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Accelerating network-as-a-service (NaaS) adoption with value management

By Amrita Shergill, Business Development & Sales Leader APJ GreenLake for Aruba
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Post-COVID has seen the hybrid workplace become the new norm. With a majority of employees splitting their time between the home office and workplace, managing and securing this widely distributed network is top of mind.

NaaS addresses complex customer problems with a flexible and agile solution. However due to the complexity of customer issues, a new non-traditional selling approach is required. Sellers need to be able to identify the actual quantification of the business benefits and present it to the customer.

As post pandemic trends have accelerated the need for agility in IT, network procurement and management. IT procurement cycles have accelerated and investments have increased – much more than pre-covid. According to a IDC InfoBrief (1), seventy one percent of organizations report their long-term planning cycles have shortened due to COVID-19, with eight two percent of the same participants stating that long-term planning cycles have been reduced to 2 years or less. With hybrid work environments, securing the enterprise inside and outside its boundaries in a flexible and scalable manner is a priority.

To address this requirement and ensure seamless connectivity, organizations are rapidly adopting consumption-driven NaaS models to balance the cost of their network growth with the digital experience of their stakeholders.

Organizations are also looking to accelerate connectivity to edge locations while easing the burden of managing those new locales. They require simple platforms that enable rapid access to new technology to ensure the network meets the needs of their business.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) technology, and flexible consumption models like Enterprise NaaS make it possible for organizations to respond effectively to these challenges. The IDC 2022 study highlights that one third of organizations have deployed NaaS and another thirty five percent plan to deploy NaaS within the next twenty four months.

Companies are no longer looking to purchase hardware, rather they are seeking to provide their constituents with an end user experience that offers:

  • A best-in-class agile network solution with richer levels of visibility and cross-platform control including centralized management and AI/ML capabilities for seamless and efficient network operation.
  • Technology that minimizes operational risk and provides advanced data management and protection that spans the entire edge-to-core continuum.
  • An optimized network planning experience along with scalability and sustainability built-in, and a simple monthly payment with no upfront capital expenditure. Additionally, the NaaS provider removes the traditional challenges of managing/operating networks.

Moving towards an "experience" economy

The traditional method of purchasing based on price and product features is outdated. Companies should embrace value-based decision making that focuses on the customer business objectives and that benefits for the various stakeholders (technology, operations, procurement, finance, security, data analytics, environment, etc.) who all have a vested interest in the network.These stakeholders, primarily the C-suite, should measure investments in terms of money, risk and time and make decisions based on a solid understanding of the Return on Investment (ROI).

Transitioning to Customer Value

The transition from selling on price and features requires a new approach, one that is customer centric and focuses on business challenges, outcomes and value.

Communicating value to the customer enables the sales process to follow a customer-first philosophy.

Benefits for Customers

  • Receive an integrated solution to address your current and future business requirements, by having your stakeholders work with teams they wouldn’t traditionally interact with.
  • Obtain more insight into your hidden costs (e.g., planning and downtime, overtime, expedited freight) associated with your current network, along with specific business processes to be avoided.
  • Develop a laser focus on your business objectives, risks, and digital strategy with detailed contributions from your economic buyer and executives.
  • Receive investment validation and substantiation of solution by having your economic buyer and executives contribute to the process earlier

In order to accelerate the adoption of NaaS it is important that both customers and sellers embrace value management. Not only can it help a seller engage with an executive audience and speak in the customer’s language of money, risk and time but it can also help frame the right NaaS solution for the customer and help sellers become trusted advisors.

To learn more about NaaS go to www.arubanetworks.com/naas.

To learn more about Value Management contact valuemanagement@hpe.com.

Related Resources:

(1) IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Aruba, Network as a Service: State of the Market,* doc #US48894322, March 2022

Blog contributions also from Ramanand Dang, May 2022.