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NaaS enables accelerated business transformation — especially with the right partner.
Making a move to NaaS typically has meant transitioning from CapEx to OpEx, from the back office and data centers to the cloud, from improving network performance and availability to delivering business outcomes. A move to NaaS is made to level up your enterprise.
It is quite a compelling proposition: scalability, agility, and cost-effectiveness.
And NaaS is arriving not a day too early, as functional leaders — not to mention C-Suites and board rooms — insist upon true business productivity yields from their investments in the network.
But hold on. As with any big move, there are some challenges.
A smooth and productive move to NaaS is not a guarantee.
Luckily, the smart technologists at Microland have spent the past few years addressing these challenges. Their work ensures that Microland's NaaS is a comprehensive solution that allows organizations to consume the full range of network estate (underlying Operating Platform, Services, and Hardware/Software footprint) in an “as a service” manner that prioritizes business outcomes, security, and user experience– all wrapped in first-class customer service.
Five potential barriers to NaaS adoption:
#1 Complexity in the integration with the existing ecosystem of siloed tools and OEM platforms
Shifting to NaaS implies integrating with existing IT infrastructure which can be complex. An enterprise using legacy systems may find it cumbersome and expensive to integrate with the NaaS offering.
Network as a Service (NaaS) by Microland is built on a unique platform-centric delivery model that ensures network services are provided on a modular, centrally managed, open, and extensible consumption-driven model. Big picture: this is a shift from siloed tools and management to an integrated, centrally managed solution.
This plug-and-play architecture assures enterprises can leapfrog into their NaaS journey by seamlessly onboarding and integrating their existing investments in tools and technologies. Microland NaaS platform accelerates this with its automated deployment, testing, and validation of integration effectiveness.
And for those enterprises who are “legacy-laden,” Microland has innovated a flexible absorption model for NaaS that can either be staggered with Microland assuming operations and then transitioning to NaaS over time or a “one-fell-swoop” approach in which all the “gears are transformed” and then we immediately assume network management in a NaaS manner. Either way, the goal is a flawless transition to NaaS – either immediate or over time – in a manner that preserves and extends existing investment.
#2 Potential downtime/business impact during transition
During the transition phase, network-dependent services might experience downtime, affecting global operations.
This is where the Intelligeni NetOps platform really shines. Automation and zero-touch deployment accelerate the transition to NaaS while real-time dashboards assure that all is going to plan. Intelligeni NetOps captures the current performance metrics and configuration and then transitions the service to a new platform ensuring no dip in performance during the transition. Automating those repetitive tasks typically performed by humans eliminates human errors and any associated negative business impact during the transition.
The bottom line: Improved Network Reliability with a platform-centric transition and delivery that leverages AI will ensure zero downtime.
#3 Limited Choice of OEM Stack (or OEM Lock-in)
A very legitimate concern in moving to NaaS is the over-reliance on a single or limited OEM stack which could limit future options for the customer (due to the provider’s exclusive partnerships).
We take a vendor-agnostic approach which frees us up to address the unique needs of a customer’s enterprise with the best technologies and tech stack possible. Microland technologists work very closely with the customer during the technology selection part of the consulting process and run PoCs to assess requirement fit and compatibility. A fair and transparent assessment is provided to the customer before finalizing the recommended technology and OEM mix.
This is possible because Microland developed Intelligeni NetOps as an in-house platform to support networking technologies from across OEMs. Happily, Intelligeni NetOps works with various OEM and other industry-recognized tools to integrate management and visibility for the Network Ops team and customer stakeholders.
#4 Contractual limitations
As we stated at the beginning, the strategic reason for switching to NaaS is to turbo-charge the positive impact your network will have on business outcomes. When flexibility and innovation at scale are the desired states, encountering a “Change Order” attitude reinforced by overly rigid contractual and service offering structures can be a real downer.
At Microland, we put a premium on flexibility and customization. We tailor our NaaS contracts to suit customers’ localized needs – whether that necessitates the scaling up or down of offices in certain geographics or transferring assets at the end of the term.
#5 Challenges in meaningful impact on user experience
In the rush to deliver enhanced UX metrics, a lot of companies today keep spitballing and then investing in all sorts of ideas — hoping for real, measurable, and sustained UX enhancements — but ultimately falling short. Typically out of ten new ideas tried in the name of saving time and/or effort maybe two will provide any meaningful uptick in positive user experience. The other eight just become noise in the machine at best and a waste of resources at worst.
What’s going on here?
Well, the majority of enterprises just don’t have an effective way for network leadership to identify what solutions they should invest in and how those investments would translate to positive user experience. And there’s a good reason for this. It’s actually not so easy to predict what will really impact the user experience positively. Deep cognition around all the moving parts of a digital network and the interdependencies is required to recognize where meaningful improvements can be found.
Luckily Microland is like a giant laboratory testing different ways to determine how a 10-minute task can become three minutes which then becomes three seconds. Such meaningful fine-tuning makes a big difference and is more impactful than merely taking three minutes down to two minutes.
This approach is both rigorous and straightforward. What we do for our customers is establish a baseline for the time needed to complete such routine behaviors as accessing the internet or their ERP platform. We get super clear on what that performance looks like today and then we replicate the current state in a demo or trial environment to see how much faster we can make it. If meaningful improvement is possible, that’s what we invest in on behalf of our customers.
This benchmarking is then codified into our SLAs. In fact, we are so confident, that we are able to make commitments to customers such as: “Your current access performance is at a scaled score of four out of 10 for XYZ reason. We are deploying a technical solution to get you from four to eight out of 10.” That’s quite an order-of-magnitude increase in user satisfaction.
We take great pride in the fact that our NaaS solution network performance is ultimately measured by the business user enjoying a guaranteed high level of experience with granular insights and benchmarks provided across geographies, sites, business units, and applications.
A big step is always less daunting with the right partner.
Each of these barriers requires careful consideration and planning for global enterprises contemplating the transition to Network as a Service. Wouldn’t it make sense to transition to NaaS with a partner who has already thought through solutions to these barriers?
We think so!
What else do you need to know? Well, our vendor-agnostic modular approach means you can launch into NaaS now, not three years from now. And, thanks to Microland’s hyper-automated, dynamic NaaS solution, you are provided levers to control and optimize your costs. With Microland by your side, you can adroitly transition to NaaS and start benefiting from enhanced business outcomes and optimized costs.
Get in touch today.
Chat with one of our team members to learn more specifics about how Microland can develop a customized operations transformation roadmap for your enterprise – at absolutely no cost to you and no commitment on your part.
About the Author
Robert Wysocki, SVP - Global CSO Leader, Network & Cybersecurity, Microland
Robert (Bob) Wysocki is the Client Solutions Leader for IT Networks and Cybersecurity. His responsibilities include driving innovation, incubating emerging technologies, and enabling customers to deploy key digital technologies for rapid business and operational transformation.
Bob is a seasoned IT evangelist with over 30 years of industry experience, gained at Fortune 20 as well as start-up organizations. During his 16 years at General Electric (GE), as an executive in Corporate Shared Services IT, he drove strong business results in numerous disciplines of procurement, product management, engineering, operations, and financial management. Bob graduated from Georgia Tech and holds a Masters in Computer Engineering from the University of Central Florida.
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