Programmable Networks Here & Now: Empowering Innovations for Enterprise



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Gone are the days of enterprise private networks requiring capex-heavy budgets for hardware, real estate, multiple software licenses, difficult to manage and expensive private lines, complicated contracts and frustrating vendor lock-ins.

Enterprise networking has been liberated, and enlightened IT teams and their service providers are switching things up from legacy telephony to virtualized, software-defined and innovation-driven programmable networks empowering businesses to meet the challenges of the hyper-connected, always-on world of digital commerce.

Software, web and mobile applications, which are changing the way businesses attract and serve customers, drove us to the cloud.  Communications networks are adapting to support the cloud, and the apps that simply run better in distributed computing environments, including real time voice, messaging and video collaboration.

Programmable networks adapt quickly, improve performance, and evolve, scaling up and down to meet the changing needs of global enterprises. Transformed pure IP networks are helping the largest banks, hospitals, educational institutions and governments seize opportunities and reduce expenses.

Even more critically, when engineered with quality and precision, they help protect the most valuable assets: data, proprietary information, private information and physical assets when those networks support things as well as people.

What do programmable networks allow enterprise IT teams to do?

  1. Embrace digital transformation and quickly respond to customers
  2. Enable immediate and/or automated service provisioning
  3. Plan and manage computing resources, bandwidth and access from the edge to the core
  4. See and support traffic patterns associated with applications
  5. Control which applications are prioritized and when
  6. Unify systems for greater transparency and governance
  7. Connect headquarters and branch offices more efficiently and flexibly
  8. Support remote workers with secure, high-performance mobile applications
  9. Re-design contact centers into customer engagement hubs at dramatically lower costs and higher satisfaction scores
  10. Support innovation of new applications through more agile DevOps capabilities

Enterprise CIOs should ask themselves and their teams: will our network be flexible and strong enough to support our business ambitions for years to come?

Enterprise CFOs should take a hard look at the numbers, and determine at which point it makes sense to pivot away from technical debt and move into an all-opex communications as a service environment.

The benefits of transformation can be stunning.

The cloud paved the way for on demand cloud communications-as-a-service by improving the quality, performance and economics of computing.

Bringing voice, video and messaging to the cloud only makes sense as a second act, and in fact will lead to what could be the massive third act for cloud – and that is supporting not only computing, but communications and IoT. Bringing together systems which allow enterprises to operate better – blending people and things – could be the greatest ulitimate pay-off.

In the meantime, the second wave of network transformation is supporting human collaboration, internally and externally, including leveraging embedded communications (click to call, click to chat, click to visually interact) to improve productivity and customer service.

The transformed Wide Area Network (WAN) must become not just application-aware but application-driven, and virtualized. Software defined networking approaches make that not only possible but inevitable.

As programmable networking evolves, enterprises across all industry verticals, as well as large government agencies, educational institutions and media companies will benefit from an expanding array of network, managed services, security, cloud and application services that can be ordered, provisioned and managed in real time via a unified dashboard, even when the network is supporting multiple third party applications. How? Through the magic of APIs.

Programmable networks enable enterprises and organizations to easily build and access applications, and secure the perimeter more easily and cost-efficiently than we could have imagined even recently. Connecting headquarters, branch offices, retail locations, remote workers, ecosystem partners, and sales channels on demand is simple when network designers can point and click up networks.

Better experiences for all, more adaptive capabilities, better economics and tighter security are among the many benefits of transforming legacy networks into the programmable real time communications networks. Extra benefits? Going forward, intelligent automation will reduce the burden of network management and provide more visibility and therefore better governance and compliance, which are becoming increasingly challenging – and important – to companies who must protect not only their internal data but their customers’ data as well.

Programmable networks that enable enterprises or their managed services providers to self-provision network capacity, services and applications, prioritize traffic, manage low latency and ultra-low latency applications, and ensure the right level of bandwidth is always available – including for business continuity – are changing the game. And the winners in their business games understand this and are moving forward with a liberated mentality.