Are you ready for a Network-as-a-Service model?

by Neil Goddard

Many modern enterprises in sectors such as hospitality, tourism, and retail are service-driven. Franchising models allow those with the talent and flair to create and develop a brand to expand nationally and internationally. These individual branches are often quite small and require small-scale IT deployments, however, the overall picture may extend to 100’s or 1000’s of sites. These deployments must support both the business and the customer network access requirements, with secure enterprise connectivity and easy guest access. How often have you chosen a coffee shop not solely based on the quality of the food and beverages, but also on the ability to get a seat to work, a power outlet and good Wi-Fi?

Network

Subscription-based models

What about goods and services on a subscription basis? It is predicted that in the future there will be autonomous, electrically powered vehicles that can be summoned at a few minutes notice, at very competitive cost, negating the need to own or even lease a vehicle for exclusive personal use. We’re all already enjoying the benefits of music and video streaming services that give immediate and cost-effective access to a near limitless library of content (although I still love my CDs and vinyl records!). Considering these trends in consumption models, why wouldn’t a fast-moving business embrace a similar offering to deliver a network infrastructure service on a subscription basis, scaling the network as and when demand calls for it? These same businesses are already signed up to cloud hosted application and storage delivery, allowing them to flex their capacity in line with incremental growth or seasonal peaks in their business operations.

Ease of use

Apple didn’t invent smartphones or tablets, but demonstrably aided mass market adoption with intuitive and easy to understand user interfaces and an app development ecosystem. With the latest announcement of the new Apple TV+ service, there is recognition of the need to diversify in an increasingly competitive device market.

The market for cloud-controlled network infrastructure, in particular Wi-Fi, isn’t new. However, some early to market solutions are arguably becoming weighed down with features, complexity and added cost through licensing options, diminishing the primary goals of simplicity and speed of deployment at inception.

Network vendors like Ruckus, with a history of excellent equipment design, engineering and performance have already addressed the Cloud market, with the benefit of having the ability to analyse this sector as it starts to mature. This has allowed the best of both worlds to be addressed, retaining excellence in the performance of the physical network infrastructure devices, whilst concentrating on delivering a user interface with the necessary features that is easy to deploy, monitor and manage.

Maybe it will be a few years until I can summon an autonomous vehicle at will. The next generation of cloud-controlled networks are here right now.


Continue reading:
Building the connected store: a retail playbook – part 1
Building the Connected Store: Providing immediate value to retail stores today and the foundations for tomorrow – Part 2

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