Operational model made more efficient with Meraki’s templated network designs, near zero-touch installation, and dashboard deployments.
Success they’ve had as Cisco Managed Service Provider partner was instrumental in them being recognised as a Top 10 UK SD-WAN provider
Increasingly, businesses are looking to take advantage of the cost savings and application performance improvements facilitated by SD-WAN technology. SAS Global Communications uses Cisco Meraki to provide business customers with managed SD-WAN, delivering all of the benefits, without the need for extra resources usually required to implement and manage the technology.
SAS identified Cisco SD-WAN powered by Meraki as a powerful and easy to deploy solution across customer branches. Despite the intuitive management interface and simple design of the Cisco Meraki solution, customers still needed networking skills to design, roll-out, optimize, and troubleshoot the network, which is where SAS Managed IT Services came in.
The service gives customers reliable, flexible performance in an environment where traffic is moving increasingly to cloud applications and platforms. Customers achieve a range of benefits including lower costs, better network performance, higher security, increased productivity, faster problem diagnosis, and greater flexibility around mobilisation. All of this without having to maintain network-certified staff or deal with the procurement, configuration, or management usually involved with an SD-WAN roll out.
The set up
SAS monitors tens of thousands of network devices across 65 countries and has powered managed services for some of the largest ICT bands. Their hybrid networks, enhanced by SD-WAN, blend carriers and technologies to optimise the solution and price for every customer site. SAS has also implemented solutions incorporating Cisco Meraki security appliances (MX), switching (MS), and wireless (MR), and have Proof of Value initiatives in progress for smart cameras (MV) at several customers. SAS is integrating their award-winning management, monitoring, and alerting platform with the Meraki dashboard, using Meraki APIs, alongside Meraki Insight to deliver advanced assurance analytics. This will give customers the best of all worlds in terms of network monitoring, management, and reporting. While the integration is completed, customers are given read-only access to the Meraki dashboard.
The information SAS captures at the beginning of any client engagement is keyed in once and then used to populate all subsequent systems for implementation, system management, support, and invoicing. They build the inventory as they implement the project, adding equipment, circuits, and support details as each site goes live, ensuring a single repository of truth for all elements of the inventory. This affords simple access to data, simplified change control, and accurate billing of the completed solution. Ultimately, it helps assure a Right-First-Time service for customers.
A comprehensive project plan is drawn up showing the timelines for all key activities, and contact lists are created and distributed. Network engineering resources are scheduled and equipment is pre-configured, so all the customers have to do is plug their gear in.
For SAS as a Meraki Managed Service Partner, their operational model is made more efficient, as they are able to leverage Meraki’s templated network designs, near zero-touch installation, and the dashboard to complete deployments. They have greater visibility and control of traffic and network configurations via the Meraki dashboard and can troubleshoot issues even more efficiently.
The go-to-market strategy
The SD-WAN managed service is primarily aimed at mid-market enterprise customers looking to transform their infrastructure to take advantage of cloud and SD-WAN and to reduce total cost of ownership. When SAS identifies a new opportunity, they engage their Meraki account team and work together to agree the best solution for the customer and design the proposal. SAS is able to utilise the Meraki free trial program to offer a free proof of concept. At this stage, they showcase their managed service by preconfiguring the equipment and providing a post-trial summary, with the help of analytics from their award-winning platform and the Meraki dashboard.
SAS can offer bespoke pricing models, but typically they continue to own the hardware, while customers pay a monthly subscription which can include everything from PCs and printers to networking and security. Customers say one of the main benefits of dealing with SAS is that they bring together the other elements required alongside the WAN for a complete solution.
The service has generated sales of over $1.5 million per quarter since launching, and led to an increase in stack sales, with SAS winning LAN and Wi-Fi business, in addition to existing WAN management revenues. The licensing model also ensures they bolster annuity revenues to add to their managed service revenues.
SAS believes that the success they have had as Cisco Managed Service Provider partner, transforming networks with Meraki SD-WAN, was instrumental in them being recognised as a Top 10 UK SD-WAN provider by Enterprise Networking Magazine.
Customers love the service, and SAS’ Net Promoter Score is consistently over 70!
Find out more at sas.co.uk
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