Verizon Scopes Out Vivid 5G Future

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Verizon’s analyst event detailed its product and roadmap stack from connectivity to managed and virtualized services, edge solutions, and SaaS-delivered applications.
  • Surprisingly, 5G was the technology discussed the most at the event, viewed by the operator as the growth engine of the future which will revolutionize industry by enabling ‘real-time’ business processes.

There’s a 5G arms race in North America! Europe’s operators, while some of the globe’s largest telcos, just aren’t approaching next-gen mobile networks with quite the same gusto as their U.S. cousins. Just take U.S. communications giant Verizon, which has already launched fixed 5G for consumers and is going to launch mobile 5G in 2019, pitched as the engine driving the next exponential growth opportunities in the business market. Continue reading “Verizon Scopes Out Vivid 5G Future”

CenturyLink Implements Ambitious Strategy to Compete with the World’s Largest Carriers

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • CenturyLink has ambitious plans to leverage its newly acquired assets and establish itself as a formidable player in the global arena.
  • Not only is the service provider targeting North American organizations with international connectivity requirements; it is also pursuing multinationals headquartered overseas, a move that sets it apart from some of its peers.

There is no shortage of service providers that have looked to broaden their footprints and establish themselves as global carriers. Some have been more successful than others, and several have come and gone. Many, such as AT&T, have chosen to follow their customers, providing connectivity to meet the international requirements of their largest customers. Few have been aggressive enough to go after organizations headquartered outside of their home territories. CenturyLink is positioning itself to join the latter group, and with cash to spend, the service provider can afford to make some sizeable investments. Continue reading “CenturyLink Implements Ambitious Strategy to Compete with the World’s Largest Carriers”

Can Cisco Try, Try, Try Again in Software-Based Collaboration and Communications?

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • Failure to act, execute, innovate, or differentiate in a mature market creates a crisis.
  • Cisco must clearly and confidently communicate its collaboration strategy to reassure its customers, partners, and industry pundits.

Following a 2007 restructure, Cisco emerged with a new model focused on placing software at the heart of its technology groups, having previously focused specifically on hardware. Indeed, the vendor correctly recognized and reacted to the upcoming changes affecting the technology industry ably demonstrated by its Voice Technology Group (now called the Collaboration Technology Group, or CTG), implementing agile software development practices in a far more software and services-oriented market. Continue reading “Can Cisco Try, Try, Try Again in Software-Based Collaboration and Communications?”

How to Succeed in AI by Really, Really Trying

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Just as the promise of AI is very real and likely to significantly alter the way all markets do business, so too is the danger that the decisions we make based upon AI may be flawed, filled with unseen bias, or just plain wrong.
  • Recent, diverging solutions from IBM and Google to the problem of building trust in AI reveal the sheer magnitude of this multifaceted problem and point to a multi-pronged solution that starts on the drawing board and ends in practice.

Without a doubt, artificial intelligence (AI) has already changed the way consumers interact with technology and the way businesses think about big challenges like digital transformation. In fact, GlobalData research shows that approximately 50% of IT buyers have already prioritized the adoption of AI technologies. And that number is expected to jump to more than 67% over the next two years. Continue reading “How to Succeed in AI by Really, Really Trying”

Huawei UBBF: Cloud-Network Synergy Can Drive Managed Cloud Services for Telcos

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

• Ultra broadband access will drive enterprise digital transformation, forcing requirements for more agile telco network services including cloud access and multi-cloud connectivity.

• The key factor is the decoupling of service and network management through the use of overlay/underlay networks, resulting in more flexible solutions that can be deployed quickly.

Huawei hosted UBBF 2018 in Geneva last week, bringing telcos, enterprises, and analysts up to date on its efforts in ultra broadband access (i.e., technology capable of 500 Mbps to 1 Gbps bandwidth). Curiously, the program also included significant time and content dedicated to B2B services with a focus on cloud-network synergy and the benefits to service provider and user. At times, the message wasn’t completely clear on which clouds Huawei was including in its vision (e.g., telco network clouds, telco public clouds, OTT clouds), but eventually, the vendor’s ideas for using a cloud management system to offer enterprises a one-stop shop for network and cloud services using SD-WAN for multi-cloud connectivity came through in several proposed use cases. (For more detail on this topic, see the full advisory report, “UBBF 2018: Cloud-Network Synergy High on Agenda at Huawei’s Ultra Broadband Forum,” published by GlobalData on September 17, 2018. Continue reading “Huawei UBBF: Cloud-Network Synergy Can Drive Managed Cloud Services for Telcos”

Microsoft Azure DevOps Touches on the Larger APLM Trend

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Microsoft has released Azure DevOps, a rebranding of VSTS, but also tools serving as its APLM contribution.
  • Modern application development architectures (microservices) and requirements (CICD) are driving the need for APLM.

Striving for a digital environment, enterprises are challenged to exploit the full benefits of cloud-enabled innovations, assembling solutions that combine and orchestrate both the business software and the infrastructure on which that software runs. While technology providers of switches, servers, cloud services, et al. have certainly set the stage for unified management, automation, and optimization, no single vendor is yet capable of managing the entire lifecycle of this amalgamation. Continue reading “Microsoft Azure DevOps Touches on the Larger APLM Trend”

MWCA 2018: It’s All About 5G

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• Operator announcements at MWCA focused on 5G roll-out plans including cities, timelines, and infrastructure plans.

• As countrywide launches (with devices) for mobile 5G services are not slated until 2019/2020, the race to 5G does not mean much yet for potential business customers. Continue reading “MWCA 2018: It’s All About 5G”

Comcast Business Asks the Age Old Question, “What’s Beyond Fast?”

 

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • During its 4th annual analyst conference in Philadelphia, Comcast Business unveiled a new and decidedly inscrutable go-to-market campaign entitled “Beyond Fast.”
  • Plying its ActiveCore platform and virtualized network functions (VNFs), Comcast Business hopes to move beyond basic network functions and reach actual business outcomes not just for big business but also for its core SMB broadband customers.

 

When it comes to delivering connectivity to enterprise customers, Comcast Business doesn’t work (or think) like your typical telecom operator — or cable provider for that matter. For Comcast Business it isn’t about scaling up but rather scaling outward; it’s about delivering managed enterprise networking services the same way Comcast the cable provider delivers entertainment. That means standing up a huge number of endpoints in rapid succession. The company’s goal is to provision a new Ethernet customer every three minutes and add a new cable customer every 17 seconds.

Continue reading “Comcast Business Asks the Age Old Question, “What’s Beyond Fast?””

Multi-Cloud Services: Service Provider and Vendor Approaches Keep Coming

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • Just as multi-cloud usage is recognized as a necessity, IT suppliers are keen to help enterprises reduce its inherent complexity.
  • IT, hosting, and network service providers have rolled out specific offers over the last year to address the demand.

As multi-cloud consumption becomes the reality for transforming enterprises, solutions are now appearing from service providers as well as platform vendors (beyond their initial solutions for hybrid cloud). Each player has its own take – with varying levels of focus placed on self-service tools, automated operations, and good old-fashioned managed services. Continue reading “Multi-Cloud Services: Service Provider and Vendor Approaches Keep Coming”

The AI Arms Race: Microsoft Brings Its Cognitive Assets to Benefit Office 365 Users

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • Microsoft is adding significant business value across its portfolio by leveraging Azure’s cognitive services and providing benefits to those customers with top-tier Office 365 plans.
  • Without integrating ‘machine learning-as-a-service’ (MLaaS) offerings within business applications and relying on developers to do the heavy lifting, competitors will soon find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

Last week, Microsoft announced upcoming capabilities that leverage its MLaaS to provide video and audio transcription of content stored in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint. Microsoft also previously announced the capability to use its Azure cognitive services to determine where photos were taken, recognize objects, and extract text from photos. Continue reading “The AI Arms Race: Microsoft Brings Its Cognitive Assets to Benefit Office 365 Users”