Colt recently gave the third instalment of its network virtualization and SD-WAN Webinar series ‘uCPE: Revolutionising the Network Edge with Colt’. The live Webinar plus Q&A was delivered in collaboration with partner ADVA. Colt has launched support for Versa Networks SD-WAN and Check Point firewall VNFs and has a development roadmap underway to also offer VNFs for Palo Alto, Riverbed Technology, SilverPeak, Infovista-Ipanema, Cisco-Viptela, and Juniper Networks.
Colt with uCPE partner ADVA are poised to support innovation at the edge of the network, and this is not something Colt’s rivals can necessarily match. Customers can ask for Colt’s views on building networks for the future, including for example how its SD-WAN can provide a supporting structure to deploying micro-services in containers in multi-clouds, IoT, and for harnessing AI/ML.
The main challenges that Colt faces for traction for its SD-WAN and uCPE offerings are twofold: firstly, several competitors offer Versa Networks SD-WAN (examples include Tata Communications, Virgin Business, Comcast Business, Zayo, and Verizon) and have collaborated with a number of vendors and partners for flexible uCPE choices – with Verizon offering a large range. The second challenge is on the customer-side, uCPE solutions are not necessarily well understood with the market just beginning to evolve and adopt in seriousness. Colt faces the task of educating customers and demonstrating to its target market how its SD-WAN and uCPE products can give real benefits.
Colt can continue to communicate the pragmatic message of phased approaches for its customers looking to migrate to open virtualization platforms. The company can talk about its skill-sets and experience with designing, deploying and maintaining SD-WAN, and can bundle in very strong security based on VNF partners as well as its own managed security capabilities. Furthermore, Colt has the network assets and relations with peering partners to offer global backbone and last mile access services to provide a robust underlay.
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