Macquarie Telecom's SD-LAN investment pays off

Macquarie Telecom's SD-LAN investment pays off

SD-LAN offering is based on Juniper’s Mist AI platform and has so far clocked 250 sites in operation across five customers.

Luke Clifton (Macquarie Telecom)

Luke Clifton (Macquarie Telecom)

Credit: Macquarie Telecom

Macquarie Telecom has experienced exponential growth in the market following its decision to invest $3.9 million towards SD-LAN. 

The local telco's SD-LAN offering is based on Juniper’s Mist AI (artificial intelligence) platform and has so far clocked 250 sites in operation across five customers.

Group executive Luke Clifton said the uptake of SD-LAN came down to a few factors, including corporates willing to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 and customers consolidating their office space and evaluating their Wi-Fi infrastructure as a result. 

With Mist AI in the mix, Clifton said the offering has created new incremental revenue for the telco as it seeks to manage the user experience, going beyond keeping the network up and the green lights on. 

“Telcos are great at monitoring networks until the demarcation points and then wipe their hands of the issues. They’ve had no tools in the past to interrogate the user experience, which is the big shift here,” he said. 

“SD-LAN gives the telco insight into the user experience, and with artificial intelligence, it tracks any upcoming issues and provides details down to the customer trying to connect from a certain device, trying to access a certain app and reveals if it’s an issue with the security protocols, device or application in the network.”

The Elite Juniper partner’s own recent SD-LAN upgrade included rolling out Juniper’s MX series routing solutions, providing speed and capacity improvement on its inter-capital routes, and improving the capacity between its points of presence (PoPs).

“We’ve only been in the market with SD-LAN in the past four months and there’s been some explosive growth potential for us,” he said. 

“Telcos haven’t traditionally played in the SD-LAN side and management of the Wi-Fi experience, which is truly new incremental revenue for Macquarie Telecom. We’re really getting deep reach inside a customer to allow us to grow revenues.”

As a result of the growth potential, Clifton said Macquarie would be hiring more staff, such as software developers and engineers. 

“Skills sets and capabilities of staff have changed dramatically over the last 10 years as a telco. Some telcos have chosen to outsource those capabilities and skills, but we’ve been hiring local people or we’ve been training them, and coupling that with tight customer service skills," he said.

"At the end of the day, they come away with strong customer service ethos while being technically literate and our customers value that. 

“You can’t outsource human capital -- it’s important to maintain skills in Australia.”

In February the telco revealed its investments in data centres, cloud and cyber security continued to drive profitable growth, with its FY21 half-year showing a nine per cent increase in revenue to $143.6 million, while earnings before tax leapt 15 per cent to $36.4 million and net profit after tax also rose five per cent to $7 million.

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