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A wholesale provider’s guide to choosing the right SD-WAN underlay partner


As a wholesale provider, your choice of technology partners is critical to the successful delivery of your services. However, with a digital landscape that's constantly changing, and providers expected to deliver consistent performance across all regions, robust cyber security that utilises the latest threat intelligence, and compliance with a range of increasingly demanding regulations, developing a strong partner ecosystem is more challenging than ever before. Nonetheless, the potential rewards are great.

For example, Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology is transforming the way organisations manage their infrastructure and connect multiple services, offering unparalleled visibility and control of business-critical applications. Utilising a trusted technology partner to provide your SD-WAN underlay is therefore an attractive choice, providing you with an ideal foundation on which to build your solutions and ensure your customers and end users enjoy optimal performance and security, while your own teams are freed to focus on service delivery.

But to enjoy these benefits, the choice of technology partner is critical. Your SD-WAN underlay partner should be more than a simple service provider - they should be willing and able to offer guidance and new innovations, supporting your organisation's long-term growth. Therefore, as you evaluate potential partners to deliver your SD-WAN underlay consider the following key factors:

How extensive are their expertise?

Across numerous sectors, there is an ongoing drive to consolidate solutions and providers, in order to develop most flexible, agile, and cost-effective infrastructure. An SD-WAN underlay partner with the ability to integrate a range of additional solutions can prove hugely advantageous as your requirements evolve, as you will be able to develop your infrastructure as necessary, without the time and cost involved in selecting additional partners, and with complete confidence in a smooth, effective integration process. For example, Exponential-e can integrate its full range of data centre, Cloud, unified communications and IoT solutions with our SD-WAN underlay - all supported by our world-class cyber security ecosystem. By combining a comprehensive digital toolbox with a deep knowledge of the changing digital landscape, an underlay partner will be well-placed to support the development of your overlay.

Are they based in the UK

When it comes to your network, regional presence is a critical part of ensuring consistent performance for every customer and end user, particularly if you are an international wholesaler entering a new country for the first time. Look for a UK-based SD-WAN partner, whose own infrastructure will provide you with optimal performance, uptime, and availability across the entire country - everywhere you operate, and everywhere you plan on expanding into in the future.

Can they offer tangible evidence of compliance and service quality

A truly world-class company should have no concerns about displaying their full range of accreditations, providing you with complete confidence in their capabilities, and taking the stress out of meeting your own compliance obligations. For example, look closely at the range of ISOs each potential partner has achieved, as these represent universally-recognised standards, along with the Net Promoter Score - a clear representation of their overall service quality (NB. Exponential-e is the only company in our sector to display our NPS score live on our website).

Do they take the time to understand your specific goals and requirements

With the past year requiring organisations to rapidly pivot in response to both shifts in the digital landscape and the challenges of COVID-19, it has become clear that one-size-fits-all solutions will only go so far. Any underlay partner should take the time to understand your requirements before proposing any solutions, and ideally offer evidence of deep experience in your sector. They should also be willing to tailor solutions where required and adopt an agnostic approach to technology, ensuring solutions are tailored to your goals, not the other way around.

By considering all these factors when selecting an SD-WAN underlay partner, you will not only be developing a high-performance infrastructure, but a long-lasting, mutually advantageous partnership that drives sustained growth, innovation, and profitability. Please contact our team to find our how becoming an Exponential-e carrier partner can help you implement your own ideal SD-WAN solution.

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