The Cisco mobile cloud control portal for enterprise
For mobile network operators (MNO), the enterprise market is a potential area of growth. The advent of 5G offers unprecedented opportunities to provide differentiated services to this segment. The move to 5G is happening, and several MNOs are implementing it in cities this year. But rolling out the new infrastructure is going to be expensive. Although bandwidth consumption is growing at astronomical rates, revenue isn’t. With the average revenue per user (ARPU) flat or even decreasing, MNOs need to find new ways to leverage their network. Although consumers will benefit from 5G, enterprise business will drive 5G implementation and justify the costs. For MNOs, providing unique capabilities that meet the needs of enterprise customers offers an enormous opportunity for additional revenue.
Given that competition is going to force 5G deployment and the ARPU for consumer services isn’t likely to rise significantly, MNOs have a big problem. The continuous price pressure on generic consumer communication services means it’s almost impossible for MNOs to get a return on their investment from their traditional markets. To cope with this situation, MNOs need to look at the enterprise marketplace, learn about their requirements, and find ways to solve their business problems.
Figure 1. Sources of 5G revenue(Source: GSMA CEO 5G Survey - Oct 2016)
Enterprises require MNO services because their mobile workforces need to be able to connect securely and reliably to enterprise applications no matter where they are.
Figure 2. The more mobile workforce.(Source: IDC)
Because these workers are supported by wi-fi and cellular, the endpoints are served by service provider, multicloud providers, and enterprise networks.
Figure 3. Network context.
To offer new services to these enterprise customers, MNOs can take advantage of the major 5G changes taking place in the data center, networking, and the economics of mobility. However, enterprises have different requirements than consumers. They require identity and access management, security, and segmentation. Employees need to enjoy the same quality of experience from their mobile devices when they aren’t connected to enterprise networks.
Although enterprises have always turned to MNOs to provide last mile connectivity, they haven’t had visibility into the areas of the network controlled by the MNO. According to a survey performed by Cisco, enterprises want more than just bandwidth. They want to be able to extend the control of their network to the carrier network. Enterprises want visibility and control of the entire network, which historically hasn’t been possible.
Figure 4. Services enterprises are interested in enterprise mobile and IoT endpoints. (Source: Cisco-conducted enterprise survey.)
The Cisco Unified Domain Center creates a mobile cloud portal for the enterprise. It extends the enterprise intent-based networking domain to include a slice of MNO networks. The solution benefits both the enterprise and MNOs. Using the Unified Domain Center, people in enterprise IT departments can view the entire network as if it were their own. The solution offers a way for MNOs to monetize networking as a service (NaaS). It operates as a thin software layer that runs at an MNO network or cloud operator to provide:
The portal offers a familiar “look and feel” so enterprises can create a new network slice and provision a new service with tools they’re accustomed to using. The Unified Domain Center looks and feels like an extension of their own system almost as if the entire network were located in the same building.
Using the Unified Domain Center, enterprises can:
MNOs can tailor the software platform for different use cases to differentiate their enterprise solution. The Unified Domain Center has an open API so they can offer enterprises a different set of capabilities as a service (NaaS). It has a minimal impact on standard functions and protects the MNO by verifying any changes made by the enterprise. The compact solution fits into existing enterprise data centers. It offers the familiar Cisco look and feel and integrates with other Cisco enterprise tools.
MNOs can’t ignore 5G anymore. It’s not coming; 5G is here now. And with it the potential for new opportunities and revenue. 5G is about more than just higher speeds and dense broadband for subscribers. It’s about redefining the network. For MNOs, 5G and the Cisco Unified Domain Center offer new ways to serve the growing enterprise market with differentiating use case and services.