In an on-demand world, instant and immediate is the expectation and slow and sluggish just won’t cut it. This puts service providers and carriers in a unique spot: how do you get an edge over your competition while continuing to launch and monetise new services, attract new customers and, ultimately, boost revenue? This is according to Mike Hemes, Regional Director, Western Europe, A10 Networks.
Here are eight ways service providers and carriers can win in an ever-changing market:
1. Prepare for what’s next
As service providers, you must stay up to speed on the next technology shift and solution. There are several things you can do today to future-proof your network for tomorrow, such as: preparing for the transition to 5G and an influx of connected devices; preserving your investment in IPv4 while you start transitioning to IPv6; focusing on network scale; and taking a security-first approach to protect your network from costly distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
2. Reduce your costs
To start reducing costs almost instantly, you can consider leveraging modern architectures. Adopting software defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualisation (NFV) or cloud computing can reduce your capital expenses and boost your bottom line. Also, leveraging a purpose-built solution for carrier grade NAT (CGNAT) functionality rather than supplementing existing chassis routers by adding software modules to line cards will help reduce infrastructure costs as subscribers scale up.
3. Build consistency
To build consistency: ensure your infrastructure can scale to provide around-the-cloud availability even under peak demand; focus on security to ensure DDoS attacks and breaches can’t take down your network or key services; and start converging services through consolidation, optimisation and automation.
4. Empower your customers
Putting control into customers’ hands has powerful benefits for you, such as reducing support volume, saving money, enabling personalisation and increasing customer satisfaction.
5. Speed time to market
As a service provider, there are several ways you can achieve agility, which can put you in the lead when it comes to time-to-market. Embracing open-source solutions and cloud computing; deploying new frameworks like SDN and NFV; and leveraging modern architectures such as microservices and containers will help you unlock the agility needed to get to market faster.
6. Deploy on your terms
There are several choices: hardware appliances are the tried and true workhorses that deliver reliability, throughput and scale; bare metal enables you to deploy application delivery and networking services as software on your choice of hardware; virtual deployments are flexible and offer advanced on-demand services; and cloud adds new levels of scalability and agility while reducing capex. Having several deployment options in your arsenal will help you succeed.
7. Flex your pricing prowess
Offering subscribers a pay-as-you-go consumption model is one way to keep pricing competitive. Leveraging cloud and cloud-native applications make that a possibility. Employing flexible licensing models is also a way you can keep pricing competitive. Subscription- or capacity-based flexible licensing also helps customers only pay for what they need, and not for what they don’t.
8. Strengthen your security
Leveraging solutions that provide DDoS defence, traffic decryption and inspection, and firewall services will ensure your network is protected against modern threats.