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Transformation Through Innovation

A service provider strategy to prosper from digitization

People will have 11.6 billion mobile-ready devices and connections by 2020.

For service providers to thrive today and in the future, they’ll need to focus on some specific goals: improving speed and efficiency, defining a growth strategy based on new services, and ensuring security. This white paper dives into what that transformation looks like and how technology is making it possible.  



Opportunity Calls:

Demands, challenges, and trends




Disruption has become the norm, and industries of all kinds have been forced into a quest for survival. As a service provider, you can see it happening. The digital business is redefining and shaking up entire industries: retail, transportation, media, advertising, entertainment, hotels, and professional services. The question is no longer if enterprise-sized businesses will retool to become digital, but when and how.

Your customers today expect more than just basic connectivity. They want to choose from an array of services: WAN, VPN, security, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT). They want them managed, in the cloud, and customizable on demand. And they expect a top-of-the-line experience: streaming video; seamless interaction; and anytime, anywhere access on multiple devices that fit their always-connected lifestyles with plug-and-play ease. Helping businesses go digital is a huge opportunity, but to be competitive requires an equally disruptive transformation of your infrastructures, technologies, and business strategies.

Three key trends, one huge opportunity

1.1 zettabytes


Global IP traffic per
year in 2016*

2.3 zettabytes


Global IP traffic per
year in 2020*


Increase in global mobile
data traffic by 2020*

= $2 trillion

at stake for service providers
between now and 2024*


How many years would it take one person to watch all the video that will cross global IP networks in just one month of 2020?*

So how can you prepare to meet both the incoming demand and capitalize on the opportunities? 

*Cisco Visual Networking Index™ Forecast and Methodology, 2015–2020 



New Criteria for Success: 

Goals and groundwork




Through decades of partnerships with service providers around the world, Cisco has gained valuable insights into the challenges you’re facing. We believe your success in coming years will be heavily dependent on strategic decisions in four categories:



Right now it takes many service providers 18 months to 2 years to develop and deploy new services. That won’t be fast enough to remain competitive.



Consumers are upgrading their computing devices every 3 to 5 years to take advantage of newer technology, but service provider infrastructures, architectures, and processes lag behind. Aside from being complex, inflexible, architecturally siloed, and reliant on manual processes, the service provider infrastructure is delivering a diminishing return on investment.


Growth Strategy

Behind the companies radically disrupting age-old business models are stunning technology solutions: hyperscale data centers with cloud services on demand, mobile apps, stunning media experiences, and connected everything.



Security remains a top concern among businesses and consumers, and it will continue to be in the forefront moving forward. Threat levels and attack sophistication are on the rise.


So what do you do to transform your business into a fast, nimble organization able to address digital businesses? Start by shaping your strategy and architecture around these 4 areas:



This strategy addresses the most pressing priorities of service providers: speed, efficiency, growth, and security. It helps you thrive in a fast-changing environment. Where do you go from here? What does your future-ready network architecture look like?




Network Evolution:

The new network architecture  





Moving forward, network infrastructures must evolve. A network abstraction layer must be established, and the development environment must support a mix of different cloud-based and on-premises options.





Now that the network evolution is in place, discover how you can make it all happen.




Your Blueprint:

Cisco Open Network Architecture 





The previous capabilities were the blueprint for the Cisco open network architecture, which includes everything you need to address the requirements of the digital business.


This architecture is


Works in a multivendor environment and uses open-source technology


Doesn’t limit you to one particular technology


Mix and match components of different types and from different vendors

Five wins with the Cisco open network architecture 

  • 1

    Move beyond a siloed infrastructure to a flexible, interconnected, programmable one where security, policies, and analytics are pervasive throughout.

  • 2

    Design, deploy, change, and remove resources in real time.

  • 3

    Scale up or down immediately with ease.

  • 4

    Automate and orchestrate the entire services lifecycle using different combinations of private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud, and on-premises offerings.

  • 5

    Manage more effectively with improved visibility between application and infrastructure layers using a feedback loop based on application awareness of the network state and performance data abstracted from the network.



Real-World Proof: 

Snapshots of service provider transformation





Service providers transforming their infrastructure with Open Network Architecture are experiencing incredible results. Check out not only the benefits but also the diversity of providers Open Network Architecture works for.



The Cisco Open Network Architecture isn’t standing still, either. It’s built using the industry's most comprehensive virtualization and orchestration software platform. New services will be rapidly deployed through a single self-service portal, allowing customers to connect private and public clouds and managed network services in ways that have not previously been possible.

It’s transforming network services so they become instantaneous, purchased and provisioned in the same manner as cloud. And it’s reducing operational complexity; rigid processes; lengthy delays; and long provisioning, installation, and repair cycles for customers.

The Cisco Open Network Architecture helps you transform and retool to take greater advantage of digital opportunities today.