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MPLS, is SD-WAN Trying to Steal Your Girlfriend?

Whenever I see new marketing posts from the ever-growing list of SD-WAN technology companies knocking MPLS, I think of the Cheers episode where the French guy Henri teases Woody that he is going to steal his girlfriend Kelly. He continually announces to Woody and anyone else that will listen (insert bad French accent), “Woody…. I am going to steal your girlfriend.”

You can’t hide from the blogs, case studies, white papers and targeted ads that claim SD-WAN deployments in the form of WAN Optimization or Virtualization will….

  • Reduce your MPLS costs by 400% or more
  • Allow you to ditch MPLS and increase your bandwidth 20X at a fraction of the cost
  • Save you from the dying technology known as MPLS

If you are a telecom agent or consultant you may start feeling a little like Woody, just waiting for SD-WAN to steal all of your WAN billing and prospects. The only thing you have to offer, MPLS, is (according to the claims) past its prime, overpriced and underperforming. Or you may be hoping the attention being shown to SD-WAN is the flavor of the day and that these companies do not provide any significant threat.

Like most things in business — and relationships — the truth lies somewhere in between.

  • MPLS will continue to provide value for many WAN deployments, including SD-WANs.
  • Businesses will likely favor a “hybrid WAN” model, leveraging MPLS at locations where QOS and guaranteed performance matter most, integrating whatever carrier options are available at smaller, remote locations and benefiting from the overall network performance improvements provided by SD-WAN.

While MPLS still plays an important role in today’s WAN, options for designing and selling wide area networks are now more diverse. Being a proactive and forward-thinking channel partner that understands how to leverage all carrier options using SD-WAN technology (like Ecessa’s) will allow you to provide a higher performing and more resilient WAN.

And like Woody, you will be able to maintain a long-term and healthy relationship with your girlfriend, even when that slick French guy comes a-calling.

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