Becoming an SD-DP Service Provider (Part II) – A Brief Case Study on Exponential-e, Ltd.

March 29th, 2019 by · Leave a Comment

This Industry Viewpoint was contributed by David W. Wang

(Continued from Part I)

On the cloud end, the firm has got involved with SD data center and cloud solutions for years and has some cloud talents in house who can run and offer a private IaaS in supplement to enterprises use and need for public cloud like AWS, Azure, Google, etc. This also allows them to set up a Cloud Management Platform (CMP), in conjunction with their SD-WAN capabilities, to facilitate multi and hybrid cloud access and adoption for enterprises and public agencies. The firm’s balanced offering approach between private, hybrid and public cloud utilization, and multi cloud access facilitating, helps to position itself as a winning niche player in the very competitive cloud segment.

Security wise, in addition to the native securities from the Nuage’s SD-WAN, the firm‘s SD-DP fabric can also facilitate service chaining of advanced security (or called SD-Security) from vendors like Palo Alto and Zscaler for those clients in need. SD-Security, powered either from cloud or commodity appliances, can provide a package of SDN/NFV based security functions, including next-generation firewalls, malware protection, DNS and URL filtering, IPS and IDS, anti-DDoS and network segmentation.

The key values of SD-Security include cost effectiveness, zero-touch provisioning, automatic service chaining, holistic visibility and threat management. Enterprises do need better and advanced security services but often found them too expensive to afford or too complicated to manage in the past. Now SD-Security is altering some perception that security often slows things down, rather it is a new business enabler - enabling enterprises to do business better in a secure and cost-effective manner.

Plus, the firm has a customer service team in house working around the clock to handle service issues and customer concerns in order to ensure successful customer experiences. The team is armed with tiered trouble shooting structure, key performance index monitoring tools, system automation, data analytics, etc. in fulfilling their tasks.

In reference to the second and third qualifiers for SD-DP service provider, internally the firm has their teams work diligently, from both technical and process angles, to break the silos and achieve service integration and system interoperability. Based on industry surveys, one of the major concerns from enterprise DX journey is the increasing complexity from today’s hybrid and multi access cloud, networking and security environment. In order to make the customer’s DX process easier and efficient, the teams believe, as a qualified SD-DP service vendor, they should by all means make their offerings simpler and more friendly to adopt in the first place.

Externally the teams use overlay structure to support each other and enable effective solution sales. The firm’s SD-DP also offers a co-managed model that allows customers’ monitoring and admin control of the services in subscription via service portals. Since to many enterprises, DX is often accompanied by some awareness and learning curves, the firm’s marketing team has been actively organizing and conducting customer workshop, seminars and consultation events to evangelize the DX key concepts and initiatives.

To date, the firm’s digital service endeavors have brought about rapid growth in terms of market, revenue, customer recognition, service partnership, vendor alliances, and employee career development. The VIP clients they serve, just to name a few here, include the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, Allport Cargo Services, InterQuest Group, Nabarro LLP, Morningstar, Inc.

Going forward, the firm is in process to enhance and reinforce their vertical solution packages, IoT and smart city solutions, and managed solution roadmap to address key DX elements and architecture of the customer’s entire business ecosystem. As technologies keep evolving, SD-DP powered solutions and services are still moving targets with new muscles and strengths being added on. Lee Wade, the firm’s CEO says, “The digital age is dramatically transforming the market, customers, and the firm itself. We have been evolving our SD-DP and Digital Transformation Toolbox for many years now and our next step is to scale our DX solutions to the global market.”

In summary, I see Exponential-e’s best practices and successes so far make a good proof of concept on SD-DP and also truly help to shed light on a billion-dollar level question in this Industry Revolution 4.0 era: Why do next-gen IT/Networking service providers need being SD-DP centric? The answer: to better serve customers’ strategic DX needs and become a DX enabler. Vice versa, how can an enterprise find a qualified vendor or trusted solution partner for their DX journey? The answer: to go with an innovative, successful and leading SD-DP service provider in the marketplace.

David W Wang is a Telecom/IT business development & solution enablement principal and senior consultant with ITCom Global, LLC, with current focus on next-gen networking solutions, e.g. SD-WAN Go to Market, adoption and deployment models. Mr. Wang is also the author of the brand new book “Software Defined-WAN for the Digital Age” (published in November 2018) , and the 2015 publishing “Cash In On Cloud Computing”. He is based in Washington DC metro and can be contacted at ITComG18@gmail.com

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