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Hello from the Other Side: The Customer Benefits of NFV

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Operators should start their NFV charm offensive now says Pravin Mirchandani, CMO, EKINOPS.

Surprisingly few of today’s conversations about NFV address how a virtualized infrastructure will benefit end-user businesses. If operators and CSPs want to bring their customers across without resistance, however, they must also consider how to position the benefits of NFV, particularly since some may view its new technologies as an unsolicited risk.

Flexible provisioning is the big persuader. Most businesses experience peak traffic at infrequent and predictable times. Despite only needing this level of service occasionally, however, they have had no option but to sign contracts that deliver this maximum capacity all the time. Operators haven’t had the flexibility to deliver anything else. Virtualization can change all of this.

This is big news because firms of all shapes and sizes are caught in this trap. Pizza companies do 90% of their business on Friday and Saturday nights, yet provision for these peaks seven days a week. This is a huge overhead, particularly for a national networked outfit like Domino’s. Other businesses, particularly retail e-commerce sites, are governed by seasonality. The spikes in online sales triggered by Black Friday and the January sales are well documented. Hotels beef up their network capacity for four intensive months of high occupancy but, under today’s model, must provision equally for the quieter eight.

Virtualization can address this need. A software-defined infrastructure will give customers access to a portal through which they can self-select the services they need and specify when they need them. The programmatic benefits of virtualization enable operators to spin them up automatically. Compare that to the weeks of notice that an operator currently needs to install a new line and the end-user benefits come into stark focus.

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Agile businesses of all sizes need communications partners that can offer flexible, future-proof solutions

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There is no doubt that the operational and financial appeal of “The Cloud” is gaining more traction each year and across a wider spectrum of businesses, with Gartner[1] predicting that more than half of IT spend will be Cloud related in 2016 and over half of large enterprises having a public/private hybrid Cloud platform by 2017.

What is also evident is that the more the “X-as-a-service” range grows the more the Cloud becomes a compelling and realistic option for mid-size and smaller agile businesses, who see the flexibility it offers not only as a way of controlling costs but also critical in terms of staying competitive by enabling greater alignment between IT consumption and market fluctuations. This pragmatic approach particularly applies to multi-branch organizations where application and data sharing is crucial to the productivity of the business, which otherwise could mean significant IT investment in potentially redundant LAN-based resources and expensive localized support systems.

To derive the full benefit from the Cloud, agile businesses need to engage with equally agile communications service providers (CSPs), which are able to deliver fast and reliable access capable of supporting a broad range of granular, all-IP based services in an exclusively WAN-dependent environment. Using the same argument it follows that agile CSPs need equally agile technology vendor partners, who can help them to respond to the evolving demands of their customers with flexible and scalable products at competitive price-points.

Traditionally, CSPs have had limited choices when it comes to selecting the CPE router devices that provide the access gateway to the Cloud, particularly for the highly competitive and price-sensitive small to mid-range branch office sector. Although the leading router vendors such as Cisco are geared towards the major enterprise market, in the perceived absence of a real alternative these well-known suppliers have typically gone on to become incumbent partners for many CSPs.

However, we are now seeing this trend beginning to break down as CSPs look to gain competitive advantage in a buyers’ market and last year our new generation of multi-service routers, purpose-designed for CSPs, over two quarters out-shipped Cisco in Europe for the smaller, branch office customer sector. These routers not only enable CSPs to offer high performance SLAs but provide a platform for a range of value-added services that can both enhance the user experience and ensure efficient bandwidth provisioning for both data and voice-based, fixed-line and mobile, communications.

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Latest News

  • EKINOPS Celebrates MEF Technology Solutions Award Win

    EKINOPS (Euronext Paris - FR0011466069 – EKI),a leading provider of open, future-proof and flexible network solutions to service providers, has been recognised with a Technology Solutions Award at the 2019 MEF Awards, which took place during the leading industry conference, MEF19 in Los Angeles.

     
  • EKINOPS and IEC Telecom Group deliver next-generation maritime satellite communication solution

    EKINOPS (Euronext Paris - FR0011466069 – EKI), a leading supplier of optical transport equipment and router solutions for network operators, has launched with IEC Telecom Group, one of the leading global providers of managed network communication solutions, OneGate, an agile solution that protects the critical communications functions of maritime vessels.

     
  • EKINOPS to showcase joint SD-WAN Proof of Concept at MEF 2019 together with TELUS and Inmanta

    EKINOPS (Euronext Paris - FR0011466069 – EKI),a leading provider of open, future-proof and  fully flexible network solutions to service providers, has been selected by MEF to participate in the sixth annual MEF 3.0 PoC Showcase at leading industry conference, MEF19, which is taking place from 18 to 22 November 2019 in Los Angeles.

     

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