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Here’s how cable may conquer the business services market

Business services are a multi-billion-dollar opportunity for cable operators. Multiple system operators (MSO) like Comcast are seeing substantial growth in this area. But on the whole, MSOs are capturing less than half the addressable market even with the huge enterprise presence in their service areas. Why? In addition to telco incumbency, new business consumption trends mean that cable may lack in portfolio offers while new entrants also quickly emerge.

Cloud levels the playing field with dynamic enterprise services

The good news is that massive adoption of the cloud puts telcos and cablecos on a level playing field. As they become more cloud-savvy, businesses are looking for low-cost, fast, and flexible ways to extend virtualized resources to multiple locations and on-the-go workforces. Our industry is referring to this opportunity as dynamic enterprise services (DES). It’s a brand-new playground requiring new expertise. Whoever adapts the fastest will reap the most reward.

A key to unlocking DES opportunities is applying the principles of software-defined networking to the wide area network. SD-WAN offers a compelling use case for entering the B2B market or enhancing existing physical connectivity offers and growing the customer base. Its powerful automation brings fast and flexible service delivery capabilities to provide automated VPN branch connectivity.

Once connectivity is in place, operators can provide a host of value-added services such as firewalling, internet breakout, anti-malware or connectivity to public cloud applications in a fully automated manner. This makes for a great customer experience and generates up-scope possibilities. In fact, offering SD-WAN connectivity bundled with associated value-added services is the way many cable operators take their first steps into the previously untapped dynamic enterprise services market.

The question for MSOs regarding any kind of virtualization in their networks is how far and fast to take it?

In our experience, cable operators can build their strategy from a bottom up (networking) or top down (business systems) perspective. Here are three building blocks that Nokia typically discusses:

Bottom up or top down

Connectivity: SD-WAN enables fast and flexible overlay service delivery for automated VPN branch connectivity, using for example our Nuage Virtualized Network Services solution.

Adding value added services: This requires orchestration to augment and differentiate the overlay connectivity offer. Using Nokia Virtual Networks Orchestration, you can chain services together to simplify and accelerate turn-up of new services such as virtualized firewalls, network address translation, anti-DDoS, access control or WAN optimization.


Multi-domain orchestration: Via a top down approach, cable operators can leverage the Nokia FlowOne orchestration suite for full service lifecycle management of complex services across multiple domains such as IT, networking, business support systems or third party applications.  

As SD-WAN becomes the gold standard for business service connectivity, cable operators can leverage orchestration to differentiate and grow their B2B business.

Looking to refresh your B2B service strategy?

Download our new white paper on Virtualized B2B solutions for cable MSOs: Part 2: Differentiate cable B2B connectivity services with service and network orchestration

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #SDWAN, #MSOs, #networkorchestration, #vB2B

Steve Davidson

About Steve Davidson

Within Nokia's European field marketing team Steve is focused on cable and telco evolution, with 30+ years' experience in the general telecoms industry. When he's not focused on bringing innovation to how operators architect their evolving business, he may be found trying to innovate in the kitchen, or even dusting off his acoustic guitars to architect a tune or two.

Tweet me at @stevedavidson15

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