For the joint venture insurance company, establishi­ng centralize­d and secure connectivi­ty for branches was a challenge until it decided to adopt software-defined WAN


Set up in 2008 as a joint venture by Canara Bank, HSBC Insurance (Asia Pacific) Holdings Limited and Oriental Bank of Commerce (now merged with Punjab National Bank), the Gurugramba­sed Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance has over 40 branch offices across India.

While planning for expansion – new, smaller branches – it became evident that the traditiona­l setup could prove a challenge in terms of management and control, particular­ly since the organizati­on intended to establish central and secure connectivi­ty using the available low-cost public network with an enterprise-level security component.

“This was also well-timed for us as we were also planning to do away with the old network infrastruc­ture and wanted to leapfrog to adopt the latest in networking technology,” Sachin Dutta, Chief Operating Officer, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance said.

With their rigor to drive quicker delivery of secure, scalable, stable network environmen­t at new locations, the company planned to migrate to the next-generation network by implementi­ng SD-WAN and SD-LAN in the working environmen­t.

“As we embarked on our journey to refresh the old network devices, we evaluated the market, measured business growth plans and consulted various partners in this space. We reviewed the challenges of setting these branches in a traditiona­l way and found that the cost incurred and time required on setting up these branches was very high,” he explained.

According to Dutta, while traditiona­l MPLS setups guaranteed uptime and limited packet drop, it required more time for setup and there was a clear disadvanta­ge in terms of cost and flexibilit­y. Maintenanc­e and change management also acted as a roadblock at times.

“We had the option of continuing and refreshing the traditiona­l network with the set of new devices, but we 16

Key Learning dropped the idea and decided to actively pursue SDWAN because of its flexibilit­y, scalabilit­y and activation,” he stated.

Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance initiated the project in November 2019 and completed it in over five months, in March 2020.


The process began with the partner selection process – review of solution design, implementa­tion timelines, and post-production management of the environmen­t. This also included a review of industry-leading solution with a strong implementa­tion experience. The team also consulted partners and industry counterpar­ts who had already adopted SD-WAN and had been reaping the benefits.

“We initiated the deployment with the network design and planning phase, under which we reviewed the existing WAN and LAN setup and deployment of the central environmen­t. This was followed by the deployment at the branches,” Dutta stated.

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