The UK’s largest housing group, Clarion, has opened up a SD-WAN contract opportunity worth up to £8.5 million for the contractor(s) that can provide it with a comprehensive offering across its network of offices.
Expressions of interest in the tender, which will stretch up to ten years, need to be in by May 15, 2020, a public notice shows. The company anticipates contracting up to five different providers, it said today.
“The contract will have regular reviews after five years and reviews on major events such as extensive hardware replacement” it added.
Clarion Housing Group owns and manages 125,000 homes across over 170 local authorities, making it the largest housing association across Europe. It aims to build 50,000 new homes over ten years.
“Clarion are seeking to appoint a single supplier to provide managed SD-WAN, firewall and SIP services connecting a number of remote and support offices located nationwide”, the tender notice explained.
(More details are available in procurement documents here).
A Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a virtual architecture that allow organisations to manage network traffic; controlling how each application running uses the available bandwidth.
Business can use any combination of transport services – including MPLS, LTE and broadband internet services – with a centralised control function to increase application performance, boost user experience, improve business productivity and reduce costs for IT.
SD-WAN solutions can be combined with cloud-based functionality for overarching policy and operational control, to streamline remote office footprints (especially for lean IT organizations) and enable organisations to better deal with more dynamic and distributed traffic flows resulting from greater use of cloud and internet resources.
Implementation costs, however, still remain high and off-putting to many organisations, despite the benefits.