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Picture: SUPPLIED/CITRIX
Picture: SUPPLIED/CITRIX

The typical business relies on many apps, whether they are virtual, cloud or SaaS (software as a service). In banks in SA, hundreds of apps are essential at every moment so networks need secure, optimal performance for branch users and remote workers alike. Citrix and its SD-WAN (software defined wide area network) solution are equipping two major retail banks in the country with a modern and cost-effective network for branch offices. 

Here are five reasons why the banks have made this move: 

1. To substantially reduce network costs

Wide area networks (WANs) are one of the most expensive items on a company’s IT budget and one of the areas that CIOs feel least happy about. Having signed multiyear deals with single suppliers, they have little leverage to negotiate. More than ever, the WAN is one of the areas companies should be re-evaluating, especially since some local companies that have made the transition to Citrix SD-WAN have seen paybacks in less than a year.

2. To escape the disadvantages of traditional WANs

Most businesses continue to rely solely on a WAN technology called MPLS (multiprotocol label switching), delivered by a service provider in the frame of a long-term contract (usually three to five years). Companies then cannot bring another low-cost provider with new innovative services into their network. They are also constrained by the speed at which they can build out their network to required new office sites. Finally, they can hardly put in place a proper business continuity plan since having dual links per site (in case one MPLS connection fails) in many cases is cost prohibitive and legacy infrastructure is not supportive of modern business continuity plans, including cloud.

Citrix SD-WAN offers a way to completely revamp the WAN, providing clients with non-stop, non-drop connectivity to apps in the cloud or data centre to ensure companies won’t lose revenue during disruptions. SD WAN overlays existing networking technologies with a layer of intelligence built into the software, which means you can build a WAN using MPLS networks from more than one provider. You can also incorporate other technologies such as bulk internet, LTE, 5G, or satellite. SD WAN can give you better reliability than traditional MPLS networks because of its intelligence, visibility, and lower cost. By being able to incorporate lower cost links, which can be up to 25 times less expensive than MPLS links, it often makes sense to provide always-on dual links to branches resulting in no interruption of service when a link fails.

3. To have fast apps

To perform at the pace of innovation, an organisation needs to modernise the network for operational efficiency. Its network should be keeping up with big ideas, not stalling progress. Citrix SD-WAN gives multi-site businesses, such as banks, automated connectivity from their branches to their private/hybrid cloud, and enterprise-grade connectivity to all major SaaS providers, for a superior employee experience.

4. To squeeze more ROI from Microsoft investment 

For organisations such as banks and many others that rely on Microsoft 365 and Azure, the benefits of Citrix SD-WAN are even greater. An automated on-ramp to Azure seamlessly extends the network to the public cloud, while point-and-click provisioning makes it easy to steer traffic directly to the cloud. Citrix SD-WAN also automates Office 365 traffic based on Microsoft’s recommendations for reducing latency. Companies using Citrix SD-WAN together with Office 365 are seeing between two and five times faster uploads and between two and five times faster downloads.

5. To extend the internet to customers

Internet access is an integral and expected part of today’s enterprises. For example, consumers are blending online and in-store retail experiences to enhance the way they shop for, buy and receive products and services, including financial services. Citrix SD-WAN empowers these businesses to meet the security and bandwidth requirements of both customers and employees wherever and however they connect. It’s also designed to allow direct internet breakout from branches and retail locations. This simplifies the network while providing a better user experience and reserving WAN bandwidth for business applications.

Join SD WAN Webinar on May 28 at 11am.

To find out more about how Citrix SD-WAN can help your company reduce costs, and build a far more resilient and agile network, click here to register for a webinar on May 28 at 11am

This article was paid for by Citrix.