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13 Oct 2022

Getting Past the Great Firewall: An Interview with Teridion’s VP Product

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Eyal Shmueli
China's great wall at night
Table of Contents

Finding solutions to connectivity challenges for enterprises in mainland China

Teridion teams shared their experiences working with global enterprises facing difficult connectivity challenges. One of the biggest is international internet connectivity to and from mainland China. Connecting to essential enterprise software like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace in mainland China is complicated, to say the least. At Teridion, we solve global connectivity for enterprises through our AI-PoweredNetwork, and refer to this work experience demand as Work Flow, which we define as the ability to provide stable internet connectivity with a guaranteed Service Level Agreement (SLA) for packet loss, latency, jitter, and more.

To understand ‘Work Flow’ challenges more thoroughly, we met with our VP of Product & Business Development, Ranit Fink, who understands these challenges first-hand based on her work with our clients.

 

Describe the challenges of managing remote employees and workloads in China

We see three main sets of issues: 

China cloud connectivity: One of the main sets of issues is enterprises that are heavily reliant on cloud applications like Microsoft 365, Salesforce, and other SaaS applications. Their employees working in China cannot connect to these applications. They are actually disconnected and unable to work on the same applications that their colleagues are using.

Remote users or teams in China: The second main set of issues are enterprises with remote users working from home in China who are having issues connecting to sites outside of China. Global remote communications and workload are tough challenges on their own. In China, there’s an additional workload that’s put on outbound communication workloads which makes it harder for Chinese employees to enjoy the same work experience as everyone else in the world.

MPLS underperformance: We also have clients that are currently using private MPLS lines to connect to their China branch offices, yet they are still struggling with some connectivity challenges, particularly with outbound communications from China to the rest of the world. Even with dedicated lines and the most advanced connectivity solutions, not all available connectivity solutions can work around the regulations in mainland China.

What makes cloud and voice apps so difficult to connect in China?

We investigated this and found that technically, companies in China have all of the same remote SaaS connectivity challenges as other regions of the world, in addition to additional headwinds.

Firstly, there is an additional workload that comes from communications overhead, particularly in outbound communications.

Our research found some interference that we view as communications overhead when trying to connect to China and outside of China. This overhead is unique to China. It affects network performance and is something that global enterprises have to overcome. Because we have a lot of customers with sites in China, we have observed some patterns of behavior where, at certain hours of the day, there’s horrible jitter, spikes of packet loss, and overall strong difficulty in conducting voice conversations.

Secondly, as a result of the overhead, enterprises can face some overprovisioning for performance, at almost 20% more workload. We enable improved performance at about 20%, which can reach as high as 40% improved performance, even when compared to dedicated MPLS lines.

Why is Teridion’s solution to China’s connectivity challenges unique?

Seeing that Chinese regulations are a major challenge that most solutions aren’t able to mitigate, we realized that we needed a solution tailored to the regulatory environment. We invested in a solution that complies with Chinese regulation and still manage to guarantee an SLA for the performance.

When doing business in China, it’s important to leverage the existing business that’s conducted there. Teridion has worked with Chinese telecommunications providers to verify their licensed infrastructure. On top of that, we’ve built a complete end-to-end solution that allows enterprises to communicate to different points – site-to-cloud and site-to-site – including sites outside China.  Our AI-powered routing uses this compliant infrastructure when connecting to clouds in and outside China. As a result, we can provide an optimized connectivity experience based on communications overhead.

How long does it take to provision Teridion’s network in China?

The great thing about the Teridion solution is that it’s unified, so wherever you are, you get the same service, same onboarding, same deployment, same monitoring,

What advice do you have for enterprises facing connectivity challenges in China?

Firstly, we offer a short POC for enterprises so they can validate for themselves and immediately see the value our solution provides. I encourage them to contact us and try this out.

Secondly, if you’re a company that is very cloud-centric and suffering specifically in China, know that you aren’t alone. In our experience, 90% of global enterprises face these painful issues that can cause expensive extra workloads and provisioning; while there’s actually a resolution.

Even if you’re only working on a single cloud solution such as Azure or GCP in China, we can provide a subset of our China solution. Because we’re cloud-native by essence, we can provide a smooth connection to the cloud POP you’re already using outside of China. Although our network is global, our solution is Smart AI, so it can be seamlessly tailored to your needs without requiring you to add any additional development or integration work.

Regardless of your cloud infrastructure, if your challenges in China are solely dealing with cloud communications, there’s still value in deploying our China solution.

Teridion’s AI WAN can provide a 20-40% improvement in performance with seamless, fast, and easy provisioning, and on top of that, we offer a 24-hour POC.

Would you like to learn how Teridion can improve your outbound communications using cloud applications in China? Stay tuned for our upcoming blogs, and contact us today to start your POC within days.

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