By Rupesh Chokshi, Assistant Vice President, Edge Solutions Product Marketing Management, AT&T
There’s no doubt about it – the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are permanently altering the way we work. Remote working is now the norm, not the exception. These are uncertain times, but with technologies such as AT&T software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), we make remote work predictable and manageable for our customers.
As our customers transitioned their employees to working from home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, homes transformed into virtual branch offices overnight. Employees need to retain uninterrupted connections to their corporate applications, networks and services to continue with their productivity. AT&T sees itself as an enabler of this productivity; providing flexible, software-centric infrastructure and intelligent networks – through technologies like SD-WAN – that help customers maintain greater connectivity with AT&T High Speed Internet – Enterprise and AT&T Wireless Broadband.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic is a new obstacle, we have extensive experience deploying SD-WAN technology in unusual and time-constrained situations to provide productivity and flexibility. During the holiday season, a leading retailer needed the technology to support its in-store tablets with Point-of-Sale (POS) applications to enable its pop-up shops and new locations. They called us, and we deployed SD-WAN to provide highly secure and highly reliable connectivity for their remote, and in many cases temporary, locations.
SD-WAN facilitates working remotely by taking advantage of Internet and wireless broadband, alongside private network services, to deliver superior performance. SD-WAN solutions offer near real-time performance monitoring of transport networks to make application-aware, policy-based network selections and steer traffic over the best available link. Since remote workers depend on one residential broadband connection in their home, SD-WAN technology optimizes the available bandwidth by using traffic-handling techniques to throttle less-critical application traffic. This means that even if your children are participating in virtual classrooms, or streaming Netflix, your conference call will not be interrupted by poor connectivity. Additionally, users with company-provided mobile devices can add their wireless 4G/LTE links to SD-WAN to aggregate available bandwidth.
As homes becomes synonymous with offices, thus increasing the needed footprint, questions naturally arise about the security of SD-WAN. AT&T SD-WAN technology takes the network directly to the endpoint, whether that be a laptop, mobile phone, tablet or other machine.
Today, the focus is on empowering employees to work remotely. Tomorrow, the focus will be on how to modernize and transform the enterprise’s network while laying the foundation for business continuity. At AT&T, we take pride in our long-term relationships that allow us to care for customers both as their businesses evolve and during daunting, unprecedented times such as these. We’ve worked with customers to develop enterprise networking solutions that help them overcome obstacles so they can effectively scale and grow. The current pandemic is no exception. We are here for you and your business, whatever your challenge, and we’ll work to find the right solution for you.