Posted by CRN on May 29, 2019:

SD-WAN is a big opportunity for partners by itself, but it's opening up the door for additional offerings, like consultative and implementation services. Cisco Systems is helping the channel get in at the ground level with the "next evolution" of SD-WAN: managed SD-WAN, the tech leader said.

Research firm IDC has predicted that the SD-WAN infrastructure market will grow to $4.5 billion by 2022. While many customers initially deployed SD-WAN with self-managed hardware and software, there's a shift underway because enterprises are moving away from managing their own SD-WAN. Instead, these companies are offloading that work to partners in the form of a managed service SD-WAN model.

"We think that's a huge opportunity for partners in this space because they now are not only focused on the sale of the infrastructure, but as the solution provider, I can be that trusted advisor since I'll take over the environment and manage it for my customer," said Jason Gallo, global senior director of partner sales business development for San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco.

The next wave of SD-WAN goes beyond updating a set of routers. It includes setting up new of policies, managing complex architectures, and making sure they are secure along the entire way, Gallo said.

Maryland Heights, Mo.-based World Wide Technology (WWT), a top global Cisco partner, is selling SD-WAN solution from several vendors in the enterprise and service provider space, but Cisco's SD-WAN services are highly requested by customers, said Tom Schepers, practice manager of network solutions and business strategy for WWT.

In fact, SD-WAN in the past year has been the most requested technology within WWT's Advanced Technology Center [ATC], a place that the company uses to showcase technologies and conduct trainings, Schepers said. "For the last year and a half, SD-WAN in the ATC have far outstripped requested for any other technology we have in the ATC," he said.

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