Podcast: Windstream's Layne Levine, SD-WAN Machine

SD-WAN is a hot technology and product area for service providers and some are still surprised at how it has taken off.

"In my lengthy career in communications, the market has really been driven by the force of the largest customers as they start to use technology, whether it was ATM, Frame Relay, MPLS -- and getting the benefits there," said Layne Levine, president of the Enterprise & Wholesale business unit for Windstream, in a recent episode of the Light Reading podcast.

"And then as time went on, and those things became more cost-effective, then you started seeing those technologies driven down to the smaller customers, mid-markets, etc. What we have seen and what we're experiencing [with SD-WAN market adoption] is completely different. We're actually seeing this technology transformation being driven by the needs of SMEs and mid-markets," Levine said.

The SD-WAN momentum is showing up in the numbers, too. Windstream's "strategic products and services," a category that includes SD-WAN, UCaaS and its OfficeSuiteUC, is now at a revenue run-rate of $250 million, growing at 44% year-over-year, Windstream reported earlier this year. "Three-and-a-half years ago, less than 1% of our Windstream enterprise revenue was from our strategic products," Levine said. "Today we're trending upwards to over 13%. And our goal is to get to 25 to 30% by this time next year."

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