First came the challenge: how to address the demands of a new era of telecommunications being ushered in by globalization, cloud services, the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G? Then came the answer – an innovative shared network model that rewrote the telco rules by giving operators the ability to provide fully managed software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) services.
ngena, the International Telco Alliance with a Local Touch
The progenitor of this revolutionary concept was Dr. Marcus Hacke, who worked with a team of network specialists at Deutsche Telecom and Cisco to launch ngena – the Next Generation Enterprise Network Alliance – in 2016. Together with additional founding members CenturyLink, Reliance Jio and SK Telecom, they developed an alliance that delivers an innovative, user friendly, highly scalable, flexible and swiftly deployable global business network for the digital age.
Just two years on, ngena is offering end to end managed SD-WANs in about 200 countries and new names have swelled the ranks of the alliance to more than 20. Not all members have yet made public their involvement, but it is known that they include leading telecommunication providers such as A1, Altice with SFR and Portugal Telecom, CenturyLink, China Unicom Global, Deutsche Telekom, Expereo, KPN, MTN, Neutrona, Reliance Jio, SK Telecom, Starhub, Sunrise, Telus, PCCW Global and VEON, Viettel, as well as technology partners Comarch and Equinix.
Comarch, ngena, and the Globalization of Telecommunications Services
Comarch’s contribution was to provide a centralized service automation and orchestration platform to help ngena deliver its managed hybrid IP-VPN alongside additional options such as network optimization and enhanced security to enterprises in a much more agile and flexible manner than was possible using traditional VPN service capabilities.
The Polish company’s central cloud portal gives alliance partners access to a comprehensive, automated IT platform for high-speed global network solutions. What this means is that tasks such as bid preparation, the creation of binding offers, solution specification, technical configuration and logical deployment, as well as support, assurance, service fulfillment and network health monitoring are all coordinated seamlessly by ngena partners in the alliance’s BSS/OSS system in a zero-touch provisioning model.
From the very beginning, Dr. Hacke and his colleagues aimed to create a telecommunications alliance that would pave the way for a truly globalized and international economy. Thanks to that vision, innovative hybrid VPN connectivity on SD-WAN networks is now helping businesses to achieve fully digital end to end automated service orchestration, giving them the tools to streamline their existing processes and create entirely new business models – disrupting and re-imagining telecommunications for a new era.