SD-WAN Is Gaining Momentum in Australia, but Do Enterprises Have a Long-Term Network Strategy?

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • SD-WAN is gaining traction in Australia with nearly 60% of enterprises already implementing the technology.
  • Enterprise customers need to consider their long-term network strategy to cope with the changing IT workloads beyond a standalone SD-WAN solution.

The SD-WAN technology has gained attention among Australian IT buyers and it has changed the WAN market significantly. Based on GlobalData’s research, nearly 60% of enterprises (businesses with more than 200 employees) have already deployed SD-WAN, and nearly one in three of those businesses are considering implementing it in the next 12 months. SD-WAN has taken off quicker in Australia than some other markets partly due to the migration of last-mile access to the NBN, which has resulted in several service providers (e.g., Macquarie Telecom and Aussie Broadband) offering SD-WAN with NBN as an alternative to MPLS-based IP VPN. 5G will accelerate this trend. Continue reading “SD-WAN Is Gaining Momentum in Australia, but Do Enterprises Have a Long-Term Network Strategy?”

IBM Think Digital 2020: Helping Telecom Providers to Deploy Edge Computing for 5G

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• IBM is extending its cloud capabilities to the edge and it is partnering with telcos to deploy cloud services at 5G-enabled edge nodes and simplify the management.

• IBM and other hyperscalers are developing ecosystems of partners including telecom providers to deliver enhanced networking solutions for enterprises as they accelerate the adoption of cloud services.

IBM has announced new services to help enterprises and telecommunications companies implement edge computing for 5G; leveraging Red Hat OpenStack and OpenShift. Firstly, IBM Edge Application Manager enables customers to manage AI, analytics and IoT workloads at scale – up to 10,000 edge nodes simultaneously by a single administrator. IBM Telco Network Cloud Manager enables automation capabilities to orchestrate virtual and container network functions in minutes. The company has also extended a portfolio of edge-enabled applications and services to the edge to give customers a range of AI and cognitive capabilities. These include IBM Production Optimization, IBM Connected Manufacturing, IBM Asset Optimization, IBM Maximo Worker Insights, and IBM Visual Inspector. Continue reading “IBM Think Digital 2020: Helping Telecom Providers to Deploy Edge Computing for 5G”

5G Will Play a Key Role in Economic Recovery but Spectrum Availability is Key

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• 5G and the ecosystem around it will be a major contributor to the economy and facilitate economic recovery post-COVID.

• Regulators need to provide greater certainty on spectrum availability to allow operators to plan their investment and activities to get new 5G services to the market in a timely manner.

2020 is expected to be the year of 5G. With leading carriers already launched 5G in 2019, the rollout of 5G was ramping up and new 5G-ready devices were in the product pipelines of major manufacturers. However, 5G’s momentum, like many other segments of the economy, has been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. One of the key challenges for mobile operators is the availability of 5G spectrum. Mobile operators’ 5G rollout plans are often closely linked to the spectrum availability made by regulators. Unfortunately, the virus outbreak has led to some regulators putting planned spectrum allocations/auctions on hold due to health and financial reasons. Meantime, operators are also seeing a significant spike in mobile data services over the last two months. For example, in Spain, the telecom operators saw a 40 percent increase in IP traffic, a 25 percent increase in mobile data, and a five-fold increase in OTT messaging traffic (e.g., WhatsApp). Continue reading “5G Will Play a Key Role in Economic Recovery but Spectrum Availability is Key”

Vodafone Business Provides a Glimpse of the Future of Networking

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• Vodafone is developing an intent-based infrastructure, which is an automated platform to deliver desired business outcomes.

• Enterprise customers should consider the trends related to the evolution of network solutions and include the evaluation of digital platforms and roadmap when sourcing a new WAN supplier.

Vodafone has articulated and shown how the right digital platforms and software-defined capabilities can enable the network of the future. As enterprises pursue digital transformation, they often think cloud first before worrying about whether the network can support the major shift in workloads. To support a hybrid, multi-cloud environment, the network needs to be flexible to deliver the right performance for different applications, in a dynamic fashion. And yet, customers often do not have full visibility into how their network and applications are performing. It can also be problematic to determine network issues without the tools that provide end-to-end visibility. This will likely get more complex when enterprises begin to adopt 5G, edge computing, and IoT. Continue reading “Vodafone Business Provides a Glimpse of the Future of Networking”

Alibaba Cloud Adds an Application PaaS Solution via the Terminus Acquisition

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • The acquisition of Terminus has given Alibaba Cloud an attractive application PaaS solution that it can take to market and help to boost cloud adoption in China.
  • The Terminus PaaS is evolving and it has a strong roadmap; the multi-cloud approach is a crucial factor when Alibaba Cloud extends the solution internationally.

Terminus and Its Application PaaS

Terminus is a Chinese software provider founded in 2012 with a strong focus on addressing the needs of retail, procurement, and the supply chain functions. The company was acquired by Alibaba, and its products are now offered based on Alibaba Cloud while retaining the Terminus product brand. The Terminus team remains intact and is driving product development, but tapping into Alibaba’s ecosystem, go-to-market machinery, and its infrastructure and technologies to accelerate business expansion. Continue reading “Alibaba Cloud Adds an Application PaaS Solution via the Terminus Acquisition”

DXC Creates a Data-Driven Contact Center Solution Based on Amazon Connect

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • There are opportunities for service providers to partner with hyperscale cloud providers to develop differentiated offerings; DXC’s contact center based on Amazon Connect is an example.
  • Cloud providers need to work with IT services providers with strong business and technical capabilities to accelerate the adoption of their services.

Hyperscalers such as Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure have developed a broad set of products and services to help enterprises transform their IT and become more efficient. However, they do not have many engineers and solution architects running around to help every enterprise deploy their technology, particularly if integration work is required. The hyperscalers are not in the business of helping customers integrate their solutions with existing applications. This opens up opportunities for service providers to develop managed cloud services through partnerships with hyperscalers and build expertise in both implementing solutions in different cloud environments and managing them. Continue reading “DXC Creates a Data-Driven Contact Center Solution Based on Amazon Connect”

IBM Advocates Open, Hybrid, and Multi-Cloud in Helping Customers Transform their IT

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• IBM is poised to grow its cloud services business by helping customers to accelerate their migration of mission-critical applications to the cloud.

• IBM brings a lot of value by helping customers remove complexities in their cloud migration; and avoiding vendor lock-in through an open source, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategy.

IBM held its annual analyst event – IBM Asia-Pacific 2019 Analyst Insights – in August 2019. The event was held in Singapore and coincided with THINK Singapore 2019, which was the first THINK event in the country. The THINK event helped IBM showcase its capabilities to customers in the country as it starts to ramp up customer engagement. Over the past few years, companies have experimented with AI and moved non-critical workloads to the cloud. IBM now advocates moving from experimentation to more substantial transformation to gain speed and scale. This will involve moving mission-critical applications (80% are still kept on-premises) to the cloud for scalability and agility. While this is ideal, to benefit from cloud-native features, enterprises need to deal with many layers of complexity ranging from regulations and compliance through to re-architecting legacy systems, security considerations, underlying infrastructure, and change management (people and processes). Continue reading “IBM Advocates Open, Hybrid, and Multi-Cloud in Helping Customers Transform their IT”

CSPs Need to Digitize, Automate, and become More Agile

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• There is an urgency for communications service providers (CSPs) to transform their businesses, including systems, processes, and people/culture.

• Agile product development, digital platforms, automation, and SDN/NFV solutions are key aspects of CSP transformation.

CSPs face declining carriage revenue and increasing competition from traditional rivals and disruptive players in the form of OTT players, cloud-based service providers and new market entrants with leaner operating models. Against this backdrop, CSPs see an urgency to improve customer service to minimize churn, develop digital sales channels, and embrace cloud and digital solutions to achieve operational agility. At the same time, technology advancement is opening up new opportunities for CSPs in the enterprise segment. Examples include SDN/NFV, big data, cloud, AI/ML, cybersecurity, IoT, and 5G. Enterprises across various industry verticals are tapping insights from customer data to gain competitive advantages. CSPs hold vast amount of data and operate very complex IT systems and networks. There are opportunities for CSPs to transform their business and operations through the use of digital solutions but major changes need to occur for a CSP to be successful. These include developing new partnerships, upskilling/reskilling their workforce, changing the culture, and streamlining systems and processes. Continue reading “CSPs Need to Digitize, Automate, and become More Agile”

Telecom Assets for Sale, Telecom Assets for Sale

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• Telecom operators need cash. FTTP, 5G and multi-play is expensive. Voice/data is not able to pay the bills. Operators are offloading assets that are no longer seen as core to their business.

• REITs and private equity firms are buying infrastructure for sale, like data centers and now complete companies managing them as another utility for better returns.

Increasingly, telecommunications operators are facing pricing pressure resulting in limited revenue growth from fixed and mobile services. Meanwhile, they need to invest in faster access such as fiber and 5G (equipment and spectrum), which will require more capital. Some telecom operators are also looking at growth outside of the traditional voice and data services and they are building capabilities to offer IoT, enterprise services and entertainment services for consumers. These new areas require different types of investments including platforms, applications, and content. While shareholders want to see new revenue streams and growth, they also expect stable returns (e.g., dividends and share buyback) from these businesses and a healthy balance sheet. This makes it more challenging for telecom companies to raise capital to fund their growth ambitions without carrying too much debt. Continue reading “Telecom Assets for Sale, Telecom Assets for Sale”

NBN Co Stepping Up the Development of Services for Business Customers

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • NBN Co is developing capabilities to support business users, including providing higher QoS and enhanced customer support.
  • With better connectivity, service providers have opportunities to offer more products and services (e.g., cloud, collaboration and networking) to businesses of all sizes.

NBN Co has been looking to the business segment to grow its revenue and has publicly discussed the aim to make $1 billion in revenue from this segment. While many small businesses are already using residential-grade NBN services, there is a demand for connections with higher service levels, lower contention ratios and better performance. In December 2018, NBN Co indicated that its network had reached half a million businesses. NBN Co is doubling down on developing products for business customers, and this will accelerate as it reaches more businesses across the country. Continue reading “NBN Co Stepping Up the Development of Services for Business Customers”