How to build a solid business case for Service & Network Orchestrator easily

Overview

One of the important aspects of a successful network transformation is to identify and define the areas that are most relevant to the set goals. One such area that demands a thorough business case is service & network orchestrator.

Today, the decisioning on specific use cases & virtual network functions (VNFs) such as SD-WAN (software defined wide area network), vEPC (virtual evolved packet core), vCCAP (virtual converged cable access platform), CE (carrier ethernet) 3.0 is relatively straight forward considering the aligned business goals & KPIs such as new customer acquisition, customer retention, average cost per customer, reduced OpEx (operating expenses) & CapEx (capital expenses). In some cases, the decisions are also driven based on incumbent vendor roadmap or end-of-life of current network appliances.
The service & network orchestrator falls in a different category. It is an over-arching component applicable across all the network use cases as well as has direct impact on operator’s business & technical goals – such as agility, reduced service delivery time, reduce time to rollout new services, reduced cost.

The service & network orchestrator commercials can be sourced from the solution vendors or related open source ecosystems. However, the value proposition including the related quantitative and qualitative revenue and savings are buried across the use cases as well as the current, transition & target network and IT ecosystem architecture – and hence the need for defining the related business case.

This paper provides the necessary information to build a business case for service and network orchestrator. It details various parameters for calculating the orchestrator cost and savings to arrive at ROI (return on investment) & TCO (total cost of ownership).

Below are the 6 broad categories across network & IT, that digital service providers (DSPs) must evaluate to arrive at the ROI & TCO for service & network orchestrator.

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Building the Business case
For Service & Network Orchestrator

Bundling additional components from the orchestrator vendor will:

  • Reduce the overall license cost (instead of separate components from different vendors)
  • Minimize professional services (integration cost)

To avoid vendor lock-in, must

  • Verify vendor solution architecture is modular, microservices-based, leveraging standard open APIs and supports VMs/Containers

Interoperability Cost

In addition to the orchestrator configuration/implementation professional service (PS) cost, integrating the orchestrator to work in the existing/evolving network & IT architecture will be the key cost contributor.

Savings via Standards

Few key aspects that will reduce the PS cost in both, short & long term:

  • Reusability of existing interfaces/adapters available from orchestrator vendor, based on past implementations.
  • Support for standard APIs such as:
    • MEF LSO
    • TMF APIs

Savings

In short term, NOT having orchestrator will:

  • Save the orchestrator related license, PS and annual support & maintenance cost
  • Expedite go-live of initial use cases such as SD-WAN, where most of the related vendors already include basic orchestration capabilities

Silo Use Cases Cost 3

In long term, NOT having orchestrator will result in:

  • Higher cost for managing silo use cases (e.g. vEPC, vIMS, vCCAP, CE)
  • Inability to leverage or streamline processes as well as network virtualization across use cases

Savings

In short term, NOT having orchestrator will:

  • Save the orchestrator related license, PS and annual support & maintenance cost
  • Expedite go-live of initial use cases such as SD-WAN, where most of the related vendors already include basic orchestration capabilities

Identify and allocate share of revenue from services & network functions. Example of services may include – SD-WAN & uCPE, network security function and enterprise connectivity services. It is important to quantify the related benefits as part of the Orchestrator business case.

Cost for the orchestrator base capabilities e.g.

  • Multi-domain Support
  • Hybrid (PNF & VNF Support)
  • Service & Network Provisioning

Savings from Legacy –

  • Extending the orchestrator to provision legacy physical network elements.
  • Leveraging the same orchestrator across geographies and network domains (core, transport, access etc.)

Initial Cost

The license cost for vendor orchestrator is higher than opting for open source orchestrator.

Long Term Savings

The support and operational cost for open source solution reduces as the solution matures.

Additionally, the footprint of the open source solution will be wider, depending on the support from the open source contributing community.

To know more, download the whitepaper from below link:

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Author: Hema Kadia, VP & Head of SDN-NFV, Strategy and Practice, Prodapt

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