Virgin Media in SD-WAN Partnership with Innovate and Cisco – Giving business what it wants and needs

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PICTURE – Tony Hanway, CEO, Virgin Media, Gerard O’Neill, Chairman, Amarach Research and Jim Hughes, CEO of Innovate pictured at the event held in Virgin Media Television HD Studio to showcase the networking capabilities of SD-WAN and explain why it is one of the most exciting and fastest growing network technologies today.

Virgin Media Business partnered with Innovate (managed ICT Solution provider) to bring to together an enterprise-grade SD-WAN network connectivity solution, powered by Cisco, with rapid and resilient connectivity by Virgin Media Business and Innovate’s technical expertise to enable more secure, consistent and cost-effective enterprise connections.

Virgin Media Business has joined forces with managed IT and cloud service provider INNOVATE and Cisco in a strategic partnership to offer businesses what they want, as well as what they need, when it comes to digital transformation.

The three industry leading partners have come together to offer a managed Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solution, an entirely new way to manage and operate network and connectivity infrastructure.

Speaking at a specially arranged event to showcase the new solution in the Virgin Media HD TV studio in Ballymount, Dublin, Virgin Media Chief Executive Tony Hanway said SD-WAN is one of the most exciting and fastest growing network technologies today.

People buy what they want so you must sell them what they need” – Gerard O’Neill, Amarach.

“The new solution, powered by Cisco, with rapid and resilient connectivity by Virgin Media Business and Innovate’s technical expertise, will enable more secure, consistent and cost-effective enterprise connections for our customers”, he said.

Innovate CEO Jim Hughes explained that the SD WAN solution will reduce network costs and improve application performance for mid-size and larger enterprises.

This is achieved through a fundamental shift in the traditional wide area network (WAN) paradigm which traditionally saw all network traffic routed internally before connecting to the internet.

Using SD RAM, users throughout an organisation can connect securely and speedily to cloud based infrastructure and software-as-a-service applications without the need to first go through the internal WAN.

“Unless you have a clear objective, you have no definition of winning”

Organisations have to be clear in relation to their objectives and strategy before moving to the new paradigm.  Quoting from Alistair Campbell, former aid to UK prime minister Tony Blair, Hughes said: “Unless you have a clear objective, you have no definition of winning; unless you have a clear strategy, you have no chance of winning; and if all you have is tactics, you have no right to win.”

Taking up a similar theme, Gerard O’Neill of Amarach Research stepped back from the technology to look at the trends which will drive demand for it. “One rule applies”, he said. “People buy what they want so you must sell them what they need. Nobody buys a great product if it’s not what they want, even if it’s what they need. Inventing a great new product which saves people money is no good if what they want to do is save time.”

In this context, the three wants driving organisations’ demand for technology, according to O’Neill, are managing complexity, managing security, and managing flexibility.

“One of the biggest challenges for businesses right now is that they want to scale quickly but without significant capital investments”, he said.

“Managing complexity requires businesses to have access to real time data and the systems that allow them to respond to the trends that their data reveals. They want to know that when opportunity knocks, they will be ready, willing and able to answer, and that they won’t be left behind by more agile competitors who see the same opportunities.

“For many businesses, the solution lies in using cloud-based solutions to reduce the marginal cost of growth to a level that avoids expensive investments in fixed costs,” O’Neill said.

In the security realm, he pointed out that businesses want their employees to be more productive but doing so the wrong way can create enormous business risks. “One of the key trends now gathering momentum is the emergence of the virtual workforce: people working collaboratively in teams from different locations, including their homes”, he noted.

“The location of the ‘office’ or the ‘branch’ or even the ‘store’ is increasingly abstract.  Businesses want to grow while navigating avoidable risks, which means using technology to empower employees to drive future growth without risking their employers’ security.”

One of the greatest challenges facing businesses nowadays is how to increase productivity when the low hanging fruit from technology adoption is already taken, O’Neill continued added.

“This is why businesses are so enthusiastic about exploring the potential for the distributed production of goods, services and growth. This is exactly what networks have always done and always will and why growth-enhancing services like SD-WAN are so important to what every business wants: future growth.”