This is the time of the year when the ICT and telecom world comes together in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. As I reflect on the participant mix, it is evident that the future business models of different types of service providers are converging.
In the first wave of the Network Society, all human communications services converged onto common platforms through IP. A number of communication service providers and end user device providers benefited greatly from this evolution and established themselves as the foundation of the digital economy. While on user devices, experiences converged as apps, the infrastructure still carried significant capex and opex and remained architected in a vertical fashion.
The key role of horizontal cloud-based technology
In the current wave of digital economic growth, the Internet of Things (IoT) provides umpteen opportunities to create large volumes and varieties of innovative services. These services will, arguably, generate much lower ARPU per service but the sheer volume of these services will drive revenue growth.
In order for communication service providers to impact the value chain, it becomes imperative that they experiment with new sets of services at high velocity. In other words the ability to experiment at low costs and the ability to scale rapidly when experiments are successful become the key success factors. This requires the service providers to transform their infrastructure, applications and operations to run stacks of horizontal cloud-based technologies. This gives them the option to create effective partnerships easily – consuming and offering services from each other in partner ecosystems to create new experiences that can be monetized. We see our customers taking different types of journeys within this sphere, and we have partnered with them to realize their goals.
Facility and datacenter transformation
At the bottom of the horizontal layers, we are helping our customers transform their facilities – such as central offices, Video Hub Officers (VHOs) and Mobile Telephone Switching Offices (MTSOs) – and datacenters through consolidation, rationalization and modernization programs. Our assets discovery services, environmental design and implementation services help our customers gain capital and operational expenditure efficiencies.
Beyond facilities we are helping our clients with transforming their traditional systems deployment approaches, which often have long lead times, to software-defined agile ICT infrastructure deployments, in which datacenter capabilities are rapidly realized in different form factors on demand. This means that we create Rack Scale Architecture-based infrastructure to adopt COTS products for compute, storage and network components with a single pane of glass for command and control.
Fulfilling the need for public, private and edge cloud platforms
Above the software-defined infrastructure, we have been engaged with our customers in defining a cloud platform that decouples the applications/workloads from the underlying infrastructures. This layer address the service providers’ need for public, hybrid, private and edge cloud platforms with intelligence built for instantiating the resources at different locations through common service and resource orchestration layers. We see private clouds being built rapidly with open source technologies like OpenStack with provisions to integrate with existing public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services.
The building blocks of cloud-based transformation
Using the above layers as the foundation, we are partnering with our customers to plan, transform and operate in their target state with any combination of the following:
- starting on the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) journey so they can deploy software-only virtual network functions (VNFs) for capital and operation spend efficiencies as well as new revenues
- cloudify their existing portfolio of IT, media, OSS, BSS, homegrown, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and utility applications
- create a DevOps environment for green field IoT and digital engagement apps.
In addition to addressing the service providers market, we have extended these capabilities to address all enterprises with a need for an agile IT infrastructure as well.
If you want to explore cloud transformation further, please download our new white paper on the cloud transformation journey: