Borderless Growth with SDN: The Next Frontier for MSPs

MSPs can be strategic partners with cloud-based services and SDNs.

July 5, 2019

5 Min Read
Borderless Growth with SDN: The Next Frontier for MSPs

By Jerzy Szlosarek


Jerzy Szlosarek

Over the past decade, digitalization has transformed the managed services provider (MSP) business model significantly. Rapid adoption of the cloud in the enterprise has dramatically changed the way MSPs serve their customers beyond outsourced IT services.

From managing on-premises IT infrastructure to providing cloud-based services, MSPs are becoming strategic partners for enterprises in solving complex IT challenges. This presents a huge opportunity for MSPs to grow their services and expand globally.

Traditionally, MSPs have focused on specific metro markets or regions where they have the service capabilities readily available and may have successfully served key verticals or specialized in an industry. Today, enterprises that are serious in their digital transformation are selecting MSPs by what they can deliver locally, regionally and, in some cases, across the globe.

By 2021, more than half of global enterprises already using cloud services today will adopt an all-in cloud strategy, according to Gartner. All-in cloud strategies represent the dividends of today’s transformation projects.

For MSPs, this means delivering applications and services that are as flexible, scalable and agile as the cloud. Connectivity will play a huge role in the way they expand their services and reach across geographies. If they stay focused on legacy services with legacy networking models, they’re going to max out the revenue they can capture and risk becoming irrelevant.

Solving Transformation Challenges

In recent years, software-defined networking (SDN) platforms are enabling MSPs to meet the needs of the new era of digital enterprises. The purpose of an SDN platform is to allow on-demand access to a network fabric of interconnected data centers. MSPs that partner with an SDN platform provider can accelerate their transformation and redefine themselves beyond just being a channel reseller.

The challenge for MSPs is undergoing their own digital transformation to support businesses effectively. In a cloud-first world, MSPs need a network that can support the delivery of cloud-based applications and services to their customers. An SDN platform offers simple and agile connectivity to the cloud.

With hybrid cloud becoming the go-to approach, enterprises also demand secure, scalable private connections to the cloud for mission-critical data and applications. With on-demand connectivity, MSPs can become true technology partners of digital enterprises to bridge the gaps in their IT infrastructure and accelerate their digital transformation.

Delivering a consistent, high-quality experience can be challenging for MSPs as enterprises need their cloud services to work anywhere around the world with the same quality they always have. An MSP that has access to a connectivity provider’s global network fabric can bring its services closer to customers outside their region and help them grow globally. By adding SDN to their portfolio, they can become strategic partners that support the growth of digital enterprises.

Growing focus on the development of SDN platforms by network service providers means MSPs today can quickly make a move without the need to develop new platforms or relationships. They can immediately act and make a break from the manual processes, limited reach and complexity of the legacy world.

Networking Can Be a Growth Driver

MSPs are white-labelling a whole range of applications and services, so why not networking? It’s one of the simplest ways to immediately transform an MSP’s business and enable it to explore new growth opportunities.

A white-label SDN platform removes the cost-heavy and …

… labor-intensive process of deploying new network resources. Rather than piecing together a patchwork of services and expensive commitments to DevOps, MSPs can leverage an SDN platform to monetize new network services from day one. They don’t have to sink a lot of time and effort into building a solution that already exists. They can get all the long-term benefits without the hassle of development and managing capital expenditures.

At the same time, they can deploy, then scale up, applications and services for their customers on-demand. They differentiate themselves with speed and agility while controlling and monitoring their network services through a single pane of glass. This creates new competitive advantages and differentiates their services for new and existing customers.

With cloud on-ramps and access to internet exchanges (IX) at their fingertips, MSPs can also add value to their customers beyond the region in which they operate. If a customer is growing in a new region or country, the MSP can still provide the same level of service. It could support the customer’s cloud strategy by offering direct connectivity to multiple cloud service providers (CSPs), especially in certain locations where the CSP doesn’t have local footprint.

New Flexibility and Scalability

As demand changes across the MSPs’ customer base with a big shift to the cloud, the MSP is ready. It can scale up its network connectivity in new markets to serve emerging demands without being tied to long-term inflexible contracts. That drives efficiency and profitability. MSPs can do more with an SDN platform that enables them to deliver new experiences for their customers and capture more of their overall information and communications technology (ICT) spending.

This drives customer retention and enables MSPs to grow sustainably while removing traditional barriers in their business. SDN platforms can drive borderless growth and maximise the potential of an MSP’s business. In the future, they will be able to focus on catering to the needs of global businesses across the verticals rather than just a niche market in their local area.

Epsilon Telecommunications co-founder and CEO Jerzy Szlosarek is an industry executive with a strong sales and engineering background, particularly in the global telecom markets. Leading Epsilon’s global commercial strategy and innovation initiatives, Jerzy has been central to the company’s success in positioning Epsilon into service provider networks worldwide. His track record spans almost 25 years as he’s progressed from the founding days as CTO when he laid out the technical vision to running the global sales and operations teams as COO before assuming the CEO position. Follow Epsilon on LinkedIn or @Epsilontel on Twitter.

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