SDN/NFV-as-a-Service aims to accelerate time to market for next-gen B2B services.
Netcracker‘s new full-stack cloud-based SDN/NFV solution is the first to be delivered as a service. Developing Telecoms spoke recently with Susan White, Senior Director SDN/NFV Marketing, at Netcracker, to discover how this can help operators in emerging markets.
Netcracker Business Cloud is the industry’s first end-to-end cloud-based SDN/NFV and IT solution offered as a service. Spanning VNFs to orchestration, OSS, BSS, portals and a digital marketplace, it promises dramatic reductions in time-to-market while opening disruptive business models.
The solution uses either Netcracker’s cloud or a multi-cloud environment comprised of a service provider’s private cloud and public clouds, with the company taking responsibility for the end-to-end service to achieve greater flexibility than with traditional systems.
For service providers with OpCo and ServCo models, this offers the flexibility to host the solution in a single location and deliver it as a service to affiliates, enabling them to provide next-gen B2B services quickly. While it is a full-stack solution, its flexible, microservices-based architecture allows operators to use only parts of the solution they need to further augment or replace their own cloud solutions.
The flexibility in deployment benefits service providers in emerging markets, not just from a cost and risk perspective, but also can be useful given variations in regulations across the footprint of multi-national enterprises working across a number of countries - particularly where data sovereignty and storage location are critical risk evaluation or legal factors.
Furthermore, from a growth and addressable market perspective, Netcracker Business Cloud can give a service provider the opportunity to break into new markets or adjacent markets with what's effectively an over-the-top communications service provider play.
Aside from these competitive advantages, White believes the solution offers service providers in emerging markets access to some unique new business opportunities providing high quality, competitively priced SD-WAN, security and IoT services for businesses.
Many of the large scale industry IoT use cases address manufacturing, production, supply chain and logistics applications which occur particularly in emerging markets as large enterprises increase investment in capital-intensive businesses. Applications include location, environmental sensors, remote control of production flow and operations. As supply chains are increasingly fitted with digital technology, the case for services like ultra-secure SD-WAN makes a lot of sense to provide flexible and dynamic next-gen connectivity for the devices and applications.
Other opportunities can be found in the proliferation of manufacturing in Asia, natural resource and energy operations in Africa, and critical agricultural production in all emerging markets. These types of operations are at the very root of the supply chain for multi-national enterprises who at the same time are trying to make their supply chains ultra-efficient, with end-to-end and even real-time visibility into production and logistics.
In emerging markets, the basic economics of these virtualised services make even more sense because they are very low risk in terms of cost, CAPEX in particular. Service providers do not have to put much physical communications equipment out at the ends of the supply chain yet can still give business customers access to advanced, next-gen services that can effectively be turned on and off as required.
With a fully managed telco cloud or full stack SDN/NFV as a service offering it makes it very easy for service providers in emerging markets to compete for the next-generation connectivity and related application spend. The cost to break in to market is very low, the time to launch is short, and Netcracker even offer a shared success model so the up-front cost to deploy is greatly reduced as are the risk factors.
The applications that can be rolled out include not just security but also productivity applications and anything else that effectively sits on top of the next-gen connectivity and is run out of the cloud.
If offerings like these can give developing economies more access and opportunity in the greater globalised economy, that is a powerful realisation of the economics of virtualised networks and cloud services.
Sue White is the Head of SDN/NFV Portfolio Marketing at Netcracker.