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Delivering New Business Value With High IQ Networks
Feb 23, 2014

The Service Edge is a key strategic asset for network operators. Traditionally, it is the point within network infrastructure where all value creation occurs. However, the world is shifting and Service Providers must transition from the traditional connectivity business models to embrace a more virtually-led or cloud-based business model of the future.

 

Today Juniper has reaffirmed its vision for Service Providers with the launch of our ‘High IQ Networks’. But as Thomas Edison succinctly stated: ‘A vision without execution is hallucination’. So I thought it would be useful to step back from the various announcement and describe some of the work we’re already doing to deliver quantified business value that preserves the significant investments operators have already made in the edge of their networks while unlocking new growth opportunities.

 

‘What does edge mean?’ is the single question I get asked the most. It’s a network term that is defined on a physical understanding of a traditional Service Provider network; it requires architecture knowledge to comprehend. Simply put, the Service Edge of the network has two primary functions; subscriber attachment and service delivery. It is the intersection of these two functions that defines the ‘connectivity’ business model. It also is a definition that is quickly changing.

 

What has becoming increasing clear over the past few years is that these two functions can be decoupled, both from each other as well as from the physical location where they currently reside. Virtualisation of subscriber attachment (via a Virtual CPE solution) and service delivery (via Cloud or NFV) are well-discussed strategies that operators around the world are working hard to build into their evolution strategies. Physical location is increasingly irrelevant as the virtual and physical worlds of networking blur together.

 

For Juniper and our customers, High IQ Networks are a key facet of an innovation agenda. Juniper’s strength at the Service Edge gives us a credible platform to blend emerging technology into a business layer conversation focused around new value. Innovation occurs at every layer of Juniper’s products and services and our role is to assist customers to adopt these tools to drive innovation within their own products and services. Naturally, our Edge platform is also our innovation platform.  This is good news for our customers who have already invested in the MX-Series in their networks.

 

The service providers that I speak to are looking to delivery new service capabilities in a way that leverages their strengths in building and operating networks. Our core values are perfectly aligned to these needs. Our expertise in building our own network silicon and our investment in common platforms such as the MX enable us to offer a portfolio with an industry leading ability automate, scale and rapidly create new services. Today’s SDN/NFV announcements continue in this direction to add new software capabilities that blend together the best parts of the physical world as a gateway into the virtual service creation platforms necessary to provide the personalization and agility of the future.

 

Each customer has its own set of constraints that act as a starting point for any network project. These include the Service Provider’s geography, user base, existing infrastructure, regulations, operating structures and CAPEX and OPEX plans. These combine into a diverse set of potential starting points.

 

Significant customer engagements across 2013 have shown me that real value can be uncovered by leveraging a clear design philosophy and guiding principles, connected with engagement methodologies that address the specific constraints each operators faces. This process leads to the creation of a network evolution strategy that connects technology to business imperatives with clear deliverables.

 

For example, assessment of the existing infrastructure and network silos helps to identify strategies to simplify and converge inefficient architectures. Legacy technologies such as TDM can be modernized with high-speed, low cost Ethernet based connectivity. Often single service silos can be combined through intelligent use of a Universal Edge.

 

These optimizations might be non-trivial to uncover, the recent acquisitions of WANDL combined with the announced NorthStar controller allow us to optimize the design of physical networks, and then to further utilize those networks with maximum efficiency and lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

 

Additionally, the subscriber and application insights gained within the Service Edge allow us to bridge the physical world into dynamic service chains that respond to the individual needs. We know that the world is no longer about a one-size-fits-all approach. The evolution of our industry won’t occur by shifting the cost of bandwidth between different stakeholders, it will occur by changing the nature of services.

 

Rather than focusing on segmentation of cost, the business models of the future will deliver high-value services that automatically incorporate the bandwidth, compute, storage and experience characteristics personalized to each and every moment of our day. Some fear that this means that the network becomes invisible, I like the think of it more that the network blurs seamlessly into the services that matter most. Therefore service creation becomes an essential conversation to understand the outcomes that technology must enable.

 

If you’re starting to think that this process is detailed and complex, don’t stress, we have a range of service creation, pre-sales and professional services resources to assist you in every step of the development, qualification and migration efforts. High IQ Networks are not just a future vision, they’re something all of us should already be building.