This past year has been full of challenges. Companies were forced to change the where and the how business was done because of COVID-19. Conferences and events were moved to virtual or canceled, and travel came to a halt. Many others found themselves suddenly working from home. Workers and IT departments scurried to set up a productive home office to continue conducting business while being physically distant from each other and their clients.
And most were not alone. With the quarantines and stay-at-home mandates, entire households were at home too and — if you were like me– quarantine included school-age children attending school virtually while sitting next to you. The result: a degradation in internet connectivity that has negatively impacted business communications.
WFH emerges as normal.
There is no doubt that work-from-home (WFH) has become a norm. According to a Nemertes global study of end-user organizations, the percentage of remote workers more than doubled since the pandemic began. Over half of the surveyed organizations cited an increase in their IT budgets for 2020 and 2021 to address the shift to at-home work. This includes investing in more reliable and secure network services which have become critical to business continuity in the wake of the remote working. Something that was already a trend but is now a necessity.
So, while your company may be looking forward to a return to full operation, there’s a good chance it’s planning for a return to work in a hybrid model that supports a mix of home and on-premises employees. In all probability, you will find yourself still working remotely from home in 2021 and beyond, at least part of the workweek.
WFH creates a new kind of branch office.
Remote and home-based network connectivity must be as flawless as possible and on-par with the flexibility, security, resilience and quality of an enterprise network.
After all, the home office is now essentially a branch office of your company.
Software-defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) has emerged as the next frontier for enterprise networking. It’s widely viewed as a better approach to handling the high-bandwidth requirements of the modern workplace, including increased adoption of cloud-based applications for information technologies (IT) and unified communications (UC) for communications and collaboration.
Technological innovations, like At-Home SD-WAN by NetFortris, are rolling out to meet the needs of the new WFH reality.
So, what is SD-WAN?
In simple terms, SD-WAN is a cloud-based software-defined networking technique that utilizes the public Internet to connect geographically dispersed sites within an enterprise network, including branch or home offices. Unlike earlier WAN technology that typically involves fixed circuits and proprietary hardware, SD-WAN virtualizes the network control and moves it to the cloud with a flexible software approach.
Consider these additional advantages for remote workers
- VPN Alternative: SD-WAN provides an alternative to deploying a corporate virtual private network (VPN). Unlike VPNs, all SD-WAN traffic does not need to be routed to the main office or data center; it can be sent directly to company cloud services like Microsoft 365, Salesforce, or NetFortris Comm-unity UCaaS.
- Simple and Powerful: SD-WAN doesn’t eat up processing power on your computer to create IPsec tunnels and does not require you to log in like VPNs do. This reduces human error as a factor in securing your business network.
- Plug-and-Play: SD-WAN edge devices are preconfigured and plug-and-play for easy installation. You simply connect the edge device to a power source and to your primary and secondary home Internet services (e.g., cable, FTTH, DSL, satellite, 4G LTE, etc.), which work in tandem for increased bandwidth and always-on Internet.
- Automatic Prioritization: SD-WAN edge devices automatically prioritize your business traffic. Even when other family members are streaming video or playing online games, you will experience secure, high-quality and uninterrupted connectivity.
At-home SD-WAN provides enterprise level QOS at a reasonable cost.
By leveraging widely available, low-cost broadband to connect headquarters, data centers and branch/home offices with high-bandwidth, redundant networks, At-Home SD-WAN by NetFortris ensures the quality, resiliency and security of an enterprise network for WFH starting at $90/month
It is managed 24/7 by network specialists from the NetFortris Network Operations Center (NOC).
We offer plug-and-play devices that will guarantee your business traffic performance and prioritization. These solutions can help ensure your business’s success in 2021 and beyond since WFH is here to stay.
About the Author
Paul Hassold has spent 12 of his 20 year IT career with NetFortris. One of the our home-grown techs, he started with the support team and has worked his way to being the Direct of Technical Accounts. He spends his days with customers assuring that our network, security and hosted voice systems cover the wide variety of communication needs NetFortris is asked to handle.
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