Special Feature: The Philippine Digital Convention 2019

Driving Operational Efficiency and Optimizing Customer Experience with Secure SD-WAN

Digital Transformation is a key imperative for business success today. It entails the rethinking of operating models, how to innovate, be agile and fail fast, and how businesses of all sizes need to remain competitive as the world becomes increasingly digital.

Given the organizational impact that a change like this would have, it is crucial that business leaders get it right on the first attempt. In the quest to continuously improve employee productivity and increase value to customers at the same time, IT forms the foundation for effective collaboration, innovation and business growth.

A key pillar of this foundation is allowing businesses to deliver applications faster and more securely to their customers, ensuring a uniform, reliable customer experience at every touchpoint.

Enabling flexible consumption of work resources is also vital, allowing for greater efficiency and productivity by empowering employees to access software securely at any time, from anywhere.

The ability of networks to support these workplaces of the future and digitized customer experiences is defined by a pervasive cloud strategy. Efficient navigation of a successful digital transformation requires a cloud-native, cloud-aware WAN architecture.

The three key benefits of digital transformation underpinned by a sound SD-WAN strategy are:

1. Greater operational efficiency

a. Over time, SD-WAN is more efficient in terms of capital expenditure and time, allowing IT teams greater choice in Telecommunications connectivity ensuring the right application is using the most efficient connection

b. Management has greater visibility and control over what takes place on the network, enabling business-critical updates and changes in hours instead of days

c. Provides seamless extension of the WAN into multiple clouds, and shortens the time required to onboard new or existing public clouds through automation

2. Increased security

a. Allows secure direct internet access at the branch, leveraging security features like application-aware firewall, intrusion protection, URL filtering, Advanced Malware Protection, and DNS security

b. The right SD-WAN solution comes with state-of-the-art security and roundthe-clock protection powered by AI and ML

3. Optimized customer experience

a. Improved application experience for customers and employees anywhere, anytime, and on any interface.

b. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions like Office365 and Webex, crucial for collaboration and productivity, are optimized over cloud access with clear visibility, direct to end-users

c. Quality of service for critical apps and circuit remediation for critical traffic is ensured, to deliver required SLA and improve customer experiences

Cisco SD-WAN optimizes SaaS performance for Office 365, Salesforce, and other cloudbased apps in a single overlay that promises a uniform experience at data center, cloud, and branch locations.

It also delivers seamless public cloud connectivity to simplify workflows for AWS, Azure, and application-aware policies that allow real-time policy enforcement for cloud and on-premise solutions. Threat defenses are also embedded at important points of the Cisco SD-WAN network infrastructure, from branch to cloud.

A single cloud management approach to networking policies and security policies simplifies deployment and helps make protection more pervasive, ensuring that business critical assets are always isolated and protected.

As organizations look to migrate to multi-cloud architectures, which is a strategically necessary next step to protect capital expenditure spending, Cisco SD-WAN offers comprehensive threat protection and compliance.

Opening the enterprise to cloud capabilities expands the surface of vulnerability points, making it critical to provide the right level of access to the right people at the right points in the network.

Cisco SD-WAN provides a robust security architecture to connect users to applications with best in class security deployment models combining branch-edge and cloud-edge.

As a key takeaway, here are the top three things to evaluate when selecting an SD-WAN solution:

1. A single pane of glass to monitor your cloud-aware secure wide area network

2. A real-time threat defense with global scope in intelligence to make local informed decisions

3. Ability to unify Enterprise policy across multiple IT domains.

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