⚒️Busting SD-WAN Myths & going Beyond Gartner's Magic Quadrants 📈

⚒️Busting SD-WAN Myths & going Beyond Gartner's Magic Quadrants 📈

The Importance of Tailored Last Mile SD-WAN Solutions for South African Companies


3 min read

When I was a teenager at Grey College we could go to the local CNA stationary and bookstore and buy a small booklet in the form of a study guide of the play by Shakespeare which had been prescribed that year. It gave you enough information to pass the exams and you didn't even need to read the whole play itself. Many of my school mates did precisely that!
However, a true meaning would invariably only be achieved only when one went to the theatre to experience the play or even watched one of the many great movies based on these plays.
To cut a long story short, those booklets from the CNA reminded me of market research produced by analysts, with Gartner being a case in point.
Basically, if you are a business in South Africa, use solutions designed for this country and not those based on European or USA conditions. All solutions are generically squeezed into a box (the quadrant) of research by market analysts. These boxes are bias to certain territories as well as prioritizing marketing attributes and spend above functional abilities. As an example, Australia is a better fit especially w.r.t networking for South Africa as it is practically more relevant.
Don't make the mistake Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd made by getting the wrong boilers! They also relied on so called International experts who didn't have knowledge of local conditions.

Not so Magic...

Gartner regularly publishes Magic Quadrants, assessing various SD-WAN solutions from industry giants. In their latest report, they reviewed a lineup of top players, including Fortinet, Huawei, Cisco Meraki, Juniper Networks, and many more. While Gartner's insights are viewed as the gospel in some quarters, it's crucial to understand that these reports should complement, not replace, your business's unique needs analysis. In South Africa, a local bank used a magic quadrant solution and was left high and dry.

Your Business is Unique so Customize Your SD-WAN Strategy

Every business is distinctive, priding itself on factors that set it apart from competitors. Relying solely on generic metrics can make your organization indistinguishable from the crowd. Instead, follow a tailored process to determine your unique SD-WAN requirements. I've outlined this process in detail here:

The Flaw in Gartner's Approach & Moving Beyond the Magic Quadrant

While Gartner's reports emphasize security, there's a critical aspect missing – functionality. In my opinion, functionality, the ability to detect and mitigate anomalies, is one of the canaries of operations and security. Anomalies, the so-called outliers, can often reveal weaknesses that traditional metrics may overlook.

Importance of Adaptability & Moving Beyond Certifications

It's surprising that many companies hit with outages or losses have used products "certified" or listed in the Magic Quadrant. A primary attribute should be an SD-WAN's ability to handle unexpected situations effectively. Much like how therapeutics complement vaccines in dealing with health crises like COVID-19, adaptability is crucial in your SD-WAN strategy. As an example, the firewall based SD-WAN solution are clueless in mitigating networking anomalies.


In the world of SD-WAN, don't be misled by myths that revolve around Gartner Magic Quadrants. While these insights have their place, your organization's unique needs should be the guiding star in your SD-WAN journey.

Make sure your SD-WAN doesn't just prevent problems but can also adapt and recover when things go awry. It's this adaptability that sets businesses apart and ensures operational resilience. At Fusion Broadband South Africa, where I work, we understand the importance of both prevention and adaptability. Our SD-WAN solution is not just certified by IBM and Red Hat ; it's designed to keep your business connected and thriving.

Your SD-WAN journey should be tailored to your unique needs. Embrace adaptability, prioritize functionality, and steer clear of SD-WAN myths to ensure your organization's success in the digital era.

Ronald Bartels ensures that Internet inhabiting things are connected reliably online at Fusion Broadband South Africa - the leading specialized Last Mile SD-WAN provider in South Africa. Learn more: 👉 Contact Fusion