Cisco this week unveiled a family of five network automation applications designed to improve global service providers' operational efficiency, revenue and customer satisfaction by creating enhanced network visibility at scale, data-driven insights and outcome-based automation.
Called Cisco Crosswork Network Automation, the portfolio of standalone applications is designed to work together to leverage each program's capabilities, according to Cisco.
After all, networks are growing -- in scope, complexity and traffic volume. Within three years, 27 billion devices and connections will run on service provider networks; manual processes endanger network security, performance and reliability, especially as the number of devices accessing these networks is predicted to grow 10% annually, Cisco estimates.
When service providers use Cisco automation, "typical results" include a 40% increase in customer satisfaction; 70% surge in operational efficiency and 30% revenue growth, the vendor said.
The products, unveiled on February 20, include solutions for: Change automation, designed to enable large-scale change and closed-loop control; health insights including smart sensors, smart alerts and smart remediation to monitor and optimize networks; data platform with open source and commercial-class data analytics technologies; network insights, a cloud-based analytics solution targeting large-scale routing issues, and situation manager, that leverages machine-learning event correlation with social operations, according to Cisco.
Australian service provider Telstra is one of the earliest adopters of Crosstalk. Having used Cisco's orchestration solutions, the company now relies on Crosstalk platforms for automation and advanced data models, said David Robertson, director of Network Transport & Routing Engineering at Telstra, in a release.
"[These solutions] offer us valuable insight for mass data collection, applying analytics and machine learning, and taking decisive action through automation," he said.
Service provider customers told operators they were having poor customer experiences, Jonathan Davidson, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider Networking at Cisco, told Broadband World News. In particular, enterprise clients faced challenges in areas such as rapidly bringing up new services and network migration, he said. In addition, operators housed data in multiple vendors' siloed systems, making it difficult to track, mitigate or prevent problems, Davidson added.
"Oftentimes, our customers are just tired of operating the infrastructure. They don't have time to optimize the infrastructure," he said. "Software should be able to help them in an intelligent way."
In addition to the software components of Crosstalk, Cisco's professional services division offers an array of options ranging from pre-sales consultative services to installation and support, said Davidson.
Deutsche Telekom just signed an infrastructure project with the Gigabit Region Stuttgart, home to 174 municipalities and almost 3 million people, one of many partnerships the German operator has inked in its bid to grow revenue and business.
Mobile and cable operators represented half the managed SD-WAN services market share in this fast-growing space, while other broadband providers such as ISPs and satellite operators also appeared on Vertical Systems Group's ranking.
By slashing subscriber pricing by more than $30 billion annually, Low Earth Orbit satellite companies led by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk as well as OneWeb have the potential to usher in a whole new era of broadband.
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