Helping Service Providers Keep Up with the Pace of Innovation

March 7, 2019 - 2 Comments

Disruptive innovation was top of mind at Mobile World Congress last week. Service providers are constantly exploring new ways to bring compelling service offers to their customers quickly. One of the challenges, however, is that many of these new services exist in their own technology and operational silos. This makes it difficult to move quickly and efficiently while delivering new services to consumers, operators, and enterprise customers on the global scale that often defines the complexity of the service provider world.

Many service providers are looking to cloud automated services to help. Imagine if service providers had the software and a ready-to-go programmable infrastructure that could help them easily create new services. What if they could launch new services in a fraction of the time and cost that it takes now? We recently showcased some solutions at MWC that are helping service providers balance delivering differentiated services faster with achieving operational efficiency through cloud automated services.

One of the innovations we highlighted at MWC is fundamental to the Working Group Two (WG2) platform. The WG2 platform includes Cisco’s virtualized Ultra Packet Core, delivering 2G/3G/4G/5G mobile services and hosted on AWS. AWS infrastructure and Cisco packet core enables WG2 to offer its services to operators on a global basis with industry-leading security, redundancy, and reliability delivered as a utility, on-demand and available in seconds. WG2’s API of mobile network functions were designed to allow application developers to create new mobile-based business and consumer apps in the cloud.

MWC was also the venue where we unveiled NSO 5, one of our largest updates ever to the Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) platform. While many of the changes were “under the hood,” the updates are central to successfully deploying large, cross-domain automation projects such as the one announced with Rakuten last week. NSO was also on display at in the Cisco booth in its role as a substrate for many of our other solutions, including Managed Services Accelerator, multicloud management, and Crosswork Network Automation.

We showcased Managed Services Accelerator (MSX), which enables service providers to develop and bring new managed services to market in a matter of weeks, instead of months, and manage them efficiently via a simple and unified user interface. Available as an on-prem software package or as a service managed 24×7 by Cisco, larger service providers like Vodafone and Riedel use MSX to deliver high-value differentiated services to their enterprise customers.

As the speed of innovation continues to accelerate for service providers, the ability to quickly spin up compelling, monetizable services is vital. And many of today’s global enterprises will be looking to service providers for the infrastructure, platforms and services they need to help them innovate. Automated, managed services can be a unique differentiator for service providers who want to maximize their ability to rapidly bring new applications to market and to compete effectively in an increasingly digital marketplace.

Innovations like these from Cisco are changing the game for service providers. Tapping into the power of cloud automation is making it possible for service providers to launch new services more quickly than ever before.

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  1. Here in North America, given the most recent investment priorities shared publically by the leadership of AT&T and Verizon, I'm now wondering what it means to be a telecom or communications 'service provider'.

    The underlying need for infrastructure, platforms and services seems to be evolving rapidly – towards a revised business model (e.g. media and advertising) direction. Kip, perhaps in a follow-on post you could elaborate on how Cisco is revisiting the need to adapt to this ongoing strategic shift by these key customers.

    • @David H. Deans you are absolutely right that the service provider role is evolving at a fast pace. Love the idea for an upcoming blog topic!