Large enterprises have relied on the cloud for years, first for business applications and then for other areas such as storage and infrastructure. As they increasingly look for ways to improve efficiency without having to do the heavy lifting themselves, businesses will continue to pursue the cloud, causing the market to be worth well into the tens of billions of dollars, according to some industry estimates.
For service providers, the cloud has created a massive opportunity for them to fundamentally change how services are delivered and consumed, enabling them to create more rewarding relationships with both their small and large business customers.
But business demands today are pressuring service providers to host a much more sophisticated and all-compassing suite of services, which includes a full slate of business and network applications as well as value-added services. Enterprises want to customize their bandwidth in order to support additional features. They also require the means to orchestrate everything and quickly onboard virtual network functions to complement their evolution into truly on-demand, self-service businesses.
Enterprises have spoken, but are service providers listening?
Service providers have an opportunity to go well beyond delivering connectivity services, becoming the single provider of all enterprise services on demand through flexible self-service portals. But why stop at connectivity and network services? Businesses want a one-stop-shop with a menu of service options that includes cloud services, allowing them to avoid having to turn to third-party players to fill the void.
Virtualization and cloud will be at the center of this new approach to move up the value chain and make it easy for business customers to procure new services or modify existing ones through self-service marketplaces.
These environments will be critical for service providers to reduce the time it takes to bring value-added services to market. By bringing together network services with cloud-based applications under one roof with a single touchpoint, service providers can take the risk out of virtualization while transforming their business to better accommodate their business customers.
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