I had a chance to sit in on the recording of a special episode of the Packet Pushers podcast that discussed the ways that Viptela has been helping organizations improve their WAN and offer additional services to their customers, both internal and external. The value that Viptela provides to their customers is easily realized through reduced cost of WAN circuits and enhanced security for data being transmitted across public and private circuits. One of the big ideas that struck me from this podcast was the way that Viptela is redefining the branch office itself.
Far Away From Here
The customers on the podcast that are using the Viptela all had stories about how they were using Viptela to bringing WAN control to remote offices. Each customer represented a different vertical market, from healthcare to energy to retail. Each told a story of a remote office that was able to be turned up easily and securely through the use of Viptela solutions. Often, when we talk about the difficulty of deploying resources to connect a remote office, we try to factor in things like travel time and availability loss. But what if the flight to the nearest airport is just the beginning of the journey? What if an IT professional has to drive hours to reach an office and then hope that all the resources needed were there when they arrived?
Viptela’s flexibility in deployment options allows a unit to be sent to a remote office with a set of instructions on how to connect it. From there, it can be turned up from a central office with ease thanks to deployment templates and consistent configuration. With the ability to provide diverse WAN connection options like wireless or even 4G/LTE, on-site personnel can connect the device and ensure that it is ready to go even if the circuit isn’t ready at that exact moment. Later, those diverse options help ensure that WAN connectivity is backed up in the event of a catastrophic event, such as a backhoe destroying all of the connectivity in the only trench servicing the site.
Branches Of A Different Tree
As exciting as these options are, the thing that really got me thinking during the podcast was the way that Viptela could be used to define a new branch office. We often think of a remote office as a location that has walls and roof. We think about a facility that occupies a static place and never moves. But reality today dictates that mobility is king and drives new and different kinds of businesses.
For healthcare, the ability to provide care close to the patients in need can reduce treatment time and sometimes prevent health problems before they become serious issues. For patients with chronic conditions, it is often impossible for them to travel from a remote site to a healthcare facility. Now, with the power of a Viptela SD-WAN appliance and an LTE connection, mobile healthcare clinics can be setup and provide safe, secure connectivity for professionals that need access to resources. Viptela gives these people the resources to get the job done for their patients.
For energy companies, the need to create temporary mobile offices is a fact of life. Oil and gas are not often located underneath major cities or near convenient connectivity. Viptela SD-WAN gives drilling rigs and exploration sites the ability to get up-to-the-minute information about resource locations and reduce the time needed to employ expensive equipment. Every minute that a drilling site isn’t pumping resources out of the ground it is losing money. Getting information to these sites in the middle of nowhere is the key to saving money. Viptela can ensure delivery of these resources no matter where the site is in the world. As long as there is coverage for 4G/LTE or a wireless WAN provider, Viptela can connect you back to the world.
The key to all of these use cases is flexibility. Viptela knows that IT professionals need to be able to configure devices with a variety of options for connectivity. But that same flexibility means that those devices can help extend the branch office far beyond walls or even borders. That gives organizations new ways to envision the use of their solutions to provide services or products. When IT is no longer rigid and inflexible, the creativity to explore new avenues is limitless.