Interactive What can you expect when it comes to networking in 2021?

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Insights 5 minutes read

What can you expect when it comes to networking in 2021?

We sat down with Tony Saliba, Interactive’s Product and Solution Manager, to discuss his thoughts on the major networking trends this year.
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All eyes are on networking

The nature of the corporate network has been changing for some time.

Businesses of all sizes are rapidly moving away from traditional, on-premises networks with perimeter-based security, and moving towards cloud or hybrid networks – which can offer the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and flexibility they need.

The events of 2020 – and the sudden shift to remote working – certainly accelerated this transition. Even now, with businesses starting to welcome employees back to the office, there’s been a fundamental shift in our approach to work, and therefore, what’s expected of the corporate network.

Here, Tony Saliba, our in-house Network Services Product and Solution Manager, shares his thoughts on the key network trends we can expect.

What trends are you seeing right now with regards to networks?

There are two trends that we are seeing right now.

The first is a shift away from major telecommunications providers to more nimble and flexible providers – like Interactive. For some time now, we have witnessed businesses of all sizes being locked into inflexible network contracts with the major telecommunications providers. Typically, these contracts require that the business only selects options from within the carrier’s own suite of products and services – regardless of whether these are the most cost-effective or appropriate option for the business. As a result, they can be paying far more than they need to be for their network services and are now seeing an increasing number of customers moving away from these rigid contracts – especially when they are up for renewal.

The second trend that we’re seeing currently is increased demand for SD-WAN technology. To facilitate demand for greater flexibility and control, many customers are starting to embrace SD-WAN technology when their existing infrastructure contracts are nearing their end.

Why do you think businesses are looking for new providers?

Savvy business owners are realising that they can save money by having a customised, purpose-built network sourced from multiple providers and comprised of diverse technology, rather than simply having access only to a limited suite of products offered by a single carrier.

For instance, with Interactive, a customer who chooses to implement an SD-WAN solution can BYO their ‘last mile’ technology – that is, they can choose the best available solution, rather than simply relying on whatever the telecommunications carrier has to offer. Interactive will always look at the available options and then recommend the best infrastructure for a customer’s needs.

Customer service is another key determining factor. Increasingly, we see businesses realising that when they choose a provider like Interactive, they get the love, service and care they deserve – rather than being overlooked by the major carriers.

Why is SD-WAN becoming so popular?

SD-WAN is not a new technology. It has been around for some time and has certainly proven its worth. However, one of the reasons many businesses haven’t yet embraced it is that they have been locked into existing contracts, and have already invested in IP-WAN infrastructure. Now that many of these contracts are coming to an end, customers are looking for better and more flexible options.

SD-WAN is a great option as It gives customers a level of control that is very beneficial. By enabling businesses to securely and intelligently direct traffic across a WAN, an SD-WAN solution can deliver faster speeds, better user experiences, and superior application performance. This can lead to increased business productivity, agility, and reduced overall costs.

Why would a customer choose Interactive to provide its network?

There are several reasons why customers choose Interactive for their network – however, I believe the top three are:

  1. Local support – our network services team is based in Australia, unlike that of many telcos which is provided via an overseas team.
  2. Experience – we have a stable, reliable and experienced workforce and our team has an in-depth knowledge of the Australian market.
  3. Customer first – our customers always come first and we do all we can to cater for a customer’s current and future needs.

What questions would you encourage business owners to ask regarding their network?

As we move through 2021, businesses should be asking three key things in relation to their corporate network:

  • Do we have the best network to cater to our current and future needs?
  • Is our contract up for renewal, and if so, what other options are out there?
  • Are we getting the best value for money from our current provider?

What should a customer do if they are interested in finding out more?

Our experienced team can assess the performance of the customer’s network and its component assets, ensure they have the right support strategy in place for each element, and build a tailored and strategic maintenance plan to help them unlock innovation and growth. If they would like to find out more, reach out and speak to an Interactive expert to help look at the best options for your business.

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