Our last blogs highlighted the success factors for SDN & NFV transformation and the three pathways to Service Provider (SP) transformation. Many of you have responded to the results of the study. While the research was a qualitative look at issues facing SPs as they adopt NFV and SDN, we will focus this discussion on the business benefits of automation. It is a key component for delivering the agility and lower operating costs built into vision for NFV.  We will share some real world examples of how we have helped customers automate their service and network operations. We will show you what they were able to achieve as they followed the technology evolution pathway identified in the study.

Technology evolution focuses on deploying key building blocks of SDN and NFV, by virtualizing a few core functions. With this approach SPs like you can minimize risks, dependencies and organizational change.

The study shows that service providers are pursuing SDN and NFV mainly to gain more agility and network efficiency.  Automation is a primary driver for only a small number of respondents. Yet it can play a significant role in achieving other objectives like agility, network efficiency and cost savings.


The research also shows that SPs recognize they need to change their operating model to deliver virtualized services. In fact, 29 percent of them are making the shift to agile or DevOps operations.  Another half of the respondents are making plans for this kind of change.

You can jump start your journey to NFV and SDN with automation.  With it you can bring greater agility, and you can drive to a new operating model. Automation provides flexibility and improves existing operations. It positions you to deliver virtualized and hybrid services. Customer like Softbank have improved their time-to-delivery by 70 percent and reduced man-hours by 86 percent.

We have worked with a number of our customers who want to automate their operations. We have helped them analyze the value automation can bring to their businesses. Using data from their existing operations, we have quantified the impact automation has on their service delivery.

Automation can help you:

  • Provision services more quickly
  • Speed up order to cash
  • Reduce time to perform tasks
  • Improve customer satisfaction

We have created a benchmark to show best-in-class VPN operations from this work. The best SPs spent 5.8 person-hours to provision new customers and improved their process time by 78 percent. The benchmark data also shows change requests and MOP (Method of Procedures) execution were 81 percent faster after automation. Download the benchmark data to see where you stand.  As the data shows, when it comes to achieving best-in-class performance in service delivery, automation is a great place to start.

Source: Cisco Automation Benchmark

Cisco’s Open Network Architecture offers SPs the technology solutions that allow a speedy adoption of SDN and NFV technologies in their networks. It encompasses a broad set of automation solutions like the Network Services Orchestrator that will provide service agility and operational efficiency.


Sanjeev Mervana

Vice President of Product Management

Emerging Technologies & Incubation