Connectivity: A Solution, Not a Commodity
In today’s SaaS-heavy digital workplace, the network matters more than ever. Modern businesses of every size need fast reliable connections to the cloud to get work done and generate revenue. While MSPs have traditionally focused on selling cloud apps, security solutions, and endpoint-adjacent services, they should consider adding network and connectivity solutions to their arsenal to help them become a “one-stop” technology shop for their SMB clients.
Connectivity solutions, such as fiber broadband, provide fast reliable Internet access to support high performance bandwidth demands. SD-WAN is an intelligent network that dynamically and securely routes traffic from multiple transport services to optimize efficiency. By prioritizing critical traffic, providing layers of intelligent security, and simplifying network administration, SD-WAN boosts reliability and improves application performance.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for SMBs to view Internet service as a commodity or utility and sign a contract with the lowest-cost provider in their area. This is short-sighted and can lead to frustrations when poor service quality fails to meet business performance needs.
As tech advisors, MSPs should shift the network and connectivity conversation to a solution focus, explaining how better planning and increased investment in optimal performance saves money in the long-run due to improved efficiency and minimized downtime.
Below are five reasons why MSPs should consider adding network and connectivity solutions to their technology stack.
1. Digital transformation needs a strong foundation.
Network solutions are the somewhat unglamorous foundation that enables successful digital transformation. The underlying connectivity to the cloud is what powers the SaaS apps of the digital workplace.
For maximum productivity, critical applications need to be supported with high performance bandwidth and prioritized along network paths. Ask clients, “is your network keeping up with all of your SaaS needs?”
2. Bandwidth needs continue to grow rapidly.
With the rise of cloud-first policies and the shift to Software-as-a-Service, bandwidth requirements — and the resulting costs — have exploded. Videoconferencing and the relentless appetite for video content in marketing, education, and internal business initiatives eat up bandwidth. In addition, employees use more devices than ever at work, from desktops to laptops to mobile phones to tablets — not to mention connected devices in the office such as smart TVs, environmental sensors, screen displays, and media players. The sheer volume of devices connecting to the network can place a significant burden on the network.
To take full advantage of the cloud, businesses need high-performance connections to apps, services, data, and devices. And to reduce costs, those connections need to be as efficient as possible.
That’s where SD-WAN comes in, prioritizing critical traffic so that the Netflix show that Jim in sales is streaming in his cubicle doesn’t throttle critical communications and productivity apps. SD-WAN can also automatically detect application needs and adapt in real-time to balance traffic and ensure optimal performance at all times.
3. Security is top-of-mind.
In our threat-heavy IT landscape, businesses need to adopt every measure to shore up security as possible. SD-WAN helps improve network security through layers of intelligent security and by encrypting WAN traffic as it moves from one location to another.
SD-WAN solutions can also include a management dashboard that provides visibility into the network, with real-time analytics that help IT admins detect security events faster.
4. Companies can’t afford downtime.
With so many apps, data, and services in the cloud — not to mention critical data — most organizations simply can’t afford downtime. A downed network can shut down business, draining hundreds or thousands of dollars every minute as employees are cut off from the apps and tools they need to be productive and customers can’t get through for sales or support.
A redundant backup circuit is in some ways like an insurance policy, so that in the event of an outage on the primary connection, traffic can failover to the backup circuit and keep business going. And by using multiple, diverse transport services and providing dynamic path selection, SD-WAN builds another layer of resiliency into the network.
6. Network management takes up time and labor.
Modern networks can take a lot of monitoring and management to keep them optimized and secure. However, SD-WAN provides a lot of features and functionalities that simplify network administration and troubleshooting.
With automation capabilities, dashboards for visibility into network performance, and the ability to set priorities to let the network make routing decisions, it’s no surprise that network management simplification is the top expected IT benefit of SD-WAN adoption.
A Total Tech Solution
By adding network and connectivity solutions to the traditional MSP tech stack of cloud apps, endpoint management, and security solutions, MSPs can strengthen their position as the trusted advisor for ALL their clients’ technology needs. Additionally, the “one-stop shop” approach allows MSPs to offer improved value through the operational and monetary efficiencies of service consolidation.
However, network needs are never one-size-fits-all and the quoting process can be complex, with vendor availability differing by building and broadband and fiber circuits taking weeks or even months to install. As your Cloud Wingman, Pax8 is here to help MSPs capitalize on this revenue opportunity and make it as easy as possible to start selling network solutions to SMB clients. Our Connect Team is standing by to provide support throughout the entire quoting process.
If you’re interested in offering network to your clients, we’ve also got resources to help you start the conversation. We’ve created the MSP’s Guide to Selling Network Solutions that offers advice for positioning SD-WAN and connectivity solutions to SMB clients – including email templates.