Network Virtualization Will Give Business Customers More Control Over Their Services

By James Feger, VP Infrastructure Support

Much has been written and discussed about how businesses can benefit from software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) capabilities. It is a technology trend that sounds complex, but in reality, it is a simple concept of convergence.

SDN and NFV technologies make it easier to bring network, cloud, data center and applications together, allowing customers to have more control over their services. Here’s an in-depth look at what this technology trend means for customers:

  • Automation: NFV helps us to be more efficient and provide the best possible customer experience. As we focus on selling communications solutions and consulting services on top of our network, hosting and cloud services, more automation and fewer systems will enable us to simplify our processes and provide more innovative services.
  • Self Service: Greater automation allows for self-service capabilities with more flexible purchasing and bundling options. Customers will have more web- and phone-based channels to buy what they need, when they need it, and be able to view the status of their orders and services whenever they’d like. Bringing our network and the cloud together, and making our products easy to access, understand and buy, is what self service is all about.
  • Programmable:  Programmable means paying for what you use and how much you use it. Businesses can easily add network capacity by managing IT in the cloud. When demand returns to normal levels, they can scale back. This is more efficient for companies, avoids lost sales opportunities due to network slow-downs or lack of server capacity, and saves them money because in a programmable environment, you only pay for what you use. More applications and more flexibility are wins for our customers and CenturyLink.

CenturyLink is aggressively working to transform its existing core network into an SDN and NFV-based environment with plans to have full global virtualization coverage in its IP core network and data centers by 2018. When fully implemented, we will be able to integrate the delivery of our network, hosting, cloud and IT services through a self-service application marketplace and on-demand environment, creating a customer experience our competitors will find difficult to replicate. Read more in our recent press release.

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