Network Virtualization: Challenging the Status Quo

A brief look into how software defined networking and network function virtualization technologies will evolve Customer Purchasing Behaviour

RiseThe rise of software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) has been much lauded in the telecommunications industry, though attention from the Customer and Enterprise has been somewhat quieter

Admittedly the technology does offer the most direct benefits to the telcos (some pessimists have commented that SDN and NFV are simply an answer to flattening revenues), though there are numerous different ways that the Customer can benefit

One area which has been raised recently is how SDN and NFV will change the way the Customer purchases services and products

Firstly, there are is one question which needs to be asked – is there a problem with the current procurement model?

On the surface there is not a problem. The Customer is relatively happy with purchasing services and products, for a defined period of time, and then waiting to a defined period of time for the product/service to be delivered. Whilst there are no any complaints for the moment, this may be attributed to the fact that there is no alternative

This is where SDN and NFV can offer a significant advantage

Time of Delivery

Whereas the delivery of services and products can take weeks’ (if not months) within the current model, the implementation of virtualized solutions can bring this down to seconds. The decision making process does not have to be such an arduous, or time consuming task, ensuring a much more fluid relationship between buyers and sellers

On-demand Services

As mentioned above, within the model services and products have to be purchased for a pre-determined period of time. Currently there are few complaints, simply because there is not an alternative. That said, the flexibility and innovation which can be achieved through virtualization is a huge plus. Ad-hoc campaigns, or rapid product deployment is now a real possibility as the planning and provisioning process (having to specifically decide on the time-frames in which the service / product is required) is relatively redundant

Removal of the Redundancy Point

It would be a safe assumption that 99.9% of the world plan significantly beyond their average bandwidth requirement, simply because they have to. Whether it be linked to regulations, internal compliance or peak performance levels, the majority of an organizations bandwidth capacity is redundant for a significant proportion of the week. An introduction of SDN and NFV, as well as the opportunity for Bandwidth On-demand products, almost completely remove this redundancy


All of the above points will contribute to a more fluid purchasing model, as well as a much more efficient way for the Customer to manage and allocate expenditure

Whilst it is all very well detailing the potential benefits, the Customer is still not quite convinced. The status quo is the status quo for a very good reason – with a lack of alternative, the industry are happy with the current purchasing model

IT and Networking decisions makers are a conservative bunch (most certainly within Enterprise) and we’re unlikely to see any immediate acceptance of the new opportunities. The benefits are clear but like with any other technology advancement, there will be an adoption curve with the more creative organizations undertaking the technology at the beginning and the more conservative in the long-term

Irrelevant of when the adoption takes place, SDN and NFV will significantly alter Customer Purchasing Behaviour

What next?

Bringing together the worlds’ leading SDN and NFV Innovators, IIR’s Network Virtualization World Series will discuss the only question which now matters; how can we make SDN and NFV a reality?

Through practical case studies, technology demonstrations and interactive debates, the IIR Network Virtualization World Series will address all the final roadblocks

  • What is the best strategy to integrate and manage SDN & NFV alongside legacy networks
  • How can we monetize the technology and where can we commercialize the individual features?
  • What is the roadmap to full-scale, live deployment?

Simply follow the below links to learn more about the regionalized forums:

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