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‘7 Minutes’ with MetTel: SD-WAN Service Provides Competitive Edge

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MetTel is giving massive carriers like AT&T and Verizon a run for their money with its managed SD-WAN service.

MetTel’s SD-WAN service combines MPLS, broadband internet circuits and 4G-LTE for optimal performance of applications including real-time voice and video, all from one cloud-controlled branch device.

The newest version of MetTel SD-WAN is enhanced with MetTel intelligent automation, using AI and automation to identify, report and address network incidents, events or trouble tickets.

And MetTel recently took home a couple of awards for its SD-WAN. It was named the winner of a Gold Stevie Award in the software-defined infrastructure category in the 18th Annual American Business Awards.

MetTel's Dave Mitchell

MetTel’s Dave Mitchell

MetTel's Ed Fox

MetTel’s Ed Fox

To find out more about MetTel’s SD-WAN service, we spoke with Ed Fox, MetTel’s CTO, and Dave Mitchell, MetTel’s vice president of agent channel.

Channel Partners: What do customers love about your SD-WAN? What’s the secret selling sauce?

Ed Fox: MetTel has developed a fully managed solution that is very flexible in accommodating all types of SD-WAN network adoption, using underlying technology from VMWare’s VeloCloud. MetTel’s unique intelligent automation platform developed around the service allows the customer to benefit from proactive machine learning performance assurance and trouble remediation.

The ‘secret sauce’ of our SD-WAN offering is two-fold. The use of AI and automation to identify, report and address network incidents, events or trouble tickets, freeing up IT staff for higher skilled work; [and] MetTel’s full lifecycle management of the solution and seamless integration into all communication services delivered by a single source, MetTel.

CP: How does your partner program accommodate SD-WAN? What types of partners are involved in SD-WAN?

Dave Mitchell: MetTel is unique in that we have a very large sales engineering team which allows agents of all technical skill to sell SD-WAN. We only need the agent to give us the lead and we can take it from there. Also, for those more technically savvy, our sales engineering team can educate partners on the unique nature and solution of our SD-WAN, which is different and better than our competitor’s versions of the Velo SD-WAN platform.

CP: Quick hit answers: Percentage of SD-WAN sales through the channel, number of partners selling SD-WAN, average margin.

DM: Thirty percent of SD-WAN/network sales through the channel, [and] 50% are wireless/mobility and 20% are traditional voice and data products (POTS, broadband, etc.). All MetTel channel partners offer SD-WAN. In terms of margin, agents get an upfront commission and residuals on MetTel SD-WAN software, and associated circuits and VoIP.

CP: Who are your main SD-WAN competitors and what makes your offering better?

EF: MetTel’s main competitors are typically enterprises that look to deploy SD-WAN themselves (DIY) and the largest carriers like AT&T and Verizon. MetTel’s SD-WAN offering is better for a number of reasons. Among them: better network performance and improved voice/video quality with MetTel’s distributed gateways and unique network design; consistent user experience with normalized QoS strategy, regardless of where the traffic originates or terminates, across all carriers and network segments; improved application performance with full application steering, performance remediation and prioritization for critical applications (VoIP, SaaS, core) over any transport including broadband internet; and improved time to repair due to AI and robotic process automation (RPA) proactively identifying and automating remediation of network issues and reassurance with end-to-end solution and site availability SLA options. To give you an example, with MetTel intelligent automation, we have seen as much as 100% of network incidents identified by AI and 73% of all incidents remediated without any human intervention. This saves IT departments valuable staff hours, and accelerates resolution of issues quickly and efficiently.

CP: How will SD-WAN impact your overall technology portfolio in the next three years?

EF: SD-WAN will continue to lead our discussions with…

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