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3 ways service providers can simplify operations

Networks have become complex and rigid, costly to operate, but technologies such as SDN, NFV, and open-source projects can help deal with these issues.

“Alone, each is insufficient,” says Wayne Cullen, Cisco senior manager, service provider architectures.

“Together, they bring the promise of automation and self-service, simplified processes, and lower operational costs.”

They also relieve skilled people of essential but low-value tasks, freeing them for new innovations.

So how can simpler operations transform your business today? Cullen reveals three ideas to consider right now:

1. Embrace technologies that enhance agility

An automation and orchestration strategy that integrates SDN, NFV, and other technologies into your existing network lets you relocate and scale software elements instead of hardware.

It also allows you to make adjustments in hours or days, not weeks or months and drives down costs and makes you ready for what’s next.

“You’ll want to choose an architecture and orchestration system with the right data abstraction model, including a transaction-oriented approach to network changes that keeps you in charge,” Cullen adds.

2. Accelerate innovation through openness

When you evolve to a lower-cost, more flexible infrastructure, you’re in a better position to have the benefits of open partnerships, collaboration, and services.

“Done right, a software-defined network easily integrates new services across various vendor technologies,” says Cullen.

The ability to keep your development model and APIs simple and open is vital to maintaining a vibrant, fast-moving, and lucrative services framework.

3. Support new business models

When you have a fast, agile network, you’re able to offer more competitive pricing and adapt to changing market conditions.

You’re also able to reach new market segments, including ones that weren’t feasible before because of their size, cost, or location.

“It’s important to focus on where you can add value—how you can delight your customers,” Cullen explains.

“You will need to change your processes from a network-operations model, which is now very inefficient, to a development-operations model, which drives service innovations.”

Connectivity is changing behaviors faster than ever before, and your ability to adapt to these new behaviors will play a key role in your success.

“If you’re taking steps to improve agility, working on an SDN or NFV strategy, and working more openly with partners, you put your organization in a far more powerful position to profit,” Cullen concludes.

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3 ways service providers can simplify operations