Deliver an App-Centric Experience, Enable an Innovative Ecosystem

Paul VerhoevenBy Paul Verhoeven

Apps have transformed the ways we consume products and services. Today, from a simple app, you can order a ride with complete end-to-end visibility into your journey and gain access to quoting, pricing and billing in a single instance, on-demand and across much of the globe.

Enterprise employees have come to expect the same seamless experience from networking.

I believe that this app ecosystem provides a large opportunity for channel partners to effectively meet new customer demands. An “app-centric channel” would allow partners to make a variety of services available to customers, all via mobile-app-store-type models. Enterprises would gain simple access to a tailored portfolio of services; bundles could include anything from networking and cloud communication to storage and backup. Customers will benefit from a rich and growing ecosystem where they can access on-demand connectivity services that are agile and flexible. They will be able to rely on networking to support their growth, no matter where it is happening.

Through the combination of cloud, virtualization, on-demand connectivity and back-office automation, channel partners eventually should be able to connect, deploy and manage these services all within an app store-type environment. We’ll use APIs to deliver an on-demand ecosystem that brings together different communications services into a single location.

Overall, the communications market will be more vibrant and exciting than it has ever been. An app-centric model will provide a foundation for a new era of innovation, where the channel accelerates access to new applications and services, new levels of performance and new experiences in ICT.

[App Centric Demands NFV: The mechanics behind an app-store model? NFV and SDN. Services delivered in a software-defined model — from firewalls to UC to SD-WAN — represent significant opportunity for channel partners. In this free Report, we provide a primer. Download now!]

Let’s face it, today networking is impeding innovation within the channel model rather than enabling it. Capitalizing on the explosion of cloud, real-time communications, machine-to-machine communications and the Internet of Things (IoT) demands network services that go beyond what is being offered by the traditional networking model.

The network is the weak link that is slowing services development and putting barriers up that limit channel partners’ growth.

The Benefits of Change

I see five unique ways that channel partners and their enterprise customers will benefit from this new model:

  1. Accessibility: Making networking services available via mobile app store-type models enables channel partners to provide their enterprise customers with limitless accessibility. Eventually, customers will be able access all of their applications and services directly from their smartphones, anywhere around the world.
  2. Simplicity: By creating an app-centric channel, the complexities inherent in the current model will be removed. Channel partners will have the option to cherry-pick from a number of different networking solutions, selecting those that best suit their enterprise customers’ needs. The whole procurement and deployment process is simplified to a few simple finger taps.
  3. New agility: Partners are able to compete with new efficiency and grow their businesses outside a particular geography or vertical. With a minimized need for close operational management, partners regain critical time to focus on other core areas of their businesses, like customer service.
  4. Rapid time-to-market: With the ability to connect, procure and manage via a centralized app ecosystem, channel partners are able to deploy new applications and services within the marketplace faster and with greater efficiency. That will allow them to meet new customer demands quickly, while staying ahead of competitors in the same space.
  5. Reduced customer churn: By providing a centralized app-ecosystem for all enterprise customer needs, channel partners can reduce churn. Customers will be able to get everything that they need from a single location and will no longer have to manage multiple supplier relationships.

Applications that provide on-demand access to everything networking are the future. When speaking with suppliers, it’s time to ask when they will remove inefficient manual processes from procuring services.

Paul Verhoeven is general manager, Americas, for Epsilon. Verhoeven brings more than 18 years of experience to his role with extensive knowledge of the global and U.S. telecom market. He will lead Epsilon’s growth across the Americas with a focus on expanding its reach in U.S. metro markets and building channel relationships. He is based in New York.

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