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SD-Branch

Our SD-BRANCH solutions deliver an agile, adaptive and managed network

 

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Demand better orchestration of in-branch technology

Our SD-Branch enhances your distributed organisation’s collaborative efforts with an adaptive, managed and agile network. SD-Branch virtualises the network infrastructure of your central site and distributed branch stores, outlets and offices. Management of the whole is fully integrated and centrally controlled.

We are in the era of connection everywhere. The face of business has changed rapidly in recent years with various technologies being deployed such as IoT applications such as sensors, cashierless payment systems, movement tracking, augmented reality etc. This has naturally led to a proliferation of technologies at branch level. Each technology typically has its own integrated hardware/software appliance to handle rapidly increasing performance requirements and advanced features. As a result, there are typically several network boxes at branch locations, often from multiple vendors and with unique management interfaces. Hughes' solution enables the seamless management and performance of all these connections and technologies.

Operational agility

Whereas a software-defined WAN is strictly geared towards data flows over the transport layer, SD-Branch extends orchestration and control one layer upwards to cover the secure network functions that support smart retail. With our solution, these functions can now be managed at the head office level and jointly orchestrated over both sides of the WAN connection. The ability to view and manage these network functions together helps streamline operations and makes your IT resource more efficient, thus making the “think global, act local” approach real. Our solution enables everything to be managed from a central point but thanks to the disaggregated nature of the solution, different capabilities for different branches can easily be implemented locally.

For a variety of reasons such as changing demographics and localised fluctuations in business, as well as technology innovations, retailers operating several stores or complete chains need flexibility in their networks. The most compelling advantage of Hughes' solution in retail is the increased operational agility it brings to address these challenges. Because our SD-Branch Solutions are delivered through an integrated technology stack, you can benefit from quicker and more efficient change whether that is due to expansion with defined blueprints for different sizes and types of branch, or you are re-structuring to optimise operations.

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Reduced cost of ownership

Our retailer clients, who've implemented these SD-Branch Solutions have seen benefits in terms of reduced capital and operational expenditure. A managed per-site-per-month service has also provided greater cost transparency. Reducing or eliminating the need for trained IT personnel to visit remote branch locations has resulted in significant cost and time savings.

Our solutions also reduce hardware costs by deploying software on consolidated hardware rather than on many more standalone devices. Software virtualisation gives you the ability to right-size hardware requirements for each branch, and the hardware has a smaller footprint, an important consideration for space-constrained branches.

Moreover, our solutions could reduce power consumption because one power efficient platform replaces many appliances. This is a solution designed and implemented by Hughes Network Systems Europe that will not only reduce the cost of support and maintenance contracts, but also streamline their management, because you only need to deal with one supplier.

Enhanced performance

As the network moves from being a commodity to become a pivotal element in delivering excellent customer experience, high availability of applications and unbroken internet access increasingly drive that experience. Centralised, software defined policy control, traffic prioritisation, and dynamic adjustment as network conditions fluctuate ensure that users and IoT in the branch always get high performance connectivity across the entire branch infrastructure. With enhanced visibility, our SD-Branch solutions use a single window to monitor all of your devices, enabling you to understand traffic flow patterns on both LAN and WAN, detecting if devices are not working or are inactive, and maintaining accurate asset management for network, end user and IoT devices.

Recent trends in clearly indicate that the level of traffic is pushing ever upward as new IoT applications are deployed, but demand can fluctuate up or down and you may need to give priority to different apps over time. With our solution the performance of any function can be tuned up or down by changing processor allocation or adding hardware resources. As the IoT gains momentum and businesses are expected to utilise an increasing number of apps and devices to generate the experience customers and staff now demand, Hughes offer the ideal platform for building out a secure, reliable IoT strategy across an entire distributed estate.

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Network security

Security is an essential element of network estates. As security-dependent new technology enabled by the IoT meets old legacy technology and the variety of connected devices increases, there is a higher risk of security breaches. Retailers are most vulnerable to hacking at branch level, where security is most often weakest, while the expanding number of interfaces may disproportionately increase your vulnerability. On the other hand, if branches deploy their own security appliances, firewalls etc. at local level, this only imposes complexity, a lack of transparency at HQ, and consequently, further administrative burdens on IT. Hughes SD-Branch Solutions give you robust security at the network edge without compromising business outcomes.


With Hughes you can coordinate network security across the distributed branch network so that it meshes effectively with security at HQ or the data centre. With a Hughes managed deployment, your traffic is monitored for issues and alerts are raised so action can be taken. Branch security operations are best when fully automated and when they leverage centralised and cloud-based intelligence.

Increase Your Agility and Move Forward

 

The need to deliver excellent in-store engagements with customers is driving extensive digital transformation. Success relies on transforming your network, and a Managed SD-Branch solution from Hughes can help you deliver your digital transformation goals.

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The software-defined technology of a Hughes SD-Branch Solution covers:

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    Automatic setup of VPN tunnels and multi-service networks, fast roll-out of new branches, and secure connection of external service providers – managed centrally for all locations via the cloud.

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    Automatic, dynamic, and secure deployment of any kind of multi-service network on switch ports, and fully automatic configuration of individual switches across sites after one-time definition of the required VLANs.

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    Automatic Wi-Fi configuration for integration of new access points or applications such as hotspots, definition of the SSIDs, authentication method and bandwidth limitations. The SD-WLAN is easily and rapidly rolled out to all branches with auto configuration.

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    Centrally orchestrated cybersecurity and compliance via the management cloud, central definition of the security rules for a network, and connection to cloud-based security solutions.

Read our latest opinion piece on the benefits of SD-Branch