According to Hoovers, the US professional services industry includes about 770,000 firms with combined annual revenue of more than $1.5 trillion. Many of those professional services firms are SMBs with strong, personal connections to their clients – but not a personal connection with their computer networks. High industry revenues plus the probability of outdated systems make services firms an increasingly valuable target to hackers. SD-WAN can help professional services firms secure their businesses easily and reliably, decreasing their likelihood of an attack and providing a safe remedy in the event of a disaster.
However, security isn’t the only benefit an SD-WAN can provide. Here are three more.
First, What Exactly Is This SD-WAN Thing?
SD-WAN stands for “Software-Defined Wide Area Network.” As a network, it connects your work computers to each other for added security and speed. As a “wide area” network, it can bring that connectivity across multiple separate locations, and as a “software-defined” wide area network, it can deliver a number of benefits to professional services firms including:
- Lower operating costs
- Lower capital expenditures
- Faster loading time for work applications
- Fast, error-free setup, even for new offices
- Enhanced security and encryption
- Easier management for non-techies
- Manage Your Clients Easily
One of the biggest areas of instability in the services sector comes from the rise and fall of corporate profits. Budgets in the corporate world change all the time, and with a number of people working with services providers, there tend to be a lot of conflicting requests, sometimes from companies that have fallen behind on their payments to you.
With SD-WAN, your company will have up-to-date information at all times in all offices at once. If a payment is late and services have been suspended, you won’t have to worry about informing all your offices, your system will ensure that all users who access the delinquent client’s details is aware of the suspended service. In addition, you can also set up your SD-WAN system to deprioritize that client’s requests or reroute all communications from that client straight to your Accounts Receivable department.
In addition, it helps you save on IT labor hours, as well as makes it easy and affordable to set up your high-tech system on commodity servers and broadband. This means you’ll save a lot on capital expenditures and operating expenses, and you can turn around and invest those savings in more marketing so you can replace your delinquent, troublesome clients.
- Stay Up to Date… On Everything
As a professional services firm, you must become a master of your own business regulations as well as your clients’ business regulations. That means you have a lot to remember every day – but we’ve noticed that you often forget one really important thing: keeping your computer network up to date with security patches and software updates.
With SD-WAN, your business will stay in sync and up to date, because when you update your servers at one location, it updates the servers throughout your network. Since your one server is run virtually, you can also get a great IT services expert (ahem, such as Medlin), to manage your multi-location server remotely and keep all your patches and upgrades up to date. Great security helps you maintain your great reputation as well.
- Take Extra Care of Your Biggest Clients
It’s a fact of providing services that there will always be one customer who is bigger than all the others. You know the client: it’s the one who you’re really nervous about losing because it would be a staggering blow to the company. These big fish deserve extra care and attention, and you’ll want to make sure that service for them is high priority across the company.
With the understandable, non-techie language that SD-WAN uses, your company can set up easy-to-manage, easy-to-understand policy-based rules for that big-fish client, which means you can prioritize every communication and interaction you have with them so that you always deliver the bend-over-backwards service they expect.
Like SD-WAN, SDN is also a “software-driven network.” The difference between SD-WAN and SDN is that SDN meets the needs of a single office and SD-WAN meets the needs of multi-location offices. If your business is currently only in a single location but you want the convenience, cost savings and reliability that a software-defined network offers, you may want to consider SDN instead.
Whichever you choose, Medlin works with service-oriented businesses to implement the network management solutions that make opening up a new office or managing multiple offices (or one office) a breeze.
Not sure if your company is a great fit for our services? Don’t have time to waste on the phone? Find out if Medlin is right for you before giving us a call using our easy, online Network Services assessment. All you’ll have to do is answer a few questions online and you’ll get your results. Sound easy? It is easy: It’s Medlin.