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Nordic Enterprises See SDN As Key To Network Agility, Working From Home

ISG Provider Lens report sees Nordic companies looking to SDN providers to help them respond to changing customer expectations

Enterprises in the Nordics are expanding their adoption of software-defined networking technology to become more agile and flexible while enabling employees to more easily work from home, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group, a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

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The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Network – Software Defined Solutions and Services Report for the Nordics finds enterprises in the region looking to SDN-related technologies and service providers to help them with challenges related to the flexibility, speed and collaboration they need to better serve their employees and their increasingly mobile customers.

“Nordic enterprises are looking to SDN and its service providers to increase their network agility, flexibility and competitiveness while enabling remote working and better business continuity,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “This new need for enterprise agility goes beyond the abilities of traditional networks in a constantly changing competitive environment.”

The report also sees enterprises in the region embracing SD-WAN to enable remote working. While WAN architecture at enterprises has created backhaul challenges, that architecture is evolving to support more connectivity choices. Vendors are enabling enterprises to use a variety of transport options actively or on standby.

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In addition, Nordic enterprises are moving toward more automation and analytics. Enterprises are increasingly embracing the concept of the network as code, where changes in the network infrastructure can be handled through code changes. Service providers are leveraging automation tools and allowing visibility into the cloud, the data center, and the WAN. Nordic enterprises see SD-WAN as a way to drive automation, reduce reliance on network hardware and consolidate network functionality.

Nordic enterprises are also seeking end-to-end connectivity to analyze data at the edge, including data generated by Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the report says. Service providers and system integrators are exploring ways to bring new capabilities to Wi-Fi 6, long-term evolution (LTE) and fifth-generation (5G) networks. They are also looking to assist customers with large public 5G rollouts, with some spectrum potentially allocated for enterprises.

New SDN-related technologies will pave the way for the industrial IoT to scale up and for edge computing to grow further, the report adds. However, a more inclusive network ecosystem is needed for the cloud, which is evolving into a holistic web of network technologies that include components of SDN such as WAN, LAN and Wi-Fi 6 management.

The report also sees changes in network practices driven in part by the move in the Nordics to the cloud and to the software-as-a-service model. Enterprises there have been seeing more internet-based traffic, which has led them to consider new ways to look at connectivity. Enterprises are moving away from a conventional hub-and-spoke networking model and considering instead an any-to-any connectivity model that supports more cloud-oriented traffic patterns.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Network – Software Defined Solutions and Services Report for the Nordics evaluates the capabilities of 55 providers across six quadrants: Managed (SD) WAN Services, SDN Transformation Services (Consulting and Implementation), SD-WAN Equipment and Service Suppliers (DIY), Technology and Service Suppliers (Core – 4G/5G), Edge Technology and Services, and Enterprise 5G Solutions.

The report names Orange Business Services as a leader in five quadrants and BT, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, HCL, IBM, Tech Mahindra and Wipro as leaders in four. Ericsson, HPE Aruba and Nuage Networks are named leaders in three quadrants, and Infosys, TCS, Telenor, Telia, Verizon and VMware are named leaders in two. Citrix, Juniper Networks, Nokia Networks and Versa Networks are named leaders in one quadrant.

In addition, Tech Mahindra, Verizon and Wipro were named Rising Stars—companies with “promising portfolios” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition—in two quadrants. GTT and Infosys were named Rising Stars in one quadrant each.

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