Branch locations are the lifeblood of many businesses. Remote offices, retail locations, financial institutions, satellite campuses, manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and other branch locations are as important, and sometimes more important, to an organization’s success as its headquarters. However, many branch locations lack effective IT support.

IT infrastructure across branch locations tends to be complex, outdated and lacking in security. This makes it difficult and costly to support branch IT and adapt to changing business needs and market conditions.

Provisioning of new technology, applications and services is slow. Backups are infrequent. Network activity is difficult to monitor. If equipment failure or a data breach occurs, recovery is slow and inefficient. Because branch IT is often managed in siloes and onsite IT resources are scarce, downtime, service disruptions and productivity issues are common. As a result, customer service suffers, sales opportunities are missed, and revenue is lost.

One way to overcome the challenges of supporting IT across branch locations is to consolidate the branch IT stack as much as possible, using a solution that provides advanced features and capabilities, including remote management. The software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) can help you accelerate this process, resulting in simpler branch infrastructure, more efficient management and lower costs.

Traditionally, WAN connections used proprietary hardware that had to be manually configured by onsite technicians at each branch location. The SD-WAN applies the software-defined model to the WAN by separating the control plane from the data plane. This makes it possible for administrators to use software to centrally manage WAN links that connect geographically dispersed branch locations to the corporate network. Bandwidth can also be dynamically shared across connection points to meet the performance requirements of today’s business applications.

SD-WAN can consolidate the branch IT stack by bundling together the most important features and capabilities in a single solution. This solution can be either a physical SD-WAN appliance or a software platform that runs on commodity hardware.

A modern SD-WAN solution can replace routers, WAN optimizers and firewalls and cut management time in half. Branch IT functions such as backup, data protection, service provisioning and storage caching can be consolidated thanks to more reliable, high-performance connectivity. Administrators can also use SD-WAN to collect and analyze data about network usage to further optimize branch IT environments. As SD-WAN solutions continue to mature, consolidation of the branch IT stack will expand to other technology, further reducing support and maintenance requirements.

IPC helps organizations consolidate the branch IT stack by installing and deploying SD-WAN solutions in a matter of days. We can implement a solution that allows you to manage any combination of broadband Internet links, dedicated MPLS circuits, DSL and cable connections through a single cloud-based controller. You can prioritize certain types of traffic and monitor the health of the WAN to maximize performance, security and efficiency.

Let us assess the current state of your branch IT infrastructure and show you how SD-WAN enables you to deliver the performance, reliability, and simplicity you need at your branch locations.