Momentum for SD-WAN implementation: which industrial sectors in Indonesia are looking for the greatest gains?

Fri 15 May 2020, telkomtelstra
industry winner during covid

Strong global competition and the demands of customer expectations, coupled with uncertain external conditions such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have opened up unprecedented business challenges and placed tremendous pressure on various industries throughout Indonesia.

Amid the swift challenges, SD-WAN is the technology solution of choice to maximise business operations and is one of the backbones for achieving successful digital transformation.

(read: 2020 is the Golden Momentum for SD-WAN)

In particular, we believe that the following five vertical industries in Indonesia have unique business and IT challenges but they can absorb the greatest benefits from SD-WAN implementation.


As Indonesia has moved rapidly into the e-commerce revolution, the retail industry in the country is still struggling to integrate the best strategy between conventional offline stores and fast-growing digital platforms. With more than half of Indonesia’s population using smartphones for retail transactions, agility is certainly a major concern for Indonesian retailers that wish to reach customers effectively.

The brick and mortar retail industry are highly sensitive to the selling price of products and the profit margin gained. As a result, retail digitalisation raises big questions: what are innovative ways of driving sales in the era of technology and changing consumption patterns that we see today?

From a business expansion perspective, it is important for retail businesses to be able to have various branches in different locations and add new branches with profitable prospects as quickly as possible. The various obstacles they face often deal with the time needed to provide network infrastructure in each branch, schedule technicians to attend each branch to install complex network equipment, and perform network configuration and policy updates at each branch for network access to the applications needed.

With financial pressures and competition with e-commerce starting to be more challenging than ever before, IT retailers in Indonesia are required to avoid unnecessary overhead costs and consolidate services to improve efficiency and increase capital expenditure, while better optimising resources.

SD-WAN clearly has advantages over traditional WAN networks when retail businesses open new branches and need to enable connectivity both quickly and cost-efficiently. The auto-discover and zero-touch provision routing features in SD-WAN are able to minimise or reduce altogether the need for sending technicians to branch office locations for every networking need. SD-WAN essentially automates retail connectivity at all points of a retail store business and allows the head office to easily, swiftly and uninterruptedly centralise the management of all operations, with lower lead times, compared to traditional WAN.

Furthermore, SD-WAN capabilities designed to accommodate the performance of a variety of leading cloud applications can ensure revenue is achieved and that customer experience applications run with the appropriate quality of experience (QoE) when a business is run via a digital platform. This is highly necessary of course to support an increase in real-time purchase data or digital customer interactions.


New digital technology innovations in the global manufacturing industry have the potential to change the dynamics of manufacturing in Indonesia, with the presence of augmented reality, robotics, and IoT. However, such conditions require the right network resources. IT teams in this sector need to carefully evaluate their network capabilities, especially in remote locations, and appropriate digital strategies. These two factors remain challenges for Indonesia’s manufacturing sector.

SD-WAN will play an even greater role with the increased adoption of wireless communication technologies and IoT devices for innovation in Indonesia. SD-WAN solutions in manufacturing will be able to support connectivity in technological devices, especially in reaching remote and difficult to reach operation locations. The SD-WAN solution enables manufacturing companies to fully utilise the advantages of connected IoT devices.

In addition, the Cloud and SaaS are changing the way global producers innovate. Nowadays, those involved in the manufacturing sector in Indonesia are slowly but surely recognising the importance of the role of the network as a key to supporting innovations developed. With connectivity being one of the main factors in supporting the automation and digitalisation production processes for “Indonesia 4.0”, traditional networks can no longer meet the demands of the current network consumption model for empowering various innovation needs. In addition, accessing cloud applications through traditional networks can also result in a poor user experience.

Unlike traditional WANs, SD-WAN supports network performance and applications for better innovation. SD-WAN can intelligently improve application performance, and optimise performance based on custom-built policies. In addition, this solution can also provide a high level of visibility into network activities in all WAN locations and cloud environments.

When manufacturing plants move away from rigid, hardware-centred legacy networks to virtualised, automated, and software-controlled SD-WAN platforms, they will realise how these solutions can fundamentally improve operations, make them more competitive, and keep them innovating. The benefits — including cost savings, increased efficiency, faster and easier implementation of innovations, and analytical solutions that are more easily integrated — cannot be ignored.


Like manufacturing, healthcare is becoming another industry sector that requires increased services with the use of the latest technology. At present, healthcare providers are required to create higher quality services at lower costs, comply with various health regulations and increase patient satisfaction. At the same time, they must also remain competitive in business. To address some of these business challenges, healthcare providers are turning to technological innovations such as telemedicine, virtual reality and artificial intelligence (VR/AR), big data, the cloud, and IoT.

However, Indonesia still faces challenges in healthcare that can be summed up by the acronym ACCA, which is short for access, capacity, capability, and affordability. Innovations in digital technology and software optimisation have a big role to play in meeting these challenges, especially in providing healthcare access for institutions in remote communities.

However, health service networks can present a problem that impedes innovation. Complex and diverse networks, coupled with the challenges of network compliance, capacity and security, are obstacles faced by those who wish to build, configure and maintain networks for healthcare services.

These problems can now be addressed by implementing WAN solutions that are set by the software. SD-WAN is currently one of the technologies of top choice for adoption by the healthcare industry globally. This is because healthcare providers must focus specifically on network infrastructure in order to support the investment made in their healthcare service technology innovations.

SD-WAN provides the visibility needed across the entire network, enables users to centrally manage networks, prioritise data and application traffic, and can help improve network security. This solution enables healthcare providers to create more value for services at lower costs, provide a competitive advantage in technological innovation and maintain compliance with health regulations for patient services.

In the future, the healthcare industry must switch to “smart healthcare experiences” in which remote diagnosis will be a part of the overall healthcare service offering. The SD-WAN platform can play an important part in ensuring the success of this initiative. A good network will ensure uninterrupted voice and data communication, and allow first responders to communicate the necessary patient data from the field before obtaining remote analysis from doctors and medical staff. That is why SD-WAN will be the solution needed for the healthcare industry over the coming years.

Banks, Financial Services, and Insurance

Financial institutions in Indonesia are usually interested in platforms that can provide increased reliability and security, as required by the Financial Services Authority (OJK), and also the efficient total cost of ownership management.

On the other hand, intense competition requires banks and financial services in Indonesia to have more reliable network connectivity. However, traditional WAN networks cannot ensure reliable application performance and instead burden the financial services industry with high bandwidth costs.

Furthermore, OJK’s security and compliance requirements for consumers, in particular, also make protection initiatives for network security, including in branch offices, a very important factor. The financial industry must manage large amounts of sensitive and personal data and traffic passing through branch networks every day. Therefore, securing data and information must be a top priority for every financial service or institution. Unfortunately, most traditional WAN systems cannot provide a good level of security and protection in an era of increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks.

The advantage of SD-WAN is that it certainly supports financial institutions, of which many have branch offices, even in remote locations throughout Indonesia. The SD-WAN solution can optimise bandwidth utilisation, and also improve application performance required by financial services with broad network visibility. Improved bandwidth management and application performance certainly provides a better quality experience for customers, where financial institutions can provide a faster response to their branch networks for productivity and service quality.

In an era where online banking, mobile banking, and electronic payments are growing very rapidly in Indonesia, the financial industry must be responsive in adjusting and adapting the operations of its branches to these needs. As banks move away from traditional payment methods and conventional financial businesses to digital innovation, agile, flexible and fast branch network infrastructure to reach markets will be crucial. At the same time, SD-WAN can also reduce overall operating expenses by utilising efficient connectivity access.

By providing broad visibility on the amount and type of traffic that passes through the network, SD-WAN also allows for the early detection of security attacks. Furthermore, several SD-WAN solution providers provide security features in the foundation of their solutions to develop appropriate security measures and policies. These security features ensure the compliance and privacy needed by financial institutions for the sustainability of their businesses in Indonesia.


The impact of COVID-19 has been greatly felt by the energy sector over the last two months. Regardless of the public demand for energy needs that will always be there, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost all industrial sectors to significantly reduce energy consumption. With the added factor of energy producers competing over production, such conditions have pushed energy commodity prices down to the lowest position. It is not surprising that management in the energy industry is currently striving hard for efficiency in every element of their business.

Management in the energy sector is currently calling on IT departments to do what they can to reduce costs without reducing the quality of necessary business operations. WAN is an element that has become the focal point for reducing overheads, given the large amount of MPLS implementation provided at high prices from this sector throughout its operating network to reach its operational locations in remote areas.

SD-WAN is the right network solution to answer the serious challenges facing the energy industry. The integration of SD-WAN into the cloud environment and various leading SaaS provides energy companies with the capability to gain network visibility into the operational systems they need.  This solution can also automate processes so that IT departments in the energy sector can easily control their IT operational processes, and even expand the geographical reach of WAN networks in remote and hard to reach operation locations. Through the cloud, virtual network resources can be added or reduced dynamically to meet IT requests at any given time. In addition, the company can be connected quickly to new operational and exploration locations, including offshore rigs, in an agile fashion.

Instead of cost inefficiencies in implementing MPLS, energy companies can now make MPLS a key component of their SD-WAN strategy. With the right strategy, energy companies can integrate SD-WAN/MPLS efficiently to provide the best quality services and reduce additional capacity costs. All of this can help revenue growth, maintain the health of the company’s cash flow, and improve the competitiveness of the energy industry in challenging times.

Telkomtelstra is ready to assist you

Recognising unique business challenges for various vertical industries in Indonesia, Telkomtelstra, a joint venture between Telkom Indonesia and Telstra Australia, presents a leading SD-WAN solution as the foremost approach to network connectivity that is able to increase business productivity. Telkomtelstra has supported many companies from various industrial sectors throughout Indonesia to manage branch connectivity effectively in a cost-effective manner, use bandwidth more efficiently, and ensure the highest level of performance for critical applications without compromising data security or privacy. Find out more about Telkomtelstra’s SD-WAN solutions now!