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Cloud native applications & NFVI evolution: a Roadmap webinar briefing

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Cloud native applications & NFVI evolution

I love 5G and NFV as you know, I live and breathe Telco and Mobile and Enterprise Mobility on a daily basis (some might say 24 hours a day), and as one of the hats I wear professionally is that of market analyst, I am constantly watching all aspects of this complex and rapidly evolving market and the positive impact it is having on existing as well as new and emerging business models.

In doing so, being kept up to date by some of the biggest brands in the world is critical. Being party to Ericsson Digital’s digitalisation journey has been nothing short of amazing and I am continuously humbled and grateful for the inside view they afford me.

Jonas Falkena &Tamas Zsrios talk about Ericsson Mobility Report

An example of that was when I had the pleasure of having Cecilia Atterwall (VP & Head of Marketing & Communications for Networks at Ericsson) and Thomas Noren (VP & Head of 5G Commercialisation at Ericsson), on my podcast as featured guests on the same show together, to talk about the latest data from the Ericsson Mobility Report, all things 5G Marketing & Commercialisation, the Telco industry, the emergence and impact of 5G.

As I have regularly reported to my followers, readers, listeners and viewers, in blogs, podcasts, video interviews and live streams combined, Ericsson have not only transformed their *own* organisation first, such that I have regularly described Ericsson as being “their own first customer”, but they had the foresight and objectivity to be able to document what the journey looks like, from end to end, “closing the loop” as I like to describe it – to pull it apart and put it back together from the telecommunications (telco) service provider’s perspective. That’s nothing short of amazing. 

And at the same time, Ericsson are playing a key thought leadership role in supporting #CloudNative and #OpenSource, an endeavour I recently discussed at length with Gareth Price, Practice Head, for Europe & Latin America across Core, Cloud & Security Consulting at Ericsson when he was a featured guest on my podcast show ( be sure to tune into that episode of Conversations with Dez for the insights we shared during that fireside chat ).

It takes enormous strength and company-wide fortitude to stare into the exciting but largely unmapped and unknown future and develop a strategy, supporting plans, and roadmap to lead and inspire an industry and the various related markets. It takes surviving the potential minefield of digital transformation, industry disruption, the pivot from physical, through virtual and then into cloud in the form of software defined “everything.” And THEN, as part of that journey,  to be able to develop awareness, education, and engagement such that you can encourage an entire community to adopt change and then undertake the work to build forward into it? That is exactly what Ericsson have done, and are still doing. 

With the support and strength of Ericsson’s leadership, we will ALL manifest what #Digital has to offer #Telco’s in the way of #5G and beyond, and the harmonious, transparent, collaborative approach will deliver results far greater than any singularly profit-motivated strategy ever could. I had the opportunity to have Anders Rosengren, Head of Architecture and Technology at Ericsson Digital Services on my podcast show to discuss a number of these exciting spaces from Cloud, Cloud Native, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, through to Software Defined Infrastructure (#SDI).

Thus it is with all of  this in mind, that through this blog, I have the great pleasure of sharing and responding to the insights shared by two of the world’s most formidable #5G & #Cloud Native architecture experts in this space, Jonas Falkenå and  Tamas Zsiros of Ericsson Digital.

I not only encourage you to register and take in their awesome webinar format update and briefing, but I would recommend you schedule time in your diary to do it justice, and tune into their webinar briefing, ideally bring a friend or colleague / co-worker or two ( or three or more ) and arm yourself with a notepad and pen to “take notes”, perhaps “host it” as a team activity in a meeting room, as it’s not often we get to hear so many great updates directly from the architects themselves.

On a related note, I actually had the pleasure of having Jonas on my podcast show for of my one-on-one fireside chats, this one about many of the key topics this webinar briefing covers; you can listen to that conversation here.

If you’ve tuned in to any of my podcasts with Ericsson’s other Cloud Native thought leaders, you’ll find those conversations to be great footing for this latest webinar briefing from Jonas Falkenå and Tamas Zsiros.

In particular I do recommend you tune into my conversations with Anders Rosengren and Peter Worndle. In fact, digitalisation is a constant throughout my Transmissions from Tomorrow themed podcast shows featuring many of the amazing subject matter experts from Ericsson. Also make sure to read the series of blogs I wrote in response to Ericsson’s NFV thought leadership, as you’ll get a more architecture-first perspective there.

Ericsson has built an entirely digital, largely cloud-native architecture centred on automation, a topic I had the opportunity to discuss with Fernanda Mendez, Vice President and Head of Management Orchestration & CENX at Ericsson as a featured guest on my podcast recently – in particular the automation provided by Ericsson’s Dynamic Orchestration, Cloud Deployment Engine & Ericsson Orchestrator.

Going digital creates speed; going cloud native creates scale; going open source creates giga-scale. It’s this software-driven environment that makes network slicing possible, which in turn opens up an incredible array of business opportunities for enterprise-specific services, so long as you have a digitized business system (BSS) to monetise the new business cases and a dynamic orchestration operations systems (OSS), which Ericsson has built as well. These capacities together form the digital infrastructure that creates what at the surface we call 5G. 

What are Cloud Native Applications

In this latest webinar briefing  by  Jonas and Tamas, they focus on the applications themselves and their transformation to Cloud Native, and as well as how the cloud infrastructure and APIs need to evolve in support (as indeed, they do). It’s an engineer’s perspective framed by guiding principles (they have five) and essential building blocks (Kubernetes). As they remind us, “a cloud native application has to be agnostic to the underlying infrastructure,” be it IaaS or Kubernetes CaaS.

Image: The cloud native design principles guiding Ericsson Digital

So why would Ericsson share this kind of window into their engineering principles? Because they are working very hard to bring us all along on the transformation journey. Whether you’re an engineer or are business-decision focused, I recommend tuning into this briefing by Jonas and Tamas, it’s truly a back door view into how these architectures are being built. As they say, “if you understand the core principles, you understand not just the deliverables of the moment but what we’re building for tomorrow”.

Here are some of the key reference materials I mentioned above, all are worthy of your time and attention in my humble opinion. I would also like to convey a huge thank you to the team at Ericsson for making all of possible and I look forward to sharing further updates with you soon.

For more information, follow these links:

5G

Next-Gen Networks & 5G, Facilitating Enterprise Business Transformation

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Enterprise Business Transformation

The prospective industrial network is taking the same route as that of Operations Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT). Varying from WAN and LAN, holding a third-party network to outsource cloud-based SaaS solutions via public clouds.

Presently, the sole aim of most organisations is to acquire real Business Operations Transformation while acquiring more significant business concessions, ROI from network technologies acquisitions, and services sustaining their business core.

Perhaps I can witness the enterprise IT transformation, as the businesses have been continually developing systems, indulging in crafting designs, plans and following the trial and error to roll out Private Converged enterprise networks, with a motive to leverage 5G in particular, regardless of their size and shape. 

But what’s unfortunate is the challenges the enterprise business transformation has brought along due to a lack of experience and skills. This frequently leads the HR departments of the enterprises to struggle while sourcing in-house expertise and understanding of digital enterprise transformation networks. As a result, the challenges bind them to bring those powers to their organisations from the market for a Partner of Choice. 

The difficulties enterprises face when embracing and operating consolidated digital enterprise transformation networks, and 5G solutions are the expertise, as these aren’t their core business. Instead, they ought the suited technology and telecoms counterpart to function with to yield flourishing results.

I recently hosted and mediated a live-stream discussion featuring two globally leading telecom executives, Aashu Virmani, Vice President & Client Partner, Communications, Cyient, and Ray Achemedei, General Manager, Technology & Digital Transformation. Horizon Power, for Cyient, titled CXO Cyience – Designing Networks of Tomorrow.” 

Our conversation was near and around the emerging transition in converged networks as enterprise IT transformation by assembling their own remote converged networks. Our discussion also covered some of their distinctive insights and stances on conceiving a savvy infrastructure. 

Though there wasn’t much that we could cover in our short conversation, after concluding our live stream, I realised that there were two major takeaway points that I believed needed to be heightened for you people. So here are two essential highlights I brought away from our live-stream event and what Aashu and Ray had to articulate on each matter when I requested them both to confer on them.

Takeaway #1

Early adopters witness prospects for instantaneous triumphs, and early adopter yields from Next-Generation Networks mainly fused personal networks across firms, which are usually prepared to leverage 5G, are flaring up prospects on multiple fronts, resulting in the advancement of creative business prototypes as new use cases for Customer and Business conditions arise.

I’m witnessing an inflated number of prospects for corps to attain influential Enterprise Business Transformation via Next Generation Networks by embracing new functioning models and use cases that access the technology that enables consolidated and Next Generation Networks.

Undoubtedly, this was conferred in profundity during our live-stream affair. Still, I felt there was more that my ace visitors could convey, so I contacted Ray and Aashu Virmani and requested them to elaborate the topic with instances of where they are witnessing possibilities for both prompt victories and early adopter returns. So here is what they had to state:

“Cyient is internally organised across ten industry verticals, from Communications to Utilities, Mining, Rail, Aerospace, and Medical – just to name a few. Within the past six months, we’ve seen over a dozen of our clients, with whom we were previously engaged for their vertical-specific use cases, start initiatives around communications and developing their own private networks — all in the context of their own enterprise transformation. More and more, we are recognizing internally how our Communications business is fast becoming ‘horizontal’ across all of our other verticals when it comes to private networks. We are simultaneously engaging with our CSP customers to help them develop and expand their implementation practices around offering private networks to their enterprise accounts.”, Aashu Virmani, Vice President & Client Partner, Communications, Cyient.

“Quick wins are a great and important way to prove out and demonstrate the value of next-generation network investments, and certainly in the space we occupy there is no shortage of examples. For example, five years ago, we installed advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to underpin our Smart Grid goals and objectives. Initially, we used it to collect, send, and analyse consumer energy consumption data. Since then, we’ve leveraged the same data sets to automatically detect neutral integrity issues. Looking to tomorrow, we want to leverage the abilities of our AMI infrastructure to self-heal, support demand-side DER management, and enhance energy efficiency.”, Ray Achemedei, General Manager, Technology & Digital Transformation, Horizon Power.

Takeaway #2

The content of architecture industries can currently think when enforcing personal networks persists in flaring up assertive new prospects for enterprise business transformation. Multiple believed the things of telcos & carriers are now obtainable to enterprise consumers across the range.

The emphasis now is not solely to construct it correctly the foremost time, but likewise, construct it ‘intelligently’ so that process & administration evolves actually and efficiently.

Corps have become ever more critical to find the best probable Partner of Choice to defend them to accomplish such transformative developments. But, unfortunately, it is not usually the core business for most institutions to enforce, function, or drive Next Generation Networks.

Similarly, I conferred this extensively with my visitors during our live-stream event. Still, I desired to proffer my ace visitors the chance to convey more on this. So I requested them to elaborate the topic with instances where they witness prospects. So here is what they had to convey:

“When it comes to intelligent network architectures, an important learning for us was that it’s not simply a case of one size fits all. If you focus on your use cases, then the right architecture/s become apparent. Once we resolved that, it was exciting to see other opportunities emerge. For example, in our case we started by looking at a use case that supported our Operational requirements, however, we subsequently realised that the architecture that emerged from this, offered support for a wide range of use cases we hadn’t considered that sat outside of our Operations group and that these particular use cases offered us the potential to develop a significant new revenue stream. In an environment where there is considerable pressure on costs and revenues, opportunities such as this are game-changing.”, Ray Achemedei, General Manager, Technology & Digital Transformation, Horizon Power.

“Developing the right architecture for a private network depends on the eventual use case (or cases) the customer is attempting to solve, and which of the following six criteria are most important drivers: coverage, latency, density, QoS, security, and cost. The right architecture, and which OEMs we use for the customer depends on which variables we are attempting to optimise, and can range between being an extension and densification of the CSP network at the enterprise premises, to being a completely air-gapped stand-alone network owned and managed by the enterprise, to a hybrid between these two extremes. The important thing to realise is that no two networks are equal because the business problem for a mining customer may be drastically different from that of a manufacturing plant owner. Having an understanding of various industry verticals gives us an advantage when it comes to tailoring a solution that is optimal for a customer.”, Aashu Virmani, Vice President & Client Partner, Communications, Cyient.

What I can conclude from what I was able to absorb and comprehend based on my prior knowledge about the related topic and the insights I received from our hearty discussion is that it is time to act as those waits are surely going to miss the opportunities that early adopters and next-gen network embracers are going to avail cause of begin, not just early but skilful birds.

Besides, please do listen via the link below if you haven’t already tuned into the exclusive panel conversation I had with Ray and Aashu. I look ahead to resuming this discussion with Ray, Aashu, and the crew at Cyient in the future.

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Stacey Marx, AT&T on Retail and Small Business

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I caught up with Stacey Marx, President, National Business & Channels, AT&T Business on camera, to discuss the recent success stories around how AT&T Business have worked with and supported their customers through the last 12 to 18 months now leading up to, and during the global #COVID19 pandemic.

In her role as president of National Business & Channels, Stacey leads a team of over six thousand professionals, dedicated to partnering with over three million small and medium business customers, to help them achieve growth and maximise their potential with technology innovation by leveraging the broad range of products & services AT&T Business can offer.

In this fireside chat we cover some of the latest trends, business & technology challenges and opportunities small business operators should be considering as they look at the road forward coming out of a pandemic.

We kicked off with my usual “get to know you”, Stacey shares insights into her role, the remit and challenges of “a day in the life of Stacey Marx”, as well as a look into what her business unit is responsible for, and some details around the team and ecosystem around them, and their customer base, giving us a great view of her world and the amazing depth and breadth of what she and her team bring to the market.

A Q&A with Stacey Marx on Retail and Small Businesses

Our conversation then delves into the challenges that businesses leaders, especially within small businesses, face in a post-pandemic world, and how technology is key to meeting these challenges, and specifically three key focus areas which I’ve been keen to discuss with Stacey for a while – including:

#1 – The challenges SMB retail leaders face in a post-pandemic world

In this segment I share that in my view, if there was one industry other than healthcare which has carried more than its fair share of the burden to see society through the last year and a half, surely it is the Retail sector.

I also ask Stacy what challenges she and her team are seeing retailers in particular face as they plan now for a post-pandemic world, especially those small and medium-sized businesses who may have fewer resources.

#2 – What can the Retail industry do to address these various challenges

Around this key point, I ask Stacey where SMB players should be looking for ways and means to map their route out of their current state, to putting people, technology and telecommunications at the forefront of their strategic direction to address these key challenges.

#3 – How is AT&T Business helping the Retail industry leverage its many offerings

Here I share that I see one of the key challenges for Retailers, particularly for Small business retailers, are being challenged with, is finding the right Partner of Choice to help them gain access to and implement new technologies such as 5G, or ensure they have the right solutions in place for the likes of Cybersecurity, as these capabilities are not their core business.

And I ask Stacey if she could share details around how is AT&T Business helping SMBs leverage your many business, technology & telecommunications offerings, and we look at a number of great customer stories, use cases and real world examples.

We also go on to discuss at high level, a range of other potential use cases Stacey thinks organisations should be looking to.

In particular we look at areas where small business operators perhaps may not currently be taking advantage of, and if there are any outliers that she and her team are seeing which might not be immediately obvious but are high value opportunities for small to medium sized businesses.

We wrap up this great conversation with a view of what do Stacey thinks is coming over the horizon in the next 12 to 18 months, my classic “crystal ball gazing” question, and in particular what small business owners and or decision makers should be considering as they look to the short to medium term future.

Tune in now for all of these amazing topics and more.

This video was made in partnership with AT&T Business.

For more information visit:

AT&T Business website: http://bit.ly/attbusiness​

AT&T Business SMB web portal: http://bit.ly/attsmallbusiness

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Enterprise Mobility Solutions, is your business ready to admire itself?

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Enterprise Mobility Solutions

The pandemic has not only affected healthcare but also has left businesses across the globe struggling in this practically completely altered world that’s boasted with new technologies. Where the tech was just an add on to enterprise mobility solutions for a few, for others, it emerged as an essential enabler for all aspects of their business. Irrespective of the size and importance of tech in past business, we all can relate to the fact that the future of business will be mobile.  

Recently I had a chance to talk to Jason Inskeep, Director, 5G Centre of Excellence at AT&T Business, and share a divine conversation on mobile solutions for enterprise. We spoke on an array of related topics starting right from the scope of changing service function to how 5G will change business and the share of AT&T in it. 

Understanding mobility in the context of Industry 4.0 and COVID-19

COVID-19 has practically changed the way we used to comprehend tech. It has certainly shown us we did rather underestimate its potential. The traditional definition has been eradicated through mobility in use cases. The need of having remote-first workers be connected securely to fetch immediate help to first responders has shifted the connectivity paradigm. 

Software-defined networks had supported us in fulfilling those commitments shown stability in trading with the hasty shift in behaviors and magnitude upsurge when we were in dire need of it.

Further, the inherent resilience and security built into the networks are growing stronger with each passing day. Now we are moving towards finding a solution that would help bridge the securities embedded in different technologies. 

But there’s likewise the subsequent level of a prospect to promote business opportunities while mitigating risks near the ‘welding points’ of data flow – not only into endpoints but likewise in how the edge is connecting.

AT&T Mobility Solutions

Encouraging mobile and secured networking that can be adapted and mounted as per use case

AT&T mobility solutions are devised to bear the idea of enterprise-grade security past the confines of the workplace and furnish them at the point-of-need – wherever business is transpiring. So, irrespective of your location, mobile networking solutions are prepared to furnish the speed, latency, and protection you ought, not just for seamless connectivity but decision-making on the motion in a vibrant environment, where circumstances develop and transform around you every moment.

Best way to enforce 5G? Ignore the G!

Customers are required to unlearn the ‘G’ and consider networking in terms of ‘the journey of the data packet’ to prepare an optimal consumer experience. 

As Jason puts it, “The good news is that the software is virtually ready to handle anything you throw at it. That’s also the bad news.” This implies its upto us to craft new paths and mitigates risks for an optimal 5G consumer experience. 

Use cases will determine the technology instead of the other way round

The potential of 5G is virtually limitless. What’s limiting us is our hesitation to embrace another iteration of networking. The need of the hour is for enterprises to comprehend 5G – not just from a technical viewpoint but operational or a financial standpoint of businesses. 

The continuum of command has developed for businesses, and with the commoditization of the scope, there is a possibility of paralysis by analysis. The trick is to remain calm and embrace the right way to upscale your business!

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