Network as a Service, or NaaS, is poised to reshape customer experiences at the edge

By Kelly Baig, Director of Product Management, Aruba
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Flexible consumption services for storage and compute power seem to be mainstream today with customers taking “as a Service” approaches more often than not.  More recently and as a late-comer to the everything-as-a-Service party, is networking. We now see that NaaS is gaining traction, with IDC reporting that flexible consumption models for enterprise networking software and hardware continue to gain favor in the market (“Five Key Enterprise Networking Trends to Watch in 2020”).

I recently had the opportunity to hear about NaaS from JD Singh, Head of Global Services at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company. Here are some of JD’s thoughts on how NaaS can help improve customer experiences with networking at the edge.

Kelly: There seems to be a rising interest in NaaS. What dynamics do you think have contributed to creating this new demand for NaaS?

JD: There are a combination of things happening with our customers. First, they need efficiencies in network operations, and they have realized that while the network is important that operating the network manually themselves is not a priority. They would rather take the time that they are spending on troubleshooting and ticketing, and use it for strategic planning of new ways to utilize the network for their communities. Often there is a growing network footprint with little to no increase in IT team size or skills, and this means something needs to change soon for them.

Customers are also having a hard time staying ahead of technology innovation and refresh cycles. They are just tired of how much effort it takes to track the equipment – and there is a lot of it! What NaaS provides in terms of automation for equipment tracking, and frictionless refresh and renewals, has huge benefit for our customers.

Finally, capital budget challenges, with more customers wanting a “pay per use” model for consuming technology seems to be growing now for networks.

Kelly: What technology changes do you see enabling the demand for NaaS?

JD: Cloud-based architectures have definitely facilitated the capture of product telemetry and other services-oriented data, previously more difficult to obtain from on-prem devices. This has in turn, allowed manufacturers like Aruba, to utilize big data analysis systems and tools to drive tremendous value from this data. Our years of experience allows us to better inspect and correlate this data, allowing for self-healing and self-optimizing capabilities within a network. Our goal is a zero ticket, zero downtime experience for customers with our NaaS.

Kelly: What do you think is unique about Managed Connectivity Services, an HPE GreenLake NaaS service?

JD: Aruba brings almost 2 decades of innovation in intelligent edge solutions, spanning several hundred thousand global customer deployments and literally millions of devices. We’ve leveraged the expertise gained to build a from-grounds-up proactive and preemptive services management approach, fully leveraging Aruba’s recently announced Edge Services Platform (ESP) and Artificial Intelligence Operations (AIOps) architecture, to deliver a best in class managed services experience for our customers.

Our promise is to streamline operations and to do the heavy lifting in managing the day to day tasks for our customers. We provide fast, expert guided on-boarding; proactive and predictive network operations; automated change management; frictionless expansion and future evergreen refreshes; a zero-ticket, zero downtime experience; all within a predictable, pay-as-you-go budgeting model.

We think those are all of the key elements of any NaaS solution, and we’ve got them.

What’s unique about Managed Connectivity Service is that it is co-led and co-delivered with our qualified partners.  While we will always have a direct link with the customer, we very much depend on our partners to do as much as they are capable and willing to do.

The net for our customers is that Managed Connectivity Services provides what we’re describing as an easy on-ramp to consuming Aruba ESP for the intelligent edge.

Kelly: What kind of companies do you see adopting NaaS?

JD: The good news is that any company that is interested in pivoting to a fully managed as-a-Service experience are candidates to adopt Aruba’s Managed Connectivity Service (regardless of whether the infrastructure itself is purchased in a CAPex or OPex model).

Kelly: Thank you, JD! It is always great to get the perspective from a member of the executive staff and someone who has worked many years in customer service.

Interested in NaaS? Learn more: