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Procuring, deploying, managing and maintaining local access networks will become an even greater challenge in 2016. Growth in cloud services, unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and other enterprise applications means that building-to-building connectivity has become even more critical to success for service providers.

We launched our Enterprise Connect solution back in February 2013 when cloud services were still being proven and cloud-centric enterprise applications hadn’t hit the mainstream. Today, cloud IP traffic is growing at a CAGR of 33% and is expected to more than quadruple by 2019, according to Cisco Systems. That means solving local access challenges is a must for service providers.

Whether you are a cloud provider, managed service provider, carrier, or data centre provider, local access networks are what connects your customers from site-to-site and building-to-building. No matter how robust your platform or your service portfolio, you still need local access networks that are flexible, reliable and ready to deliver for customers globally.

We see four major challenges our customers face:

  • Global Presence: Procuring, deploying, managing and maintaining local access networks in multiple cities, multiple countries and with numerous providers is time and resource intensive. 
  • Traditional Models Make Apps and Services Difficult to Monetise: The traditional approach to local access networks is costly, inefficient, cumbersome, difficult to scale and makes monetising new applications and services difficult.
  • Pricing and Providers are Different Everywhere: The last-mile in each city can be drastically different with prices varying based on provider and location. Understanding basic pricing alone will challenge a procurement team across multiple geographies. 
  • Flexibility Can Be Costly: Enterprise customers scale up or down their requirements in new locations and in different cities as their business changes. That can mean renegotiating network deals and paying more for network services. In the era of cloud, enterprises want more freedom with predictable costs.

These are not simple challenges. They add complexity to service provider businesses that are able to differentiate on the solutions they provide but not their local access networks. Our recommendations to customers is always to look at what they can outsource and where they add value for customers. If local access networks aren’t adding value then an outsourced option is often the best way forward.

When you outsource local access networks, you can actually turn this pain point into a driver for growth. Our outsourced local access solutions leverage our network of partners in metro areas around the globe and enable service providers to quickly scale up or down local services without the hassle and cost of having large procurement teams.

The outsourcing model in local access is really built for the era of cloud and we can see more cloud-centric businesses looking at outsourced solutions because it just fits. Enterprise customers want the flexibility to grow and change as they deploy more cloud services in their operations and service providers want to monetise these services efficiently.

When you remove the last mile headache from the equation everyone is happy.

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