THE NEXT BIG THING

Everything You Need To Know About SD-WAN Technology

Vice President & Head of PLDT Enterprise’s Core Business Solutions Jojo Gendrano breaks down the brave new technology that will change how enterprises across the country will do business.


This year, PLDT Enterprise rolls out software-defined wide-area network technology (SD-WAN), the next generation of managed data services that promise to give customers more control over their business. Additionally, it increases their flexibility, agility, and builds resiliency between last mile providers.


SD-WAN also simplifies how enterprises effectively manage their businesses, so they can truly focus on their core competencies. How you ask? VP & Head of PLDT Enterprise’s Core Business Solutions Jojo Gendrano says the most compelling reason for businesses to subscribe to this new technology lies in its simplicity.

HJ: SD-WAN is a big concept that’s hinged on two very technical phrases, “software-defined” and “wide-area network,” but what do those terminologies mean?

JGG: Let me break down the terminology into two: “wide-area network” basically means you connect two locations together regardless of geography—one network can be a bank branch in Makati, and the other can be a data center somewhere else or the Cloud for the branch to connect to. “Software-defined” means it is the ultimate in flexibility where software and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) determines the capability rather than hardware. Let me compare it with a game console. If you buy a PlayStation, you’re limited to the games you can play exclusively on the console. With “Software-defined,” you can play any game you want, regardless of platform capabilities.


In software-defined network architectures, you typically have what you call a network orchestrator that controls the functions of all of the components in the network. This intelligence is centralized and in the Cloud since that intelligence is centralized, you can do a lot more with it including customization and rapid deployment.

PLDT Enterprise officially launches SD-WAN Technology at the Philippine Digital Convention 2018 at the Marriott Hotel.

“SD-WAN technology really gives our customers more control over their business.”

HJ: Now that you’ve broken down the terms, could you tell us more about what that means for enterprises?

JGG: SD-WAN technology really gives our customers more control of their business. Today, if a customer requests for additional bandwidth from us, the process would take anywhere from 48 hours to a week. SD-WAN controls, simplifies, and makes that process quicker. Let’s say I’m an e-commerce business owner. It’s Father’s Day, and I’m expecting that my website will get a lot of traffic given that my customers would want to buy gifts for their dads. Father’s Day doesn’t happen all the time, right? During that time, I will pay a little more to increase my bandwidth—and then come the end of Father’s Day, I’ll bring it back down so I can control my costs better. Before SD-WAN technology, it would take me a week to upgrade my bandwidth. With SD-WAN technology, I can upgrade instantaneously.


If I want an additional firewall, it would take me months to get it, because I would need to purchase, install, and configure it. However, with SD-WAN, coupled with a technology called Network Function Virtualization, I would be provided with an interface that will help me set it up instantly. What used to take months will take hours.


SD-WAN’s capability to be application-aware also goes nicely with Cloud technology, enabling faster adoption and better performance. Stay tuned as we plan to do a lot of work in this space which will be of benefit to our Enterprise customers.

"Branch heavy industries like banking and finance, as well as the retail industry, can further improve data uptime especially as their applications become data dependent, centralized, or more focused to the cloud. Similarly, BPOs can better address seasonality requirements of their clientele," says Gendrano.

HJ: Are there specific businesses or industries that could benefit from this?

JGG: Branch heavy industries like banking and finance, as well as the retail industry, can further improve data uptime especially as their applications become data dependent, centralized, or more focused to the cloud. Similarly, BPOs can better address seasonality requirements of their clientele.

HJ: How does this technology make us a cut above from our competitors?

JGG: We’ve recently partnered with global software-defined network and services provider Zenlayer, which adds to our already robust international offerings. You get the same benefits and flexibility of SD-WAN, but on a global scale. We’re able to do that, without building another network by ourselves again.

HJ: After its roll-out, what’s next?

JGG: We have more partners lined up to help us reach our end goal of serving and enabling local enterprises of all sizes. Frankly, I’m excited to see as to how else SD-WAN can enrich our data services portfolio so we can serve our customers better, and position the best solution for their ever-changing requirements.