Is your global infrastructure delivering the performance you need?
A robust, secure global infrastructure is crucial for enhanced business efficiencies, communication, capacity, and expansion. Still, with increasing complexity and choice, many multinationals find it challenging to get the required performance to support re-invented business models. Taking a worldwide strategy to network procurement and management is essential to success.
Demands and expectations from partners and customers are growing. Multinationals must transform or be disrupted. Speed, agility, security, innovation, and customer value are paramount. In most cases, this requires them to become more connected and integrated globally and across their business ecosystem.
However, each multinational has unique challenges depending on industry and location, for example. Some have adopted software as a service (SaaS) to address these – others combine SaaS or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) as part of their cloud transformation.
At the same time, multinationals are migrating from MPLS to internet-based underlays because it is ubiquitous and cost-effective, and a better fit for cloud-centric networking and SaaS consumption. With business-critical traffic across public internet connections, multinationals must re-think infrastructure design and revisit connectivity roadmaps to ensure business performance and continuity.
Global network challenges
Many enterprises are looking at SD-WAN coupled with secure access service edge (SASE) to gain business-class connectivity at a fraction of the cost and deployment time of legacy networks like MPLS. These new technologies promise to give multinationals the agility to divest, acquire and grow.
In fact, analyst IDC expects 40% of enterprises worldwide to benefit from operational efficiency, enhanced security, and reduced networking costs by utilizing SD-WAN and security for cloud-managed networking and security in 2023.
However, a global network has many intricacies, including multiple vendors, geographic limitations, data sovereignty regulations, latency, and ‘last mile’ connectivity issues to consider. And many C-level executives have limited knowledge of addressing this broad landscape. Countries vary in provisions and costs. For example, last-mile costs can be unexpectedly higher in one location than another.
Yes, SD-WAN and SASE can secure and connect the furthest branches and most challenging locations. SD-WAN, however, is only as good as its connectivity underlay, so it is vital to employ fit-for-purpose internet connections to maximize performance. This requires an in-depth understanding of internet peering in-country, regional and global contexts.
Choose the right combination
Multinationals must choose the right combination of networks and internet service providers (ISP) to support business outcomes. It is not just the cost of deploying the technology that needs to be considered – it is also the ongoing upkeep, maintenance, and upgrades.
Some multinationals have failed to map out a clear vision for their SD-WAN deployments across branches and borders. Between upgrades and new purchases, they are hosting multiple SD-WAN platforms and vendors together with ISP sprawl. By purchasing individual elements ad-hoc, they have lost sight of strategy, visibility or predictability of services.
Enterprises are increasingly turning to experienced and vendor-agnostic managed service providers (MSPs) to match the best SD-WAN/SASE platforms to their requirements. They can design, implement, and run a bespoke network solution that supports all business communications and data needs.
Managed and co-managed approach
A managed or co-managed approach in the run phase provides a single point of contact for multinationals looking to reduce and control management overheads. This is especially attractive given the critical nature of the global infrastructure to business and the ongoing skills drought. It ultimately allows multinationals to free up precious IT resources to focus on business-generating projects.
There are also added complexities around connectivity MSPs can assist with. Multinationals must procure internet services in different parts of the world, for example, and have teams to troubleshoot any issues 24/7. We see performance and support difficulties arise when multinationals make these internet service purchasing decisions locally without an overall strategic view.
Multinationals must not be drawn into thinking that the ISP is selling a simple commodity. Enterprises need their internet services to offer good peering and shortest path to exchange traffic between their locations and the cloud. This is vital to deliver the optimal latency and capacity they need to operate effectively.
Poor internet peering and network congestion can lead to unstable connectivity, downtime, and unnecessary business risk. Unfortunately, multinationals often forget ISP due diligence in their purchase.
Improve multi-cloud performance.
Multinationals also use SD-WAN to enhance the connections with their cloud providers, but the poor performance of the underlay network often hobbles this approach.
ISPs and cloud providers share routes via the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which looks at available paths for data to travel and picks what it thinks is the best. This typically means jumping across networks (autonomous systems) that are perceived as the shortest path. The issue is that BGP had existed for decades when the internet was smaller and less complex. Today, its size means the perceived shortest path is not necessarily the fastest one.
Expereo has developed a way around this by utilizing an enhanced internet that leverages software-defined networking for the underlay at key global locations. This provides optimized BGP routing to cloud destinations. These optimization capabilities deliver real-time traffic enhancements with gains, including eliminating any packet loss and reducing latency by 30-40%.
Maintain an effective global network
Designing and building a global network fit for purpose is difficult. Maintaining it is even more difficult. A co-managed or managed approach to infrastructure makes economic sense for multinationals faced with escalating costs, complexity, and skills scarcity – leaving them free to maximize resources to run the business.
Find out more about why it makes business sense to outsource to an MSP to maximize global technology resources to support business growth: https://www.expereo.com/blog/why-outsource-to-a-managed-service-provider
 IDC Futurescape connectedness predictions Nov 2022 https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS49836022