SD-WAN Is Making the 'Audience of One' a Reality September 06, 2018 Mike Tippets, Vice President, Enterprise Marketing SD-WAN false Across enterprise IT, network admins, CTOs, engineers and the highly technical crowd are very excited about SD-WAN and networks that can react based on the current situation and pre-defined business rules. As they should be. SD-WAN means optimized network performance, the end of blackouts and brownouts, and, most importantly, optimized performance across your enterprise for everyone, regardless of their specific requirements. But those working in marketing, merchandising and store operations have been working with digital signage vendors for quite a while on this same approach to technology, the tailored, consistently high performance experience for each individual user. WANsform Your Enterprise Before you can transform customer experience, you must WANsform your enterprise. Learn more about how Hughes Managed SD-WAN is enabling digital transformation and achieving real results for distributed organizations. MPLS vs. SD-WAN Why SD-WAN? Network World: Best-Kept Secret in SD-WAN WiFi Analytics: Insight Every Step of the Way Digital Signage Solutions: Engagement Starts Here What we are all chasing, SD-WAN or customer engagement, is the user or customer experience known as the “Audience of One.” Audience of One is based on the idea that customers increasingly desire their retail experiences to be individually tailored. Marketing and merchandising teams want to capture every singular audience through the environment they create. How does this tie back to SD-WAN? Consider that the primary tool used to achieve this objective is digital screens. Network-connected digital screens. When marketing and sales teams communicate personalized, data-supported messaging directly to customers’ smart phones, businesses can achieve the “Audience of One.” Displaying digital content and showcasing the products that matter based on intelligently collected consumer data drives business value. But in order to properly implement such tactics, businesses must first improve the networks available to customers. Because of the phenomenal growth in network-based services and solutions, the IT department is now faced with a challenge that can no longer be solved by just buying bigger pipes and adding headcount. They need the network itself to be smarter. IT teams are working hard to make it so that everyone who connects to the network will get the access they need and that it will feel like the network is designed specifically to assist that one user. Imagine approaching your desk and your computer senses your smart phone and begins the login process. You add your finger print and now you are connected. The first thing presented to you is a screen with access to reports and information that you need to start your morning. This futuristic view is underway. SD-WAN and building business-centric rules and intelligence into the network is the first step. In order to deliver on the above-mentioned experience, we need the network to adapt to high usage and outages. We also need it to recognize what traffic is important and what traffic can be re-routed or delayed. Finally, all of this is simply science fiction if it doesn’t include high security, like our managed SD-WAN security approach. As you investigate SD-WAN, keep security in the mix and make sure you are working with someone who will be there with you all the way and not just until the hardware is delivered. Because the Audience of One and SD-WAN, like retail, starts with The Right Connection. About the Author Mike Tippets is the Vice President for Enterprise Marketing & Organizational Development at Hughes. He leads a team that helps multi-site businesses engage, communicate, grow and make The Right Connection with their staff and their customers. Follow Mike Tippets on LinkedIn and Twitter @HughesMediaVP. 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