**Editor’s Note: Read our list of 20 top SD-WAN providers offering products and services via channel partners.**
Windstream Enterprise is celebrating a milestone for its software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) offering.
The company boasted Tuesday that more than 1,000 businesses have bought the solution. Those enterprise and midsize customers represent “tens of thousands of locations” across various verticals.
Windstream last year met its goal of landing 500 customers. The number has doubled a little more than halfway into 2018. The company said in its announcement that businesses are becoming more cloud-centric and Windstream’s “consultative approach” led to the increase. The Arkansas-based company last week rolled out a product that integrates its SD-WAN managed service with its cloud access solution. SD-WAN customers are now better equipped to join network locations to third-party cloud providers.
Windstream has been banking on SD-WAN and UCaaS this year, with the two technologies accounting for nearly 40 percent of its enterprise sales in the first quarter.
“Doubling the number of subscribers so soon after reaching our December milestone tells us customers are recognizing the strong core competency we have developed in next-generation WAN technology,” said Layne Levine, president of Windstream Enterprise and Windstream Wholesale. “SD-WAN’s reliability, agility and scalability can be a cost-effective and essential solution to their digital transformation.”
VeloCloud is the vendor at the heart of Windstream’s SD-WAN products.
Windstream differentiates its solution in a few main ways. First, it touts its in-house unified communications capabilities, which typical SD-WAN vendors don’t possess firsthand. Second, it is agnostic toward MPLS networks and accommodates customers whether they want to move everything to the internet or take a hybrid approach.
“Most of our MPLS services are on someone else’s network. That’s why Windstream can go all in on its SD-WAN strategy,” CEO Tony Thomas said in a conference call last month. “We’re not worried about the migration of MPLS to SD-WAN. We understand MPLS is going to go to SD-WAN over time.”
For a frame of reference, Silver Peak surpassed 600 customers in December and told us last month that it has gone over 800. Silver Peak said it tripled the number over its first two years, while Windstream Enterprise first launched its solution in January 2017.