BusinessBusiness techBusiness advice
    03 June 2022


    A simple, integrated digital approach to agility in manufacturing

    Manufacturers using siloed systems face many operational challenges, leading to revenue loss and even business closure.

    They often encounter production schedule misalignment and can’t foresee late-delivery risks, for example, or they may find they can’t mitigate costly production delays because they couldn’t pick up mechanical-tool issues early enough. Without data-driven insights derived from digitising operations, they aren’t flexible or agile enough to meet today’s market needs.

    Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) is an overlay technology that enables agility by simplifying network management without sacrificing reliability or quality. Manufacturers using the scalable Vodacom Business SD-WAN solution have enjoyed improved network connectivity and security, cost savings, and better business visibility enabling increased efficiency and productivity. This solution streamlines networks across multiple locations locally and internationally.

    As a result, manufacturers are uniquely equipped with a single-pane view of all data across multiple assets, locations (from factories to branch offices), and resources (such as the people involved, from staff to suppliers). Compared to carrier-grade multiprotocol label switching connections (MPLS) or Virtual Private Networks ( VPN), SD-WAN outperforms because it can utilize all-access mediums.

    It offers affordable, reliable, high-quality connectivity across all sites, including those in difficult-to-connect, hard-to-reach rural locations.

    It boosts efficiency by managing bandwidth availability and usage, traffic routing, and prioritisation of business-critical protocols.It examines essential network traffic metrics, like latency, packet loss, jitter, and availability, using this data to respond proactively to real-time network conditions, selecting optimal paths for data packets. It’s a near-instant solution that can connect to wireless mediums like LTE/4G with a near zero-touch configuration, making it ideal for manufacturers’ time-constrained operations. SD-WAN’s traffic-prioritisation benefits are vital, considering the increased use of Internet of Things devices within manufacturing.

    When working with business-critical systems and automated processes, a connectivity lapse could cause production delays and revenue loss. Central device management is another cost-saving drawcard: SD-WAN enables the deployment of new branch or datacentre provisions, without the expensive expert labour involved with network upgrades.

    Unlike other solutions, Vodacom Business SD-WAN is an overlay technology that can run on top of MPLS and hybrid WANs, delivering improvements and cost savings no matter the network infrastructure already in place. Companies can link to multiple providers and let their software decide which is the fastest, most efficient link to perform specific tasks. Agility and flexibility are essential to business survival. Manufacturers heeding this call can rely on Vodacom Business to digitally transform their business for future-proofed success.

    Click here to find out more about Vodacom Businesses SD-WAN solutions