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    Business-Class Networks: Who Needs Them and Why Should You Upgrade from a Consumer Network?

    The key to a business’s competitiveness, productivity, efficiency, and agility lies within its network foundation. This network offers intelligent services such as quality of service, reliability, availability, and security.

    Having this in place allows a small- to medium-size business (SMB) to improve how quickly it can respond to customers and business partners, streamline its processes, establish a competitive advantage, utilize advanced technologies, and reduce its network management costs.

    With this in mind, here’s what value a business-class network can offer all types of businesses:

    Added Security and Protection from Breaches

    An SMB will often be very conscious of its overall budget, meaning that the cost of implementing a business-class network can, in their opinion, outweigh the cost of a potential security breach. However, by investing in this type of network they not only simplify management but also improve how resilient their business is, protect their business operations, mitigate business disruptions, prevent any damage to their data, and reduce the total cost of their network ownership.

    Network Reliability and Continuous Availability

    A company’s success is becoming increasingly dependent on its business information system, which is why it’s crucial it’s always online, can be accessed anywhere, and is able to recover from failure.

    Some networks can become strained as they try to cope with powerful desktops and running applications that take up a lot of bandwidth. As each new application, device, or user is added, the business’s infrastructure is placed under even more stress.

    Therefore, the network foundation must be able to support a growing number of users while providing 24/7 coverage. It should also be able to run new applications and services; provide reach to new partners, customers, and offices; and support a workforce that’s becoming ever more mobile.

    The bottom line? Having an available network increases the business’s productivity.

    Quality of Service

    Quality of Service (QoS) allows SMBs to use the network infrastructure, including LAN and WAN connections provided by SD WAN vendors, more efficiently. As networks carry on converging (integrating video, data, and voice within a single network), the importance of making sure low- and high-priority information transfers can be synchronized increases.

    By ensuring that the network foundation incorporates QoS, it allows a company to assign more priority to applications that are business-critical along with delay-sensitive traffic, including real-time transactions, video, and voice.

    Do You Need a Business-Class Network?

    When reading all of the above information you’re probably wondering whether it applies to your organization and whether it’s an investment you need to make. However, if you’re an SMB, a business-class network will be valuable if:

    • You’re running web and e-commerce applications that are exchanging real-time information online with employees, partners, and customers
    • In order to deal with business-critical operations, you’re relying on a network
    • You’re concerned about adding new applications to your business while retaining the level of your existing apps
    • Your business is experiencing growth, which is putting your existing infrastructure under strain
    • You want to add advanced technologies, such as wireless mobility, storage networks, IP telephony, or a VPN to your business
    • You want to compete with larger organizations

    By ticking off the above statements, this should help you determine whether investing in a business-class network is right for your company or not.