Top digital brands today move fast. Their products can be accessed and adjusted on demand, through self-service portals. From configuring cable TV to tweaking a cloud hosting package, people expect to be able to do things online – and that their choices will take effect immediately.

Until recently, service providers haven’t been held to the same expectations. But thanks to programmable network technology, they can now offer this type of experience too, opening up a wealth of new business opportunities by enabling them to offer the kind of services their customers now expect.

Programmable networks use software to make the most of your existing physical equipment. Thanks to technologies such as virtualisation, segment routing and telemetry, they can transport data around the network in a more efficient way, extending your capacity. Many of these processes can be automated, bringing major operational savings.

Free to roam

What kind of new services do programmable networks make possible? Imagine a family who are planning the holiday of a lifetime that would take in several different countries. They don’t want to rack up huge bills on data, but can’t find a roaming pass that covers all the places they’ll be visiting.

At present, that’s a problem – but a provider using a programmable network could give their customers the opportunity to log in to a self-service portal and create a roaming pass configured to match their own individual itineraries. A product like this would be too complex to offer using a traditional network setup, but the agility of programmable network technology makes it feasible.

And there are so many other applications for the flexibility that programmable networks offer. Service providers could enable people to upgrade to cloud digital video recording in their home, or activate more bandwidth on demand, for example.


Bringing businesses up to speed

Self-service is also set to bring real benefits in the business world. It could allow companies to configure a new VPN service automatically using drag and drop functionality – and then adjust it to match their developing business priorities. Or to create and continuously refine the networks that will support the Internet of Things.

Last year, Deutsche Telekom used programmable network technology to launch a new cloud virtual private network (VPN) service. Business customers can use an online self-service portal to select, subscribe to and activate secure and scalable internet services.

The customers use a management dashboard to track the status and performance of their service. They can upgrade their packages – increasing the number of users or the bandwidth for example – with a click of a mouse. Provisioning is automatic and real time.This is just one example of how businesses are adapting to a competitive environment by quickly developing and implementing new services. Cisco’s programmable network technology makes this possible, because of its ability to re-provision capacity in real time.

It means that providers will be able to offer network services that are available instantaneously, bringing them up to speed with an application-driven, digital economy.

Bring products to market quickly

Programmable network technology doesn’t just enable you to do this: it makes it easy. It means you can bring your products to market fast – reducing the time from months to minutes – and respond quickly to a changing business environment.

In today’s economy, the rewards go to the most agile companies. Cisco gives you the tools to deliver the services that your customers need for lasting success.


  • The top digital brands today move fast. Their products can be accessed and adjusted on demand, through self-service portals.
  • Thanks to programmable network technology, service providers can now offer this type of experience too, opening up a wealth of new business opportunities.
  • Programmable network technology could allow consumers or companies to configure the services they need themselves, using drag and drop
  • Offering on-demand network services will enable service providers to match customer expectations in an application-driven, digital economy.
  • To learn more: visit our Evolved Programmable Network page.



Guillaume Gottardi

Solution Architect