Published: June 25th, 2018

U.K. telco group BT recently extended its global managed services around Cisco’s software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), and it’s brought some excitement to BT’s sales teams in Canada, said the company’s head of BT Connect and Compute sales.

“Services like SD-WAN actually open up new doors,” Jim Sabey told CDN at Cisco Live! 2018. “To be quite frank, we only have three points-of-presence (POP) in Canada. So if you go after a traditional network Canada, more than likely, three POPs for BT isn’t going to win it, especially with the incumbents. We probably can’t provide you that underlay … but we can provide the overlay and that single pane of glass experience and manage your network holistically. It’s got our account managers and account teams very excited.”

The extra bit of value BT is touting with its latest announcement is the ability to help customers orchestrate data on a network, even if it’s not an underlying one provided by BT. Keith Langridge, vice president of network services at BT, said in a statement that more than 90 per cent of BT’s global WAN customers use Cisco technology, and that most of them ask BT to manage it. BT’s global managed service with Cisco SD-WAN gives customers a choice of a physical or virtual portfolio.

Sabey said Canadian customers are slowly discovering the business drivers for virtualization, but the wide-scale adoption hasn’t happened yet.

The latest news from BT comes after the company announced plans to add two new Cisco-based solutions to its portfolio: a customer premises equipment virtualization solution managed by BT (BT Connect Edge) and a network automation and orchestration software platform integrating BT and Cisco technology (BT Connect Services Platform). According to IDC, more than 45 per cent of organizations are planning to deploy SD-WAN technology solutions in the next 12 months. IDC also says the market for SD-WAN will increase from $225 million in 2015 to $1.19 billion by the end of this year.

BT’s new managed service is being launched within BT’s Dynamic Network Services program.