Layer123 confirms the urgent need for automation and standardization of communication networks
We recently participated in Layer123 World Congress in London, Europe’s leading telco network transformation event. The key topics discussed at the conference clearly show that the telco industry faces the pressing need for automation and standardization to create global interconnected networks and clouds.
The automated networks interconnected based on standard APIs are the basis for solving key challenges that the industry is currently facing and that were discussed during various panels at Layer123. They include:
- NaaS (Network as a Service)
- Collaboration with partners and suppliers
- Collaboration with hyperscalers
- Digital sovereignty
The message from Layer123 World Congress regarding Network as a Service is evident. It is the future of the industry. Networks will become a utility, so they must be automated and resilient. The automation is not only about day 1 (provisioning) but more importantly about day 2 (management).
To be successful in network management organizations must:
- implement close-loop solutions (intent or ML driven)
- automate collaboration with partners – “APIs are more important than ENNIs”
- by using the right standards to facilitate collaboration (e.g. MEF or TM Forum)
- learn from vendors and suppliers – as they can provide recipes that already work for others
- introduce DevOps style of working into networks
- learn how to use cloud-native solutions and utilize public clouds in a cost-effective way
Furthermore, communication providers should be aware that they need to deal with various multi-cloud concerns like connectivity, cost optimization, and security. They should also keep in mind that an automated network is a key enabler for other new trends in networking, including geo-fencing and power (carbon-footprint) optimization.
Collaboration with partners is key to success
Collaboration between communication providers and their suppliers and partners is key to success as more and more often you are not able to deliver products to customers on your own. Unified partner systems can cover key segments needed for the new products to be delivered, including distribution, content/OTT, roaming, wholesale billing, MVNO, and more.
This collaboration is again possible only when it is based on interconnected networks that are able to exchange data and communicate with each other in real-time. And you need your suppliers and partners to use of right standards (like MEF, TM Forum, 3GPP, and GSMA) to make this collaboration efficient.
Layer123 participants also emphasized that new network products offered to customers should meet the following expectations:
- simple and easy-to-understand
- with automatic provisioning
- using the right standards (like MEF)
- with high potential revenue streams
Collaboration with hyperscalers
The collaboration between communication providers and hyperscalers has been happening for some time. Service Providers use cloud resources to extend their networks and to host components of their BSS/OSS stack. On the other hand, hyperscalers use Service Providers as their network extension (e.g. edge computing) to offer services to cloud users. So the benefits are for both parties despite many concerns on the part of telcos regarding the potential lock-in resulting from this cooperation.
It was center stage on Layer123 during various discussion panels that any kind of telco-cloud convergence wouldn’t be possible without network and cloud automation and standardization.
Layer123 accentuated the role of digital sovereignty expectations that must be taken into account by telcos while architecting modern networking solutions. People should have control over their own data that is processed in digital systems. This is an important challenge that has to be addressed and the basis for the solution to that is again automated and standard-based interconnected networks.
Amartus is working with a global customer base of Tier 1-3 service providers, helping them to fast-track their implementation of MEF LSO / TM Forum standardized processes and APIs. We are long-time, active contributors to the development of the standards and offer our nBrace™ Inter-provider Automation solutions for their speedy implementation and testing. We also provide highly-innovative products and services resulting from telco-cloud convergence, as well as intra- or inter-provider automation.
If you are a service provider and don’t want to be left behind we encourage you to reach out to learn how we can help you get on board quickly!