The mood at this year’s Nokia Networks Global Analyst Forum in Boston was upbeat, with a succession of executives outlining a compelling vision of how the vendor would tackle future opportunities in what it called the “programmable world.” In addition to core areas such as radio access, the vendor plans to target new opportunities around professional services, telco cloud, software-defined networking (SDN), analytics, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Much of the messaging revolved around increased automation, quality, and the pivotal role of analytics.
Nokia Networks intends to target new professional services opportunities with systems integration and network planning and optimization, as well as managed services linked to Big Data, analytics, and SaaS. It is in good company: over the past year or two most of the major network vendors have upped their professional services game.
Nokia Networks plans to grow its services business faster than the market by focusing on professional services and addressing areas that include:
network planning and optimization (including hetnets and 3D-geolocation services)
systems integration (including telco cloud, analytics, security, and IoT)
managed services (including predictive operations, smart learning, XaaS, and multi-vendor engagements).
It also plans to place increased emphasis on network automation, analytics, and remote delivery of operations and services.
Several speakers stressed the role of analytics. Nokia is well placed in customer experience management (CEM) but believes it needs to scale in network analytics if it is to strengthen its position in this competitive market. The vendor expects Big Data to drive $232bn in spending through 2016 and plans to lay claim to some of this by targeting two key areas:
network analytics (including CEM, self-organizing network [SON], and OSS analytics, dynamic experience management, and the predictive analytics capabilities of Medio, the company acquired in July by Nokia’s mapping and location intelligence business HERE)
user analytics (including network insights, location data, and aggregate user data).
Nokia sees analytics as more than just a separate business stream. The vendor aims to design and pre-integrate its products, applying a common reference architecture that supports analytics and automation. Predictive operations, making networks more self-aware, and personalizing the network experience are also high on the priority list.
Ovum expects Nokia Networks to devote a considerable amount of attention to analytics going forward, although it is still too early to tell if this will increasingly become the tail that wags the dog. CEO Rajeev Suri stated during the Forum that the vendor has yet to decide how far it will go in a switch of emphasis to analytics.
Vendor Services Review: Nokia Solutions and Networks, IT024-000013 (June 2014)
Kris Szaniawski, Lead Analyst, Intelligent Networks
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