Successfully operationalizing SDN/NFV

Despite the promised benefits of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), communications service providers (CSPs) have been slow to adopt the technologies, and Ari Banerjee, Vice President of Strategy, Netcracker, has clearly experienced some negativity.

“Naysayers continue to say it’s ‘impossible’ to make money from SDN/NFV,” he said at TM Forum Live! Asia. His response to such push-back? “We believe in the ‘impossible’ theory.”

The steps to business success

The key to success with virtualization technologies is focusing on the business, Banerjee said. “We’re at a time now where technology is no longer a barrier, and service providers who have taken a business-focused approach are gaining success.

“A solid go-to-market strategy and execution will drive business success.”

Banerjee outlined the key steps for CSPs to take:

  • Concentrate on your go-to-market strategy, to focus virtualization efforts and thus energize sales
  • Adopt multi-channel marketplace and self-service to not only save money and time in resources, but to empower customers to get what they need, within their own timescales
  • Adopt DevOps and design thinking to build innovative solutions fast and generate revenue faster
  • Drive operations in a top-down service approach so that senior management are behind projects every step of the way  they can champion projects to help accelerate new service launches

How do we know it works?

Without naming the companies, Banerjee outlined three case studies where this approach has been successful:

Case 1: Fast time-to-market with digitized operations

A service provider was planning to launch its services over 12 weeks using the clunky plans and systems that it always has used. Then it adopted a business focused approach.

  • DevOps delivery: It held daily scrum meetings, worked to 3 sprints a month, produces 76 users stories and 258 tasks.
  • End-to-end automation: this was held across the physical and virtual networks and was enables by  a full stack of MANO and OSS/BSS
  • Results: The company reduced its time for new VNF onboarding by 70%, and it took just 2-4 weeks to launch a new set of services.
Case 2: Better customer experience for revenue growth

The illustration below demonstrates the benefits one service provider saw from focusing more on the customer and marketplace:

Source: Netcracker

Case 3: Innovative business models to transform business

The next illustration describes the benefits of a telco’s transition from an on-premise provider to an XaaS provider:

Source: Netcracker

All three CSPs were able to:

  • Go from monolith verticals to self-sufficient domain orchestrators for faster service delivery by avoiding time-wasting processes
  • Adopt a hybrid virtual private network (VPN), combining two kinds of secure VPNs into one gateway to take advantage of what both are able to provide
  • Organize and manage ecosystems efficiently so that all partners are working together efficiently and avoiding any wasted time through misunderstandings
  • Streamline revenue management to increase financial insight and control
  • Adopt centralized, automated license managements for VNFs and cloud services to ensure total visibility of all software licensing to avoid inconsistent data from disparate systems affecting the ability to make sound business decisions
  • Use a centralized catalog to avoid product duplication and be assured as to what services and products do and do not exist
  • Unifiy customer journey management to ensure all customer areas are aligned and provide a seamless experience


    About The Author


    Arti has been writing and editing for seven years in the fields of technology, business and finance. She is particularly interested in how firms are innovating to bring us into the next digital age.

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