How TPx Communications Automated SD-WAN Onboarding for Increased Speed & Time to Market with Itential
At Itential, our goal is to help ensure each of our customers drive significant business value through network automation. For TPx Communications, that looked like a significant savings in both time and money. By leveraging Itential, they found this and more through automating SD-WAN and Firewall provisioning. Our CTO Chris Wade sat down with Norm Sullivan, Enterprise Architect at TPx Communications, to discuss the impact automating with Itential had on his network team and share insight as to why companies should embark on a network automation journey.
Here’s a quick recap of their fireside chat:
The Need to Offput Manual Provisioning Process Tasks
Being slowed down by manual processes is not an option for premier national provider of managed services, TPx Communications. They provide customers with cloud communications, managed IT services, and managed connectivity. Within each of these spaces, TPx Communications has a variety of offerings including managed security, endpoint, and access. Their operations require them to deploy anywhere between 500-600 devices per month and they are often working in limited time frames.
TPx Communications needed to get rid of the noise and simplify the manual processes behind deployment to improve their process. Their engineers were stuck updating configuration files line by line and handling necessary updates and to make things even more complex, the process wasn’t standardized. Beyond supporting the initial deployment process, TPx Communications was also looking to use network automation to simplify the process of ongoing support. There’s always a delay in waiting for a technician to solve an issue and TPx Communications wanted to prevent this from happening to their customers.
Push Manual Processes Upstream & Simplify the Deployment and Support Processes
TPx Communications was in need of a network automation platform that enabled them to plug and play various APIs on the frontend of their system and grow with them to eventually automate their entire workflow. The Itential Automation Platform was the perfect fit as its integration capabilities allow for full flexibility to integrate with any IT system or network technology.
By leveraging the Itential Automation Platform to automate SD-WAN and Firewall provisioning, TPx Communications was able to free up its engineers to focus on complex deployments that require more professional services and upfront work. After automating this process, TPx Communications realized that 80% of their deployments weren’t highly complex – they had just been weighed down by their manual processes. With Itential, TPx Communications was able to provide better services across their solutions, improve quality of service and control, and effectively utilize their available bandwidth.
Before automating, each of their implementations took at least an hour. While they aren’t finished cutting down the entire process, TPx Communications has already reduced it down to 20 minutes. When problems do arise in deployment, they are much easier to solve now that the process is standardized. Requesting changes is better controlled across their infrastructure, eliminating the layer of wait time associated with day-to-day changes. Being able to push their product out and make changes as necessary has been huge for them as it removes the repetitive opportunity to make errors when manually updating configuration on a regular basis.
How to Get Started On Your Own Network Automation Journey
Norm and his team’s success in improving their provisioning process is just the start of their network automation journey. Here are some thoughts he shared for organizations who are ready to start their own journey with network automation based on lessons he learned:
- Start with Your Network: Starting with the network part of your process will set you up for success. Your network already has a predicated process that needs to take place and automating it will be much easier than going through a standard IT process, which can take a lot of manual effort.
- Define Your Process: By clearly defining your use case and the processes needed to achieve it, the automation you build will be the most impactful from the beginning.
- Take an Iterative Approach: It can be intimidating to consider moving from a manual process to an automated one. However, it’s important to realize that you have to start somewhere. Take an iterative approach and eliminate complexities within each phase until you are prepared for the end goal of automation.
Check out the full conversation:
Regardless of where you are in your network automation journey, Itential has an easy onramp. Our low-code network automation platform empowers network teams to quickly start building network automations that provide real value to the entire organization. Ready to get started? Learn more about all the ways you can get started with Itential.
You can also check out the latest SD-WAN report from Futuriom outlining expectations of how they see the SD-WAN market evolving, key trends driving SD-WAN adoption in the enterprise, and more.