EarthLink is a leading network, voice, IT and security services provider dedicated to delivering great customer experiences in a cloud connected world. We help thousands of multi-location businesses securely establish critical connections in the cloud. Our solutions for cloud and hybrid networking, security and compliance, and unified communications provide the cost-effective performance and agility to serve customers anytime, anywhere, via any channel, or any device. We operate a nationwide network spanning 29,000+ fiber route miles, with 90 metro fiber rings and secure data centers that provide ubiquitous data and voice IP coverage. To learn why thousands of specialty retailers, restaurants, franchisors, financial institutions, healthcare providers, professional service firms, local governments, residential consumers and other carriers choose to connect with us, visit us at www.earthlink.com.
Over the past 12 months the buzz around SD-WAN has exploded. It’s becoming to networking what the cloud became to infrastructure and applications. Yet, while the concept of a Software Defined WAN is generally understood, it’s often confused with its technology cousin, Software Defined Networking (SDN). Even by people who seem to be in-the-know. So I thought it was about time someone explained the difference.
As discussed in Part 1 of this post, software-defined wide area networks offer a number of benefits – increased operational efficiency, faster deployment speeds, and deep network visibility and analytics – that make the solution attractive to enterprises. In Part 2 of this post, we discuss the benefits of working with a network service provider (NSP) to tap into their managed services expertise as your organization embraces SD-WAN.
Over the past few years, retailers and other multi-location businesses have focused on issues like protecting their brand by staying ahead of data security and PCI requirements, deploying technology that allows them to engage their customers, and shifting IT resources from day-to-day maintenance towards business innovation and growth. This has led to an application roadmap designed to execute their strategy for enhancing customer experience via multiple integrated channels. It’s a roadmap, I’d add, that relies increasingly on cloud-based applications.
Software-defined WAN, or SD-WAN, is a dynamic approach to bridging hybrid WAN deployments – a combination of private and public VPNs. While the choice of MPLS networks and Internet-based (IPsec) VPNs has existed in the market for decades now, an SD-WAN solution makes it possible to leverage both public and private circuits simultaneously in a highly agile and intelligent manner.
Even the best, most accommodating and conscientious companies will do something that irritates and thus creates the occasional angry customer. It’s inevitable. At the same time, it’s in every business’s best interest to minimize these occurrences as much as possible. With that in mind, it’s wise to look at unhappy, dissatisfied customers not as examples of failure, but rather as opportunities to learn more about, and improve, a company’s customer service in order to create a more satisfactory overall customer experience.
Newsflash: Hosted Voice for business, or VoIP, has grown rapidly, garnering nearly 50% of the market. But what about the rest of us, the other 50%+? What is holding us back from migrating voice to the cloud? One likely culprit is inertia; people are resistant to change. Another is the perceived cost/hassle of buying new IP phones to replace the legacy analog equipment you have. That’s a fair critique. At least it was, until EarthLink launched a new Hosted Voice Analog Service, designed to address these concerns by allowing you to move to IP while keeping your existing phones/fax.
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