Wise Group, one of the largest providers of mental health and well-being services in New Zealand, has selected Kordia to roll out its new software defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) throughout New Zealand.
A long-time user of Kordia’s connectivity services, Wise Group is implementing SD-WAN to simplify the management and operation of its wide area network (WAN) across the organisation’s 54 New Zealand sites, as well as to reduce its wide area networking costs by up to 50 per cent.
SD-WAN will also increase the overall flexibility, performance and capabilities of Wise Group’s internet-based applications and services – something its team is highly reliant on in order to provide much needed support to those in need.
Kordia Head of Product Murray Goodman says SD-WAN appeals to companies with distributed operations and mobile workers. “We’ve followed the development of SD-WAN for some time and for companies that have embraced the cloud, such as Wise Group, this is a very good fit.”
General Manager of Information Services at Wise Group, Mark Thorn, says: “In terms of the wide area network, we’d long used Kordia’s SecureWAN offering, however we were after something more flexible and recognised that we didn’t need the bulletproof quality of service of a traditional WAN.
“Probably the biggest advantage of SD-WAN is that it delivers flexibility. We can extend the WAN to wherever it needs to go, whenever we need it to go there; it is easy to split off to temporary residential sites, for example, and it opens the pipes for full speed access along with all the corporate policies we want to provide.”
Wise Group’s SD-WAN is based on Cisco Meraki equipment, which is installed at the company’s premises around the country. Murray Goodman says the rollout will happen rapidly, with devices either installed by Kordia technicians, or if preferred, by the customer’s own IT staff backed by Kordia’s on-call expertise. “There are a number of options for the SD-WAN, including fully-owned and managed, partially self-managed, and fully outsourced. Wise Group, with a mature IT department, has opted for partially self-managed, with our engineers providing additional expertise as and when required.”
With ‘in-house’ management of the SD-WAN, Mark Thorn also points out that changes can be made rapidly, without a formal change control process being logged with Kordia as was previously necessary with SecureWAN.
“Along with a concurrent rollout of UFB access, our users are seeing massive gains in the performance and responsiveness of their applications. The beauty of the SD-WAN is that it is a lightweight, lower-cost service; previously, users had a convoluted pipe to get through to head office applications, which added latency and affected speed. Now they get a nice fast internet connection with easy inter-branch connectivity as required. This in turn means our people can focus on what they do best – and that’s making a difference in our community,” says Thorn.