our partner ecosystem, are working closely with our customers to help them define and execute effective strategies to migrate, adopt, deploy, and manage SD-WAN so they can connect to any cloud, anywhere, securely. With a comprehensive lifecycle of services that support SD-WAN, we provide expert guidance at every step. Our SD-WAN engineers help design the best SD-WAN architecture to meet defined business objectives. Our experts set up underlay and overlay routing, and then define and validate feature and policy templates to meet requirements for scaling across your enterprise.

SD-WAN can be deployed in virtual, cloud, or physical form factors with full cloud management capabilities. The integrated security model provides a zero-trust foundation with authentication and encryption. Segmentation isolates and protects your critical assets across cloud, partner networks, and guest wireless. To speed time to value and reduce complexity, enterprise firewall, IPS, AMP, DNS-layer enforcement, URL filtering, A/V and SSL decryption proxy are fully integrated into our SD-WAN solutions. And a single GUI-based workflow is used to configure and manage the WAN, cloud, and security features via Cisco’s cloud-managed controller.

From creating an initial technology roadmap that aligns with business and IT requirements, to ongoing 24/7 support and optimization, Cisco’s services for SD-WAN are designed to minimize disruption, drive operational excellence, and speed time to value and return on investment.

As an example, see how we recently helped National Instruments implement their SD-WAN solution, which boosted bandwidth by more than 3000% and reduced their network operating costs by 64%. To put these percentages into context, a 3000% increase in bandwidth is like an airport security checkpoint that only allowed 50 passengers through in an hour, to now clearing 1500 passengers in the same time at less than half the cost.

To jump start the transition to SD-WAN, our new SD-WAN Advise and Implement Quick Start Service is designed to help rapidly deploy smaller or early projects with a predefined deployment scope and fixed price, simplifying implementation complexity, but allowing easy scale when needed.

In a study of over 40 vendors, Cisco SD-WAN was differentiated as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (MQ) on WAN Edge Infrastructure. Gartner also ranked Cisco #1 based on ability to execute for customers.

To explore our full services for enterprise networking portfolio, review the Cisco Services for Digital Network Architecture (DNA) eBook. You can also get more details on our recent SD-WAN Security announcement in this related blog from my colleague, Anand Oswal.


James Mobley

Senior Vice President & General Manager

Network Services