With this year's SDN NFV World Congress as its backdrop, NEC/Netcracker announced its most recent addition to its SDN/NFV portfolio. The Netcracker Business Cloud is a full suite of multivendor VNFs, orchestration, OSS/BSS integration, and digital marketplace solutions aimed squarely at communications service providers (CSPs) that want to offer digital services to their enterprise customers in a matter of weeks, not months. With Business Cloud, Netcracker aims to help CSPs of all tiers benefit from the growing B2B opportunity.
Netcracker differentiates by providing the "full-stack telco cloud"
SDN/NFV technology has been around for more than six years now. CSPs' demands for carrier-grade-class services, cloud-native architectures, open standards for knowledge and expense mitigation, and multivendor VNF support have been heard by their suppliers. And for the last three to four years, vendors and software partners have pivoted and partnered to adapt SDN/NFV portfolios to support these technology "lessons learned" for network transformation.
Netcracker is one of the vendors leading the charge in providing network transformation solutions to CSPs. Building on a strong background in IT software such as BSS, OSS, Hybrid Operations Management, analytics, managed services, and system integration capabilities, Netcracker has launched its Business Cloud, which is a full-stack SDN/NFV and IT solution. The company is offering pre-integrated digital services, hosting the solution in a multicloud environment and providing a digital marketplace, essentially enabling CSPs to reach the coveted cloud B2B market faster. And although the full stack is available as a service, Business Cloud customers can still choose which elements in the Business Cloud to take (i.e., the full stack or solutions specific to their own virtualization needs).
By offering CSPs a choice of VNF vendors and solution elements, Netcracker will expand its potential customer base. The company can support the larger tier-1 CSPs which likely have a network virtualization strategy (and partner ecosystem) in place along with the resources to build their own customer-facing service portals. In this case, choosing only certain elements of Business Cloud would be more attractive. On the other hand, the Netcracker Business Cloud announcement is timely in that tier-2/3 CSPs which have been slower to adopt SDN/NFV and cloud-based architecture are ready to do so this year. Netcracker has the opportunity to target these CSPs with the full telco stack and its go-to-market support for enterprise customers.
The pressure to operationalize NFV platforms is escalating, but network transformation is a complex undertaking for CSPs and they are looking for partners that can guide them through the transition while protecting their incumbent business and creating new revenue opportunities through digital service delivery. With Netcracker Business Cloud, Netcracker aims to be that trusted partner for CSPs, regardless of which stage they're at in their network transformation journey.
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Network Function Virtualization (NFV) Technology Forecast: 2018–23, SPT002-000121 (September 2018)
"Big data analytics will drive better business insights through E2E network visibility," SPT002-000125 (September 2018)
"First cloud, now automation: Is SDN/NFV becoming an afterthought?" SPT002-000092 (June 2018)
NFV, MANO, and Next-Generation OSS, SPT002-000075 (April 2018)
Stephanie Gibbons, Principal Analyst, Network Infrastructure and Software