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Cisco Brings Cloud, Edge & Enterprise Together for New Service Revenues

Cisco Systems
Partner Perspectives
Cisco Systems

If you're a service provider today, your days are likely filled with more questions than answers. The new technology "hype cycle" continues to accelerate, the pressure to reduce operating costs has probably reached new levels and the unending quest to find new sources of revenue is increasingly difficult.

More than ever before, service providers need more out of their suppliers than just a transactional arrangement -- they need partners that stand beside them and help them to address new market opportunities. Cisco's goal is to be that partner for service providers. We deliver solutions that leverage industry innovation, driving down operating costs, and that set the stage for an entirely new service revenue model.

The service provider operating environment today is comprised of a series of domains:

  • The core and edge network: These have traditionally been strictly defined discrete domains that operate in a specific manner and interconnect as required by business needs.
  • The end user: Traditionally this domain was dominated by consumers, particularly for mobile services. More recently, this domain also encompasses new opportunities for serving the enterprise customer.

The enterprise mobile service opportunity has emerged as the next frontier for service revenue to complement the mobile consumer market. Cisco believes with its strategy, service providers can thrive over the next decade by providing discrete innovations at each domain level, bringing the entire infrastructure together under a common automation and security system and optimally serving both enterprise and consumer markets.

The cloud has become an undeniable factor in consumers and enterprise services. Soon, every service will be originated on a public, private or hybrid cloud. With the right tools in place, service providers have a distinct opportunity to monetize this trend in several ways. First, cloud connectivity becomes a must-have for all. No entity is better positioned to deliver this capability than the service provider. Second, cloud interconnections will increasingly become pervasive, and service providers are well-suited to deliver those interconnections. Third, service hosting will become a massive market demand. Again, service providers are the foremost experts at providing this type of service to their customers. Finally, not every service will exist in the same cloud, so the need to efficiently manage multi-cloud environments and ensure that services are brokered and secured properly will be paramount.

Cisco can help service providers capitalize on these opportunities, with capabilities such as control/user plane separation, distributed architecture for key network functions and network slicing so that operators can partition their network and position functions and services exactly where and when they need them. These capabilities are completely automated, simplifying service creation and reducing time to revenue.

All of this amounts to a net-new and strategic service opportunity for service providers with the emergence of the cloud as a legitimate piece of the future service architecture.

Traditionally, the edge of the network has been an obscure and uninteresting point in the overall infrastructure. The future of network infrastructure is sure to dispel this characterization, as the edge now becomes the most appropriate point for service delivery due to the numerous optimization benefits that it provides, including traffic offload, better radio resource utilization and more bandwidth to the subscribers. Opportunities are quickly emerging for service providers to leverage the decentralizing characteristics of future network design (like 5G) with full distributed computation resources at the network edge and localized SD-WAN instantiation at the enterprise edge. These new design possibilities also reduce service providers' operational costs by leveraging the potentially millions of square feet of geographically dispersed real estate that ride for free on balance sheets each quarter.

Cisco delivers key capabilities for the service provider edge to achieve this new design, such as extending key service and forwarding functions from the core to the edge and providing the benefits of mobile anchoring for advertising, policy, authentication and charging control. As a result, latency-sensitive services and content caching are located closer to service provider customers, improving their connected experience. The network edge is the most efficient part of the network to deliver new interactive services and offers an entire host of possibilities for lowering operational cost and creating new service revenue opportunities.

The enterprise market is one of the most attractive of the service provider's opportunities for service revenue growth. The days when it was served predominantly with xDSL and leased lined are fading quickly, instead the enterprise requires capabilities such as: efficient SD-WAN delivery; cost-effective migration from traditional internet circuits; and in the context of ubiquitous mobile, a trusted and managed service that addresses inter-network roaming and a secure user experience. The value that service providers can bring to the enterprise is becoming that trusted partner supporting the enterprise journey to wholly digital, cloud-based services.

The intersection of cloud, edge and enterprise, service providers are uniquely positioned to leverage their existing infrastructure from top to bottom while realizing the next generation of service revenue generation. Cisco is the ideal partner of choice, with best-in-class and cohesive product portfolio (for example built on a common orchestration and security capability), forming a solution set that service providers can rely on to help navigate market challenges, offer new revenue-generating services and provide network efficiencies that reduce cost and increase profitability.

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