Why Dealers Need to Make the Switch to SD-WAN
by CDK Global | 14 December 2018

Why Dealers Need to Make the Switch to SD-WAN

Just like the engines that power the vehicles in a dealer showroom, the network is the force that really drives the performance of the dealership. Consider the increasing reliance of technology on the Sales floor or in the Service bay. Tablets, cell phones and texting are now thoroughly integrated into each stage of the sales process. Technology is reshaping the car-buying process. To stay ahead of the competition, dealerships must embrace newer and more efficient technology to power their network.

Keeping up to date in a world of emerging capabilities is critical for uptime and connectivity, especially for auto dealers. Traditionally, dealer networks utilized expensive dedicated private MPLS networks to connect between offices, data centers, and to access applications. Broadband was only considered acceptable as a backup due to unreliable performance and security concerns.

Then cloud applications (such as DMS/CRM, Office365, Voice and Collaboration, etc.) entered the picture. As dealer enterprises moved to utilizing these on a day-to-day basis, MPLS alone was inadequate from an architecture, cost and bandwidth perspective — especially for cloud and real-time applications. The technology had speed limitations, which adversely affected dealer operations and sales. Systems would hang or freeze frequently. Slow or unresponsive software, especially dropped connections, poor audio or video and time-out messages, frustrated customers, led to damaged dealer reputation and business.

Auto dealers need a technology capable of managing multiple high-speed internet connections efficiently, resiliently with an eye on business outcomes. It’s important for the dealer enterprise location to have business grade performance, continuous uptime, and to quickly access 1) every other location in the network; 2) data center-located applications and data; 3) all cloud applications.

SD-WAN is soaring in popularity and sales of the technology have grown as dealerships begin implementing newer technology tools, providing success for those who have adopted the technology.

Benefits of switching to SD-WAN include:

Network Uptime and Agility
Because SD-WAN is cloud-delivered and software based, it’s a simple and easy to deploy solution that allows for quick adaptation to changing needs, including adding access to cloud-based services, standing up new branches or remote offices. It looks for the fastest connection and automatically routes the traffic the quickest way to the servers.
Central Management and Control A monitoring service of all network activity can quickly alert the dealer of problems and enable the remote remediation of issues. Management helps to enable the automatic push of configurations to each network node and add accessibility to common software platforms to every location quickly and efficiently. In addition, dealers can quickly see real-time analytics and reporting.
Ease of Deployment
SD-WAN is scalable, providing continuous maintenance, pre-installed applications, redundancy, and monitoring services. This can help reduce IT-related costs for the dealer while improving business continuity, whereas expanding an MPLS network can cause additional concerns about complexity, cost and speed to implement.
Cost Effective
SD-WAN delivers very powerful productivity savings, plus network performance boosters, flexibility, management tools, visibility, analytics and remote-control features. We recently published a new case study in which an auto dealer reduced expenses by making the switch. The root of this reduction is attributed to:
  • Dealers leveraging lower-cost connectivity sources (MPLS, broadband, LTE) of any bandwidth, simultaneously — including individual local providers for each location.
  • Reducing problem identification and associated remediation costs for the dealer. Central management and control of network activity provides the dealer the ability to quickly isolate and remediate issues minimizing dealership downtime.
  • Payment plans that are subscription models, allowing pay-as-you-go plans that defray high upfront investment costs and ongoing maintenance and upgrade fees.

Interested in making the switch? Contact a sales representative to find out how CDK Cloud Connect, our SD-WAN solution, can work for your dealership.

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