Cloud-centric Networking: The Platform Changes Everything
There is new momentum and excitement in the global connectivity and communications marketplace. The Cloud is now a mainstream reality around the world and network providers are beginning to adapt and re-define their service offerings as a result. I see 2017 as the year in which Cloud-centric networks shape how service providers support their customers, enable them to realise new opportunities and capture new sources of long-term growth.
Enterprises are hungry for a new way to network their Cloud, content and communications services and they are excited to see service provider networks evolve. The huge push towards the Cloud, means that service providers need to deliver new Cloud-based networking models and transform their approach to serving customers. Today’s networks need to be agile, secure, on demand, configurable through API and offer high levels of Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience (QoE) with massive scalability. Without moving beyond their legacy approach to infrastructure, service providers risk losing relevance and their customers to more dynamic, agile and innovative providers.
This is all good news for Epsilon. The pace of change in networking is accelerating and this new world matches our vision for simple intelligent connectivity solutions. Cloud-centric networking and our long-term vision for the market directly addresses this need for change and helps our partners to successfully transform their business. From day one we have been focused on finding the simplest way to connect our partners around the globe and that is continuing in the Cloud era.
While networking technologies have continued to change and evolve, our sole purpose has been to make connectivity simple and to enable the success of our partners. As the appetite for new models have grown, we’ve been working on new ways to deliver simplicity in a world that is more interconnected than ever but also fraught with growing complexity, performance and security concerns.
The Platform is a Differentiator
I see platforms as the key to service provider success in 2017. Disparate services that once sat in silos today are being unified to offer seamless end-to-end solutions with a single user experience that accelerates how services can be deployed globally. As software-defined networking (SDN) and different portal offerings emerge, networking platforms are becoming essential differentiators for our service provider partners.
International networking used to be about where you could connect a customer at either A to B. You could offer them a price and deliver the service over a few days or weeks. You could ‘land and expand’ in a new market and capture revenue by offering competitive pricing or dedicated customer service.
The Cloud has changed that.
For our partners, the speed, efficiency and ease of use of their networking platform creates new competitive advantages. The platform is a central ecosystem where they can access connectivity around the globe, monitor performance end-to-end, optimise networks for specific applications and turn up multiple services on demand. It gives them a tool for serving multiple demands immediately with an almost limitless global scale. With the right platform, they can transform their business to succeed in today’s market.
A Big Year for Cloud Connectivity
Our work throughout 2016 has all been about preparation up to this point. We saw tremendous interest and good uptake in our CloudLX Cloud connectivity platform and we will see that seamlessly integrate into a larger portfolio of on demand and intelligent connectivity services.
Data centre operators and regional service providers have been an interesting new market opportunity for Epsilon. These operators have seen how our platform can accelerate how they connect their customers and differentiate their businesses. We signed partnerships with some of the largest and most significant data centre operators such as Telehouse, Volta, GTN, Cologuard, Netrality and Keppel and will continue to strengthen and build on these relationships into 2017 and beyond.
They’ve been able to remove the limits on what kind of business they compete for while adding new sustainable revenue streams. The opportunities will only grow in 2017 as we add new capabilities to our platform and offer our partners an expanded portfolio of instantly accessible services.
Expanding Our Scope
To support our continued growth, we partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform while also opening new Points of Presence (PoPs) in Volta London, Cologuard Brooklyn, GTN Indonesia and Dallas. We are continuing to grow our global presence and the Cloud service providers we connect. Our goal is to offer a Platform as a Service (PaaS) model that is ubiquitous and able to connect our partners and customers to a multi-Cloud offering.
In addition to growing our interconnect fabric and global infrastructure, we’ve now made it easier for partners to work with us. We achieved Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) CE 2.0 certification for our on demand Ethernet services. That enables partners to interconnect with us knowing that, although we are pushing the limits of automation in our Ethernet services, we offer carrier-class and standardised-based Ethernet.
We have also built our team with strategic hires. We added industry veteran Carl Roberts as our Chief Commercial Officer. Carl’s time at Verizon brings unique insight and experience to the team as well as a real passion for global networking. He will be leading the group’s commercial efforts and helping us to bring our platform to more service providers globally.
We also added Raymond Yeo as Chief Financial Officer. Raymond has a lot of experience within the Asia-Pacific market and with different kinds of entrepreneurial and innovative technology businesses. Raymond will be leading teams to strengthen and develop the group organisational structures and ensure we have solid foundation to build on.
I’m excited about these hires because they add some unique perspective to our business and bring different backgrounds to our leadership team. I appreciate the mix of characters and talent we’ve assembled and we’re going to continue to add talent to our team as we grow.
Talent will be key to not just developing new ideas but executing on them. In a market that is increasingly wide open with new players, the best ideas are not the ones that change our industry but the ones that are executed effectively.
Priorities in 2017
In 2017, we are focused on delivering Cloud-centric networking via our PaaS model. This means simplifying key services and streamlining them to be accessed on demand via our platform.
Our platform brings together all aspects of international networking into one place. It integrates on demand Ethernet, SD-WAN, Cloud access and global SIP into one seamless user experience. These solutions behave like apps that our partners can access via a self-service model. This is exciting because it removes the friction from international networking and gives partners all the tools they need to deliver Cloud, content and Real-Time Communication Services (RTC).
The platform is supported with real-time analytics that assist in troubleshooting and optimisation while partners can click-to-connect any of the services they want from one web-based portal or API. The legacy networking silos are gone as well as the manual processes that reduce a service provider’s ability to meet demand for Cloud-based services. It puts the scalability and control into the hands of the user and puts Cloud enablement front and centre.
The platform and its user experience becomes the differentiator rather than geographic reach. It adapts the network for the Cloud era and aids the transformation from dumb pipes to smart utility. That’s very exciting. Our partners can approach their businesses with underlying infrastructure they can rely on and globally available network resource.
There are four things that I see as key to our business over the next 12 months:
- Delivering a Comprehensive End-to-End Platform
We are taking self-service portals and APIs to a new level. Through integrating on demand Ethernet, Cloud access, SD-WAN and global SIP into one user experience, we are removing the complexity from global networking and accelerating how our partners connect their customers. We are enabling partners to access all their networking needs via a single platform.
- Supporting Growth in SIP Globally
Our SIP Trunk Federation is bringing together SIP providers and enabling them to rapidly connect to partners around the world. It enables local SIP offerings to go global and local or regional providers to capture new and larger contracts. We are focused on demonstrating the value of the federation and accelerating how SIP providers serve global demand.
- Enabling the Global IT Channel
I see tremendous potential in the global IT channel. New and different players are integrating networking into their offers and expanding their reach. We are supporting partners with different channel delivery models like white-label solutions and APIs. Our platform can be accessed via an API and will enable new players to plug our network services into their existing platforms. White-label solutions will enable partners to maintain direct customer relationships while leveraging our platform.
- Making Cloud-centric Networking a Reality
In everything we do, we are focused on enablement and making Cloud-centric networking a reality. We have all the skills, talent and technology to deliver networks that enable the success of our partners in the Cloud. In 2017, we will make Cloud-centric networking a reality for our partners and enable them to rapidly roll out elastic, fluid and intelligent networks globally.
This time next year, we will have rolled out our platform and seen it adopted globally. Our partners will experience on demand access to a range of services that will help them serve new enterprise demand. They will be able to accelerate how they serve customers and provide enterprise infrastructure that they can depend on. That will enable innovative services to be developed and deployed globally.
2017 will be the year that we see Cloud-centric networking follow Cloud into the mainstream and enable networking to move from a barrier to an enabler for innovation.