The aspiration to grow beyond traditional connectivity services is one thing. Taking some tentative steps to do it is another. And then having the vision to fully embrace an open, standards-based, cloud-powered service & network automation system to accelerate new innovative services is…like reaching for the sky. Well, SES has done that – literally!
As a leader in delivering content connectivity solutions to customers across the world – on land, at sea and in the air – SES operates the only multi-orbit constellation of satellites that combines global coverage and high performance. The company has been on a journey to modernize and transform its network infrastructure into an efficient, scalable virtualized platform, enabling it to offer ‘intelligent connectivity’ and value-added services in a rapid and efficient manner.
Until recently, SES’s focus for telco and business services was mainly centered on providing traditional managed connectivity services. But to respond to market demands and to accelerate its growth, the company set its sights on enriching their portfolio with innovative managed Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) offerings such as SD-WAN, WAN optimization, security, unified threat management (UTM) and other highly flexible and scalable cloud-based network services.
To speed up time to market and to efficiently deliver and monetize a new range of services, SES decided to simplify and automate its service lifecycle management process. To help enable this transformation, SES implemented functionality from Amdocs NEO, Amdocs’ service & network automation platform, on the Microsoft Azure public cloud. The systems main role was to orchestrate and manage SD-WAN and other virtual network services, all leveraging Azure’s reliable and scalable infrastructure.
Openness and modularity of the automation platform was key to enabling rapid and easy support for an incremental set of managed NaaS offerings over time. As demonstrated in a recent TMF NaaS Catalyst project conducted together with AT&T, service automation requires decoupling operations and the business support system from the complexities and restrictions of the network. Specifically, a platform like Amdocs NEO that leverages Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) components and TeleManagement Forum (TMF) Open APIs for service lifecycle management, significantly helps simplify and streamline service provisioning. At the same time, it enables the introduction and delivery of new network services – whether based on physical, virtual or cloud functions – with much lower impact to network management systems and costs.
But SES's innovative approach did not end here. To cut time to market and reduce capex costs, the company deployed a SD-WAN solution and related virtual network functions on the Microsoft Azure public cloud. This enabled SES to benefit from a highly agile and scalable infrastructure, while accelerating time-to-market for their managed virtual network services.
Using a service and network automation solution that leverages ONAP service modeling practices, as well as TMF Open APIs to support managed NaaS orchestration, all in combination with the public cloud infrastructure, can enable service providers like SES to become agile and innovate faster using programmable and software-driven virtual and cloud networks. Such an approach empowers them to rapidly define, launch, fulfill, operate and assure new offerings that combine organic capabilities (e.g. connectivity) with ecosystem elements, while simplifying operations complexities – thereby strengthening their value, position and capabilities in providing modern services to their customers.
You can watch my session with Gint Atkinson, SES VP, Network Strategy & Digital Architecture at TMF Digital Transformation World where we discussed insights about successfully implementing an open, standards-based network-automation and service-orchestration platform on a public cloud.