Today’s investment for the future.
Our roadmap of investment and research goes back many years as we played a key role in the formation of many of these services. That background has enabled BT to be the first organisation to launch a Global IWAN solution and NFV services such as Cloud Connect Acceleration with Riverbed and Cloud Connect Security.
We continue to invest, building on those developments and out market leading network portfolio to deliver our future network vision. We focus on the five key areas detailed below, the investment to make these possible is already in place. We will be delivering these services over the next 18months:
1 Connect Intelligence IWAN.
We launched our initial Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN) service at the beginning of 2016. Now, we’re delivering enhancements to bring greater agility and customisation to the service.
IWAN provides a customer premise equipment (CPE) overlay VPN service, using Cisco CPE routers. This enables you to build encrypted VPN solutions as an overlay to core internet or MPLS connectivity.
IWAN includes specific capability to support multiple WAN links to each site. And it provides the dynamic monitoring and selection of which link to use to maintain application performance. This enables you to move to lower-cost WAN services, including those with lower, or no, performance SLAs.
Our strategy is to support IWAN as an overlay solution. We also aim to integrate IWAN with our core network nodes, giving you the ability to combine IWAN, MPLS connectivity, managed applications and cloud connectivity, all across different sites.
This is just the start though, we are working closely with Cisco on even more advanced developments of IWAN which we hope to be able to announce soon. So watch this space.
2&3 Developing new capability and agility with self-service, VPN control and virtualised services.
Creating better network services means introducing NFV and SDN at our cloud-service nodes. We plan to enhance the capability of our existing cloud-service nodes. We will introduce new zero-touch orchestration, along with a customer portal. This will allow you to make dynamic changes to applications hosted at our cloud-service nodes.
The use of NFV technology will enable us to provide a broader range of applications. And it'll do this without the need to pre-build capacity for each individual application at nodes within our network. This means we can offer faster turn-up of new capability. And we can provide 'try before you buy' capability for network-embedded applications.
4 The launch of Agile Connect — our new SD-WAN service.
In parallel to IWAN, we'll bring a new SD-WAN service to market in early 2017, Agile Connect. Agile Connect will provide simple installation and centralised software control via SDN. The product will be ideal for new customers considering the move from MPLS to lower-cost SD-WAN alternatives. It'll sit alongside Cisco IWAN for customers who want an alternative to Cisco and have large branch office networks. And for those who value the simplicity of a software-controlled solution.
In future, Agile Connect service will also integrate with new virtual CPE (vCPE) capability (see below). This will provide integrated 'branch in a box' services, using the centralised automation of SD-WAN. And, with this, customers will be able to control on-premise and network applications.
5 Agile CPE delivered using Virtual CPE (vCPE).
Agile CPE will bring a new level of flexibility to customer sites. Today, we provide a physical device on customer premises for routing then for each extra network function (such as application optimisers or firewalls), we provide separate physical appliances. This incurs delivery and installation costs. Our Agile CPE proposition will host network applications on-site using a single physical CPE device that then delivers virtual services.
The low-cost, commodity-server, x-86-based CPE solution will host a range of value-added applications. We will integrate the solution with our new SD-WAN product. This will provide a full set of branch-based functions within a single physical device.
Our Virtual Services on demand will allow you to use applications in new ways. This includes virtualised Riverbed application acceleration, Check Point firewalls and customer site routing. It will also create a range of 'try before you buy' services that have not been possible before.