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Before the cloud, businesses used to run their services on-premise with a whole IT team managing the hardware, software and the network. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) reinvented the wheel by easing IT infrastructure management towards a more streamlined and seamless approach.

It has also set the path for the proliferation of cloud-based services or Software as a Service (SaaS) providers such as MailChimp, Shopify, SurveyMonkey and so on.

Cloud-based services offered by SaaS providers are underpinned by how they interconnect between clouds and data centres. Many of these SaaS providers deploy their services on IaaS delivered by cloud service providers (CSP) including major players like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
Some may adopt a hybrid cloud approach with mission-critical workloads on private cloud, which will require data and content to be transported across data centres.
What is Cloud-Centric Network?
Cloud-centric network is an approach on the use of software applications to deliver a network service – some may call it Network as a Service (NaaS).
For the same reasons why businesses are using IaaS, they are turning to cloud-centric network service providers so they do not need to build up and manage an entire network. Even more for SaaS providers, having to run their own network is rather condescending, considering their focus on building an agile business model.
SaaS providers cannot deliver high-quality services over the cloud if their network is not ready to flex to new demands. They need the best routes to deliver their services closer to their users and fast-track their cloud connectivity for the best performance. On the other hand, the traditional approach to networking cannot match up to these expectations.
How SDN comes into play?
Software-defined networking (SDN) technology has made cloud-centric networks a reality with the ‘appification’ of network services, in the likes of films to Netflix and taxis to Uber.
It simplifies access to networks with a more flexible and agile approach; enabling self-service provisioning and integration of network services across platforms using application programming interfaces (APIs).
Most importantly, SaaS customers need the service applications to be high-performing and reliable. Any unplanned downtime could be detrimental to an entire business’ operations. With these expectations, what must SaaS providers do to ensure that their cloud-based services are always available and can constantly roll out new updates when needed?
Network automation directly impacts SaaS providers’ connectivity to the cloud and how they deliver service applications to their enterprise users. In this case, an SDN platform compliments the overall business model of SaaS providers.
It enables them to provision and manage network services on-demand without long lead time. 
Meanwhile, network management can be easily managed because of improved visibility with real-time analytics.
Perks of Partnering with a Global Connectivity Provider
The SaaS market is a competitive and crowded one as enterprises move into the mainstream of cloud. By partnering with a cloud-centric global connectivity provider, SaaS providers can gain greater control over their network without having to build or manage the entire infrastructure. Their services can be delivered through a private network infrastructure built with the flexibility of the cloud.
Using an SDN platform, they can turn up additional network services when pushing new software updates and turn it down to minimise the costs of unused bandwidth. Connectivity to the cloud is made simple with a variety of interconnect options. The provisioning of network services can be orchestrated and integrated via APIs, reducing complexities and manual processes for faster service delivery via a single platform.
Interconnecting with a global connectivity provider also means giving end users better options in the way they connect to the cloud-based services. Most SaaS applications are delivered over the internet which is not exactly designed for performance. With an SDN-enabled, cloud-centric network, SaaS providers can enhance their offering with secure connection to their services for the best possible user experience.
SaaS providers must consider the impact of connectivity in their business model. Connect with us to learn how we are supporting the next generation of SaaS providers or check out our SDN platform, Infiny by Epsilon.
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