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Ovum in early October 2016 attended Juniper Networks' NxtWork 2016 conference, where Juniper provided updates to its customers, strategic partners, and industry analysts. During the first full-day session, Juniper gave an update to its strategy and product plans, which included the concept of digital cohesion; software-defined secure networks; and its initiatives around automation, agile development, and other new technology trends (e.g., blockchain). Juniper gave a comprehensive view of its role as the infrastructure enabler for customers and service providers to create more flexible, adaptive, and integrated rich services on demand as part of its digital cohesion world.

Digital cohesion goes beyond network connectivity

With all the new technology, performance and security are still critical ingredients to the creation of the future of digital cohesion, in which applications connect and self-assemble to deliver compelling mega-services that users can initiate. Under the covers of the major components of these mega-services will be automated, flexible, and secure elements that are integrated to meet the user experience. One of the interesting aspects of this new model is that it goes beyond the usual software-centric or SDN elements that most system vendors and service providers talk about. It goes beyond enabling flexible, agile networks services sprinkled with some automation and limited to connectivity requirements. This view starts to expand beyond connectivity and value-added features.

Security has become integral to all services, but when and how do you monetize?

Juniper shared its view of what it called software-defined secure networks in which security is part of its SDN-based network platforms and services. That is slightly different from most industry players, which seem to offer security as an additional service beyond network connectivity. Today, all customers expect their service providers to have some level of security in all services. Of note is that Juniper has this view of integrating SDN and security as part of its new strategy.

The challenge for future service providers of all kinds will be embedded security, managing its evolution and how to monetize properly against customer expectations. In a recent survey of enterprise customers, Ovum found that many of them expect security within their network services from large carriers, so it can be challenging to determine where and when a premium can be charged. Most service providers today are investing in some portfolio of security services, and the idea of embedding security within services will be evolving along with new technology that will allow security to be placed in many locations within the network, data center, and application. New technologies will allow service providers to create security on demand and under different conditions, which may allow for creative new pricing models.

Service providers need to think about their role in this emerging world of mega-services

With this digital cohesion concept of applications connecting to create mega-services, the service provider's role will create a wide variety and spectrum of mega-services partners. Just the use of software-centric, SDN-based network services has created an entirely new volume and category of managed service providers. Large and small providers can now offer services that are global and go beyond connectivity. Ovum would expect to see another level of service partnerships and dynamic ecosystems to enable this future world of dynamic application integration across many different traditional and new players beyond the usual telcos, SIs, or MSPs.



Mike Sapien, Principal Analyst, Enterprise Services

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