The global digital transformation market is expected to continue to grow. At the forefront of that
transformation are Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
technologies, which are creating new opportunities to redefine the customer experience by delivering
agile and on-demand services. While there’s a lot of industry buzz about these services as we approach
ONUG Spring 2018 in San Francisco, and many people generally understand SDN and NFV technologies, there seems to be a gap when it comes to the practical application of these technologies in today’s networks.
When you look at it from a technical aspect, SDN uses centralized administration and control to select
the best path across the variety of available network connections for enterprise applications, based on
the performance requirements of the specific applications, e.g., voice. Virtual networks are largely
based on the same principles as traditional, physical networking, but they utilize software-driven NFV to combine distant and disparate assets in a more efficient manner. While many understand these
technologies, we find that organizations are struggling to implement them and ultimately realize the
As organizations evaluate SDN and NFV, some of the key digital transformation challenges include:
1. Fear of the unknown – These are still somewhat new technologies and organizations are trying to assess if implementing the technology will provide the financial returns and operational
efficiencies promised in all the industry hype. Will it be another technology boom or bust?
2. Skill gap – Do you have the in-house skills and expertise to assess, design, and implement thesetechnologies? For many organizations, SDN/NFV represent uncharted waters – are you ready to navigate the unknown?
3. Multiple options – Do you still keep your MPLS network, gradually implement SDN/NFV, or
pursue an aggressive implementation schedule? Which option is right for your business? It can be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out the right technologies and strategy for your network.
Don’t let the above reasons delay the progress you need to make in transforming your network. While navigating this new landscape can be a bit tricky, it’s not impossible. Collaborate with a provider that can help you quickly realize your financial and operational return on this investment. Here are a couple of things to consider.
1. Leadership – Everyone is talking about their SDN/NFV capabilities, but only a few providers lead in this space. Can their solutions meet your organization’s business needs and what is their
road map for the future? Are they able to help you innovate without breaking the bank?
2. Proven expertise – Does your provider have the skill set and operational experience to help you assess, design, and implement the network that is right for you? What is their experience with actual customer deployments?
3. Customer centric approach – Ultimately, SDN/NFV technologies help you streamline your
network and improve operational efficiencies. However, as the user of the technology, what is
your customer experience? Is there a simple intuitive customer interface to design, configure
and order services? One that offers a cloud-oriented experience that enables personalization
based on preferences, or “drag and drop” features to quickly configure new services
By participating in this ONUG event, you’ve already taken a crucial step in navigating the digital
transformation landscape. Stop by and visit us during the event to learn more about what to consider when implementing SDN and NFV, and how we can help your organization confront digital transformation challenges.