Network on demand redefines network service delivery

Network on Demand redefines how companies expand their networks and services. Businesses can now adapt their networks as quickly as their needs change.

by Roman Pacewicz

Fifteen million gigabytes of data are created every day.

Mobile data traffic in particular is expected to increase 11 fold between 2013 and 2018.

Video is also expected to make up 79 percent of all internet traffic in 2018 – that’s up from 66 percent in 2013.

These trends are driving a change in IT, the likes of which we haven’t seen before. The traditional model to purchase and manage network services is just not sustainable anymore. Customers want to order or change their network services in near real time. Businesses need better control – and to optimize costs where possible – to be competitive in this environment. A new solution, AT&T Network on Demand, is here to provide that next-generation experience.

What the cloud did for the management of data centers, Network on Demand will do for corporate networks. This is a breakthrough on-demand service that will help companies easily add or change services on their own, in near-real time. It is the first software-defined network solution of its kind in the United States. And it redefines how network services will be delivered to customers through an online self-service portal. Ultimately, this means a customer will be able to simply go online, click a few buttons and have new services almost instantaneously.

Network on Demand puts customers at the center of the network with modern, cloud-based architecture – and it’s a global first at this scale. It’s helping simplify the network and accelerate how quickly we can bring advanced products and services to market.

Most importantly, Network on Demand is reinventing the customer experience. This technology empowers IT managers to control the network design with the click of a button; all while allowing cost efficiencies as companies only pay for what they use. So, as quickly as business needs to change, the network will respond and adapt.  Some of the benefits include:

  • Intuitive and immediate click-through contracting and ordering of network services
  • Dialing up or down broadband speeds in near real time instead of hours or days
  • Provisioning new communications ports in days compared to weeks

We’re rewriting the book and setting a new foundation on how businesses manage their network services. As much as computing has advanced, networking services have remained largely unchanged. In a world where virtual servers can be spun up in minutes, provisioning of network services like Ethernet and VPN can still take weeks. Like yesterday’s hardware-centric data centers, these services are overly burdened with complexity and cost.

Imagine a business is planning to open a new office or store location. With today’s traditional model, the contract and ordering process takes time and can involve several people as it moves through different departments. Then, delivering an Ethernet port requires additional steps in a manual provisioning scenario. And if customers want to make changes, the process starts over. With Network on Demand, provisioning – and any needed adjustments – will be automated to improve delivery time and help customers reduce costs. Instead of installing a port associated with only one product, our business customers will have a universal port that supports multiple services such as Ethernet and VPN.

We have been operating a Network on Demand pilot at the University of Texas at Austin. Businesses in Austin will be able to take advantage of the solution as we plan a commercial roll-out in the coming months.

What’s clear is that the overall customer experience will be faster, less complex and with clear cost benefits. And this is just the beginning. This and other new Network on Demand-enabled services will be available in additional markets starting in 2015.