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Thriving on the Edge: Developing CSP Edge Computing Strategy

CIO dream team: Who’s in and why?

By G C Network | October 12, 2019

Today’s CIO navigates the twin challenges of enabling new business models and managing rapid technological change. Cloud computing strategies are now table stakes. CIOs must make complex decisions about using public and private clouds, on-premises enterprise systems, Internet of Things, edge computing, and many other user experience outlets. Cloud-enabled digital transformation can’t happen without the…

Digital Transformation and the Mainframe

By G C Network | September 1, 2019

Digital transformation infuses digital technology into all areas of an organization’s business or mission. Its fundamental purpose is to create and deliver innovative and industry-changing digital products and services to a global customer base. By doing this, an enterprise gains an ability to quickly act and react to changing data, operational conditions and competitive strategies…

Composable Architecture Q&A. Are you ready?

By G C Network | August 26, 2019

Q: Is it time for my company to jump on the composable architecture bandwagon? A: Composable architectures are quickly becoming essential to the modern enterprise. Citing a recent Forrester study: the adoption of composable infrastructure as an element of a hybrid IT strategy results in faster, more flexible, and more efficient ecosystems that enable companies…

GC Global Net

Increase Productivity by Reducing Technology Distraction: Lessons from Forrester Research

By G C Network | August 8, 2019

Workplace productivity is hurt every day by the very technology developed and purchased to improve it. Forrester announced this surprising conclusion in their latest “How To Wake Up From The Nightmare Of Workplace Technology Distraction” study. The Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics® Workforce Benchmark Recontact Survey included 6,508 respondents in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, the…

Unveiling the end-to-end capabilities for the networked society

By G C Network | June 10, 2019

An Interview with Henrik Basilier  By Kevin L. Jackson The telecom industry is rapidly moving towards a future in which networks must have the capabilities of delivering services with the agility, flexibility and scalability only made possible by full programmability. More than software defined networks (SDN), these capabilities will deliver software defined service domains that…

AT&T Finance Solutions GM on Shrimping, Software, and CX

By G C Network | June 10, 2019

Helping clients address the trends and challenges presented by the Financial Services industry is the main focus for René Dufrene in his role as General Manager of Finance Solutions at AT&T Business. His global responsibility includes Retail Banking, Insurance, Payment, and Wealth Management solutions. His background, the impact of digital transformation, the role of 5G,…

GC Global Net

Cloud Computing Evolves: An Interview with Mats Johansson

By G C Network | June 6, 2019

Recently, Ericsson Digital released an amazing report on Edge Computing and 5G. In it, they explained how distributed cloud computing is paving the way for the future of network communications. They also advised telecommunications operators, not to wait for 5G but they should build tomorrow’s networks today! Given the cost, effort and focus such a commitment…

The IoT Nexus: Bosch Connected World 2019 in Berlin

By G C Network | May 11, 2019

Next week, I will be influencing #LikeABosch as I accept an invitation from the company to attend Bosch ConnectedWorld 2019 (BCW19) in Berlin, Germany. This is one of the world’s largest international forums for the Internet of Things (IoT) and brings together the best minds to energize the co-creation of connected products and solutions invented for life. The conference,…

Survive and Thrive With Digital Transformation

By G C Network | April 17, 2019

First cloud computing then multi-cloud. How can we get ahead of this digital transformation nightmare? These are the laments heard in conference rooms and board meeting around the world. While the goal seems simple, adopting and migrating to a cloud service provider requires much more than executive willingness and a sharp IT organization. A lot…

The “George Jetson” of Today

By G C Network | April 13, 2019

He grew up in Silicon Valley, landed his first job at Apple Computers, was introduced to Nobel Prize winners by his dad and today, he takes a self-driving car to work so that he can squeeze in a few morning conference calls with the US east coast Team. Is this George Jetson!? No. It’s just…

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are facing significant business model challenges. Referred to generally as edge computing, the possibilities introduced by the blending of 5G networks and distributed cloud computing technologies are redefining how CSPs operate, partner, and drive revenue. A new Ericsson Digital whitepaper entitled, “Edge computing and deployment strategies for communication service providers,” addresses these challenges by providing much-needed insight and actionable strategic recommendations.

Written by Ericsson Director Cloud Strategy Execution Carlos Bravo and Solution Marketing Manager Henrik Bäckström, this new work presents a practical roadmap for how the industry should address the expected US$700 billion in 5G-enabled, business-to-business value. It directly answers the question of how operators can maintain relevance in the face of the current massive industry changes. The most enlightening aspect of the paper was the architectural approach to the design and deployment of advanced edge computing solutions. The four critical components of this approach are:

  • Dynamic orchestration and management;
  • Application runtime execution environment;
  • Connectivity; and
  • Distributed cloud infrastructure.

Dynamic orchestration and management emphasize a centralized function that maintains awareness of the network topology and resource availability. This capability maintains consistency between user plane gateway functionality and edge applications.  Consistency is critical to the management of non-telco workloads and VNFs. The application runtime execution environment (RTE) is responsible for hosting all enterprise customer applications in a consistent and well-documented edge computing service environment. Documentation is essential to the development and nurturing of the CSP’s application developer community. Connectivity delivers foundational bandwidth, throughput, mobility, and latency requirements. For edge computing, the application developer may specify these requirements. New traffic routing services that coordinate application server requirements and network functionality are also required. In combination, these capabilities enable the Distributed Cloud Infrastructure, which is composed of global, national, regional, and local cloud data centers. The integration of these data centers with the network is also critical.

Figure 1- An architectural approach to the design and deployment of advanced edge computing solutions

Success with this model requires an overall strategy that differentiates on services delivered. This strategy differs from the more common “services description” approach by its ability to solve industry-specific challenges through the provisioning of easy-to-consume application programming interfaces, or APIs. This “broad tent” approach also requires open collaboration with system integrators, hyperscale cloud service providers, and operations technology vendors. System Integrators (SI) are particularly suited to the task of addressing enterprise pain points related to edge computing solution implementation and the integration of vertical industry offerings. Hyperscale Cloud Providers (HCP) deliver cloud infrastructure and platforms. They also bring with them the application developer ecosystems. Operations Technology (OT) vendors have the Internet of Things (IoT) platforms and applications that deliver the real value at the network edge. Since differentiated services must also be easily accessible to application developers, operators should offer APIs that follow industry de-facto standards or adopt APIs that present a common list of attributes.

Figure 2- CSPs must make their services easily accessible to application developers.

This business model approach redefines the telecommunications value chain. It features operators as the provider of new enterprise-focused offerings. The models also enable many and varied use cases across multiple industry verticals. Operators can also differentiate locally while simultaneously leveraging a global edge computing ecosystem.

Following this recommended path leads typically to service provider focus on one, or a combination, of the following high-level strategies:

  • Full Edge Provider – CSP advances a strong go-to-market (GTM) relationship with the enterprise or the application developer/provider, committing to vertical-specific SLAs
  • Partner Edge Provider – CSP resells HCP and OT vendor industry vertical solutions delivered over the provider’s connectivity services. The focus is on use cases that depend on robust connectivity.
  • Aggregator Edge Provider – CSP partners with a content aggregator through a revenue share aaS model. The aggregator commits to SLAs while the CSP provides edge hardware.
  • Limited Edge Provider – CSP focusses on connectivity that supports vertical industry solutions offered by partner HCP, SI and OT vendors

Edge Computing is drastically changing the service provider role. Success will depend on pursuing a collaborative partner strategy that highlights your telco company’s strengths. All of the recommended strategies, however, demand an understanding and focus on enterprise vertical challenges and solutions.

Ericsson Digital Services offer solutions to modernize, digitalize, and shape new business models for Telco operators globally. Our advanced offerings are designed to help you secure, serve, and grow your business and customer base through innovative customer engagement platforms, automated operations, and programmable networks. If you know what your customers are doing, you will know what to do for your customers. Let us help you leverage edge computing to transform your business so you can evolve, scale and thrive in the digital era. Please visit https://www.ericsson.com/en/digital-services/trending/edge-computing.

Disclaimer: This article was sponsored by Ericsson as part of the Ericsson Ambassador Program.

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