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“Network as a Service” Brings the Benefits of Virtualization to Network Operators

carlos-corderoBy Carlos Cordero, Cisco Consulting Services, Service Provider

Cloud consumption models are gaining traction across all company sizes and industries.  Whether software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), or platform as a service (PaaS), the value propositions of virtualization are being sought by IT decision makers.

Cisco Consulting Services sees an opportunity for network service providers (SPs) to deliver a similar experience through a new solution architecture that we call network as a service (NaaS). NaaS does for the network what SaaS and IaaS have done for the data center —  offering many of the same value proposition components, such as lower OpEx and increased agility, as well as new business model levers and distribution benefits.

A Simple NaaS Architecture Delivers Broad Benefits

To illustrate the value, this paper focuses on NaaS for mobile operators, although similar value could be articulated across all SP segments. Today, the various engineering and operational functions required to enable new customers, new services, and repairs are buried behind monolithic and independent network elements. The goal of NaaS is to simplify the architecture through virtualization, bringing disparate software solutions onto common hardware.

At the heart of mobile NaaS is an intelligent core with the service elements needed to deploy mobile data services (Figure 1). Traditionally, each software element runs on dedicated hardware, but under NaaS, these elements are separated so the software can run on shared virtual machines. The model also includes a common storage and compute infrastructure that can be delivered to the intelligent core as needed through a virtual machine approach. The intelligent core should work across a variety of licensed and unlicensed access technologies, shown at right. The active service catalog represents the SP’s ability to create unique service environments by combining service elements in an automated and simplified way. Finally, the secure portal enables consumers and business customers to access and manage their own network instances.

Figure 1.                  Mobile NaaS Is Anchored in a Flexible and Extensible Set of Service Elements. Read More »

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Behind the Contours of the Contour

Earlier this week, our colleagues at Cox took the wraps off a beauty of a next-new version of personalized television, branded “Contour.” It’s a continuation of its service extensions earlier this year into screens “beyond the TV,” such as iPads, tablets, laptops, and smartphones.

Until Contour, the app was called “Cox TV Connect,” and offered a hundred or so linear channels. With the additions that shaped it into “Contour,” Cox customers get that plus a whole lot more — and I say that because it really is a whole lot more.

More means Read More »

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Next-Generation Knowledge Workers: Accelerating the Disruption in Business Mobility

Business mobility is driving better productivity, heightened customer experience, and harmonious work/life balance. It also offers freedom for knowledge workers beleaguered by accelerating demands on their time and talents. Indeed, workers themselves have taken much of the initiative toward business mobility.

It is now up to enterprises to support and shape their further adoption of this key technology to capture its full benefits. Moreover, business mobility represents an opportunity for service providers (SPs) to generate new revenue and to deepen their enterprise customer relationships.

To gain a better perspective on the latest trends in business mobility, Cisco Consulting Services (CCS) conducted an extensive survey in March 2013. Comprising 4,800 respondents across eight countries, it is one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of the needs, interests, and behaviors of end users of business mobility.

Several key themes emerge from this survey, all of which have significant implications for enterprises and service providers: Read More »

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Join us August 8th for Next-Generation Knowledge Workers TweetChat — #CiscoYourWay

When? Thursday, August 8, 2013 @ 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (EDT)

Where? Twitter Chat

The explosive growth in mobility is transforming the ways in which we live, learn, play and, in particular, work. Every dimension of our business lives stands to change: whom we work with and when, where, how, and why we work — all will be impacted.

The ultimate goal of business mobility is to drive increased productivity, heightened customer experience, and harmonious work-life balance. Business mobility offers freedom for knowledge workers beleaguered by accelerating demands on their time and talents; with it, they can take control of their success at work while protecting their personal lives. And, increasingly, it is the knowledge workers themselves who are driving these sweeping changes in the workplace.

But how can service providers and enterprises embrace the disruption?

Join us this Thursday, August 8th at 10am PST/1pm EST for a TweetChat on how next-generation knowledge workers are accelerating the disruption in business mobility. Follow #CiscoYourWay to join in on the discussion. I’ll be tweeting from my own handle @Spain_Chris. Read More »

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Cloud and Advanced Services Are Service Providers’ Keys To Tapping the Fragmented $200 Billion Small and Medium Business Market

neerkumakevsuhBy Neeraj Kumar and Kevin Suh, Cisco Consulting Services

The small and medium sized-business (SMB) commercial-services market is important for all types of service providers (SPs). SMBs account for more than half of total U.S. commercial-services spending, according to AMR Research/Gartner. And, the portion of the U.S. SMB commercial-services market that service providers could capture is expected to grow to more than $200 billion by 2015, according to analysis by Cisco Consulting Services (CCS) and industry research analysts.

To capture this opportunity, service providers need a deeper understanding of who the SMB customers are and what they buy, as well as how they purchase these commercial services. To better understand SMBs’ detailed service delivery needs and expectations, Cisco Consulting Services (CCS), surveyed 761 U.S. SMBs with five to 1,000 employees in 2012. The study revealed that although this is a big and complex market, there are specific opportunities for SPs in cloud and advanced services.

Complex, Diverse Market, with Varying Expectations

The SMB market is complex — spanning Read More »

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