Vodacom Business has partnered with Cisco Meraki to bring the power of SD-WAN Express to small and medium-sized enterprises in South Africa. This cutting-edge networking solution promises to simplify wide-area networking for SMEs while delivering the kind of connectivity that keeps them safe and secure while boosting overall performance and productivity.
Now, thanks to Vodacom and Cisco Meraki, even the smallest businesses can harness the power of Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) to enhance their operations and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.
What is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN offers a dynamic approach to crafting and setting up corporate WANs, delivering enhanced network oversight and management. An SD-WAN replaces traditional branch routers with devices that use virtualisation, application-specific policies, and network overlays, transforming multiple broadband internet connections into a dedicated and efficiently managed circuit.
SD-WAN solutions were, until recently, limited to large enterprises that needed to improve their WAN bandwidth, simply their network management, and optimise costs, especially for complex applications and multiple connections.
SD-WAN Express for SMEs
However, with SD-WAN Express, Vodacom Business is levelling the playing field by extending these benefits to SMEs. Johnny Dos Santos, Managing Executive: Fixed Services at Vodacom South Africa, believes that this move is a step towards creating an inclusive digital society where businesses of all sizes can thrive in the digital era. “With our SD-WAN Express offering, SMEs can now take advantage of this reliable, secure, and economical network solution,” he says.
SMEs: The backbone of the economy
As we’ve heard our politicians say many times, SMEs are the backbone of the South African economy. A recent report revealed that SMEs generate around 34% of GDP and employ between 50% and 60% of the country’s workforce. Given that context, the importance of SMEs cannot be understated: it’s vital that they get all of the support they need to grow.
However, SMEs face myriad challenges, especially when it comes to technology. Many small businesses are struggling to get their heads around cybersecurity threats, increasing data demands, and the need for responsive digital applications. These challenges are substantial, especially considering that resources and budgets are more than limited in today’s difficult economy.
SD-WAN Express: Simplifying SME networking
SD-WAN Express offers an affordable suite of SD-WAN solutions designed to alleviate networking complexities for SMEs as they embrace digitalisation. Whether operating from multiple locations or relying on various connectivity options like LTE and broadband internet, SMEs can benefit from implementing SD-WAN technology.
The advantages are manifold: enhanced connectivity, improved productivity, reduced IT-related costs, and heightened security. Advanced options include firewall and security capabilities, safeguarding internal and external data.
Dos Santos emphasises the flexibility of SD-WAN Express, noting that it can be customised and scaled to meet each small business’s unique needs and budgets. This ensures that SMEs don’t have to compromise on reliability or quality of experience while adopting advanced technology.
The role of technology in SME growth
A recent report highlights that technology can be a catalyst for SME growth. Thirty percent of small businesses say that technology has enabled them to expand their market base, while a quarter have used the latest software to streamline their processes. In essence, technology has become a driving force behind SME success.
Dos Santos concludes, “When it comes to reaping the benefits of digitalisation, SMEs need simple, secure, and reliable solutions that won’t be costly in terms of time and money. In turning to us, small businesses can be assured of leveraging leading technology affordably, supported by our expertise and key partner relationships. This enhances the capabilities of this vital sector and allows SMEs to focus on their core business objectives.”
Vodacom Business’s SD-WAN Express is a game-changer for SMEs in a world where having practical digital tools is the key to competing and growing. It’s a testament to the company’s commitment to building an inclusive digital society, where businesses of all sizes have fair access to the tools and services needed to thrive and succeed in the digital era.
With SD-WAN Express, SMEs can connect, compete, and conquer the challenges of the modern business landscape like never before.