In the consumer market, single purpose devices have all but become extinct. Smartphones have shown us how convenient and efficient it can be to have multiple capabilities on a single device. Consolidating voice, video and communications tools like social media and OTT apps into one device makes sense.
It’s easier to manage and these different capabilities work best when seamlessly integrated. The benefit for the consumer is that they get consistent customer experience across different functionalities and the sum is ultimately greater than its parts.
In the world of network infrastructure, we’re seeing service providers ask for the same thing. They want multiple capabilities in a single integrated solution. The days of piecing together different network elements and integrating them isn’t fast or efficient enough to keep up with the pace of change.
In a world that has moved from A to B connectivity for voice and data to cloud and content enablement, network infrastructure needs to work harder for the service provider and simplify its operation instead of adding complexity.
The traditional approach of buying a session border controller (SBC) and integrating it with session management, service management, monitoring, policy and routing, transcoding, and billing systems piece by piece requires resource and long-term management. It increases upfront costs as well as the cost of maintaining and operating it for its lifetime. Instead of making the network simpler and seamless, it actually makes it less agile and efficient.
For service providers, infrastructure consolidation is a real advantage. They can literally do more with less and in the case of the traditional SBC, service providers that find right solution can reduce the number of network elements they operate while expanding their capabilities. That leads to a reduction in costs and enables the service provider to rapidly adjust and scale their network.
Session management can be coupled with network monitoring and security features as well as service management, transcoding and billing to make it simple to sell, deliver, manage, and monitor network services. Just like we have seen in the consumer electronics market, infrastructure can be smarter and there are synergies between different capabilities that can be exploited.
Infrastructure consolidation is happening and service providers that build this into their network strategies create lasting benefits within their businesses.