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Vonage taps SD-WAN to improve unified communications systems

Vonage is using technology from SD-WAN startup VeloCloud to up the performance of its cloud-based unified communications systems.

Vonage is ramping up its competitive edge in the crowded business-communications space by leveraging software-defined WAN technology to boost the voice and video quality and reliability of cloud-based unified communications.   

Last week, the voice over IP company announced that it would provide SD-WAN-based services to businesses starting next month. Vonage built the service, called SmartWAN, on technology from SD-WAN startup VeloCloud.

VeloCloud's cloud-based service constantly evaluates the best path to send data packets across a network. Vonage is leveraging VeloCloud technology to deliver unified communications systems more efficiently.

How SD-WAN improves unified communications systems

SD-WAN improves the quality of UC by automatically configuring WAN edge routers to find the best path for running traffic over a hybrid of wired and wireless broadband and private MPLS links. Managing multiple connections is one of SD-WAN's biggest draws.

With SD-WAN, "It's a lot easier to have multiple access connections at a location and leverage them all to send traffic," said Andrew Lerner, analyst for Gartner.

According to a 2015 report from Gartner, about 10% of enterprises will have replaced their traditional WAN routing with SD-WAN technology by 2018 -- up from less than 1% this year.

The same report said SD-WAN is most beneficial to businesses with one or some of the following motivations: moving to a hybrid WAN network to support cloud-based services, looking to reduce carrier service budgets or complexity of WANs and having a large number of remote branches.

Those businesses can reduce costs by as much as 40% by eliminating hardware and managing their WANs more efficiently. Additionally, the report said businesses could cut provisioning time by as much as 80%.

Through SD-WAN, Vonage is likely to improve overall service performance for its customers, said Lee Doyle, an analyst at Doyle Research in Wellesley, Mass. "They'll see an improvement in service."

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