The proceedings of the recent MEF Global NaaS Event held (Oct 2 -4 2023) in Dallas, Texas provide a useful check on the current status, trends and forecasted developments in relation to Network as a Service (NaaS) and it key enablers including Inventory Management / Network Digital Twin, Configure Price Quote (CPQ), Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) and Automation.
MEF defines NaaS as the combination of on-demand connectivity, application assurance, cybersecurity and multi-cloud-based services across a standards-based automated ecosystem. NaaS services will become fully API-driven and will require standards-based automation between ecosystem players.
MEF has created or is in the process of creating a suite of Business and Operational Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) APIs:
- Product Offering / Catalog
- Availability Discovery
- Address Validation & Site Query
- Pricing Discovery
- Product Inventory & Product Offering Qualification
- Product Order
- Billing & Settlement
- Service Catalog & Service Order
- Service Function Testing
- Service Inventory
- Service Performance Monitoring
- Service Fault Management
MEF’s LSO Framework provides the model for automating the full lifecycle of services end-to-end across ecosystem participants. Use of LSO business & operational APIs throughout the supply chain enables service ordering, delivery & management across horizontally integrated networks thereby facilitating an automated NaaS experience. MEF LSO Blockchain and smart contracts play important roles in reducing friction in billing/settlement & enabling NaaS services.
Digital Transformation is forcing networks to change and NaaS is a change accelerator.
- Exploit “as a Service”
- Provide direct access to clouds
- Improve application performance
- Enable app developers to interact with the network
- Have built in cybersecurity
- Enable Work from anywhere
- Integrate AI
The Edge is key to NaaS and the Network Edge with compute is emerging and will run various cloud native virtualized services including SD-WAN, SASE, IoT, etc.
NaaS automation enables customers via Self-service Portals & APIs to request quotations, negotiate, order, manage and monitor status of their applications and services.
NaaS delivers a better customer experience and efficient operational processes underpinned by a modern extensible architecture where REST API interfaces provide seamless bi-directional integration to:
- Inventory Management systems
- Provisioning systems
- Business & Reporting systems
thereby enabling automation of the Configure, Price Quote (CPQ) process to generate quotes in minutes.
The customer experience is transformed through network on-demand and real-time provisioning to quickly turn up cloud based applications and fast / secure / reliable services managed from a single self-service portal.
If you would like to get more details on any of the topics mentioned or wish to know more about Iricent’s network automation solutions and those of our partners Merkator (Inventory Management / Digital Twin), CloudSmartz (Customer Self Service / Automation) and Inmanta (Service Orchestration) feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com or via the contact page here and we will be happy to discuss and advise.