Here Ye! Here Ye! Cisco recently purchased a software-based SD-WAN provider, and the name of that provider is Viptela. Cisco’s purchase of Viptella, a much-needed cloud-based software functionality acquisition for the company, indicates the course of the industry and validates those of us who knew the transition to SD-WAN is upon us. It is clear that Cisco is trying to realign its corporate strategy around software and services. So this is big news for the SD-WAN lovers out there, right? This kind of acquisition makes a statement. Cisco is sending a strong message that SD-WAN will play a big part with future rollouts of services. So why is the SD-WAN migration taking so long?
I think most IT professionals realize that SD-WAN is coming, but maybe not as quickly as originally anticipated. However, Cisco’s move into the area means we’ve likely turned a corner.
Despite SD-WAN solutions being extremely appealing, IT professionals have been cautious about buying these solutions. The reason for the slow adoption rate for SD-WAN pure play providers is due to the fragmented nature of the market and their relatively unknown proposition as it pertains to stability and long-term viability of the current market players. Really, who wants to hook up their wagon to a horse that doesn’t have strong legs underneath it? You probably won’t get too far, especially if you’re carrying a heavy load, and who needs that?
Make no mistake, the software pivot is happening. AT&T said it wants to have 80% of its network on software by 2020. They also told their investors that SD-WAN is a good fit for the SMB space. Likewise, the Cableco’s growing presence in the SMB market is a natural fit for SD-WAN. They have a big customer base and a large broadband footprint that can be easily leveraged to deliver this service. The rumor is that Cableco’s are trialing SD-WAN now, and I believe it’s only a matter of time until you see them jump in the game.
The bottom line: We will see more and more businesses transition to a software and subscription based model. It may take a little while longer, but it is coming.
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