City & Guilds Group deploys SD-WAN to improve Office 365 performance


There are many reasons to deploy a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), including saving a boatload of money, improving network agility, and increasing WAN resiliency. However, those all pale in comparison to the ROI that a business would see by making its employees more productive.

One of the biggest drags on worker productivity is poor application response time. In 2016, ZK Research conducted a study that found on average, workers were 14 percent less productive than their optimal state because of poor application performance. (Note: I am an employee of ZK Research.) There’s nothing that frustrates a worker more than clicking on an icon and sitting around waiting for it to open or update, but that’s exactly what happens to global organizations that need to access resources over a long distance.

Problems running Office 365 over legacy network

Global e-learning company City & Guilds Group was having horrible problems with Office 365 running over its legacy network and shifted to an SD-WAN with the hopes of remedying the problem. For those not familiar with City & Guilds Group, the company works with education providers, governments, and large companies to do training and skills development in over 100 countries.

Being a global company, City & Guilds employees are scattered all over the world. The company’s instance of Office 365 is located in Dublin, Ireland, close to its London headquarters. For European users, this poses no issue at all because the files are relatively close to the user.

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