Orange Business Services chalks up another customer win for SD-WAN

Orange Business Services recently added another SD-WAN customer to its roster: Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim Retail.

Majid Al Futtaim Retail holds the franchise rights to operate Carrefour retail stores in 38 markets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It's a good use case for Orange Business Services' Flexible SD-WAN service, which will be connecting cloud applications across Majid Al Futtaim Retail's wide area network in order to support smart retail types of applications for customers.

While Orange Business Services' initial SD-WAN offering was launched with vendor partner Viptela—prior to its acquisition by Cisco—in March of last year, Orange launched its Flexible SD-WAN by Orange offering earlier this year. Orange Business Services partnered again with Cisco/Viptela on its Flexible SD-WAN.

Thanks to its orchestration layer, Orange Business Services is deploying virtual SD-WAN gateways from Cisco and Juniper Networks into its network so that it can more easily integrate MPLS networks into SD-WAN networks as it deploys them. For smaller and midsize branch sites, Orange Business Services is virtualizing its SD-WAN gateways to better manage capacity.

Like other large service providers, Orange Business Services is covering all of the SD-WAN bases by offering several variations of SD-WAN. Flexible SD-WAN is a managed SD-WAN service, but Orange Business Services also has hybrid offerings in play by working with Juniper Networks, Riverbed and Infovista, according to Orange Business Services' Franck Morales, vice president of marketing connectivity services.

"We need to have several solutions because at Orange Business Services needs to address multinational companies, international multinational companies, with a large footprint," he said during a recent interview with FierceTelecom at MEF18 in Los Angeles.

Morales said that Flexible SD-WAN was Orange Business Services' flagship product in the space and that it has a global footprint. Orange Business Services also delivers internet locally in 220 countries, with direct sourcing to more than 170 ISPs representing 120 countries. Orange Business Services has 400 points of presence (PoPs) in 220 countries and territories worldwide, including 120 PoPs with data center co-location.

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"We have done tremendous work on trying to set up a kind of an enterprise maturity model for SD-WAN," Morales said. "We have ended up with four kind of profiles; hybrid evolution, internet-centric, application-centric, and organization-centric. What is very different between these profiles is the goal of the customer for implementing SD-WAN, but what is even more important is the maturity of their IT transformation in terms of the cloud. Depending on their IT orientation, you can put the customer into the hybrid evolution, internet-centric, application-centric or organization-centric SD-WAN.

"What is very important for us is being able to identify with customers which kind of transformation path they are looking for. We are able to set up the execution in the right way in order for them to accomplish their goals. Why is that important? Because we really believe that SD-WAN is a strong journey. It's really a transformation."

Morales said that Orange Business Services takes a strong consultancy approach with potential SD-WAN customers—including assessment, due diligence, proof of concept, pilot, and deployment—in order to make sure it's meeting their digital transformation goals.

"The SD-WAN solution needs to be well implemented in order to make sure that the business behind it will be successful," he said.