Ask the Experts: Are You Winning with SDN & NFV?

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle talks about winning with SDN and NFV intelligent networking solutions with Verizon’s Director of Product Management Vickie Lonker. Find out more about designing the right SDN and NFV network solutions to meet customers’ application requirements from Vickie and the Verizon team here:

Andrew: Okay, welcome back guys. We’re going to do another Ask the Experts session, and I’ve asked our good friend Vickie Lonker, who’s the Director of Product Management for Verizon, one of our key suppliers that we get access to through Kingcom. I’ve asked her to come back into the studio and help us again on SDN and NFV, and some cool conversation around that. Vickie, welcome back.
Vickie: Thank you.
Andrew: All right. Hey, we’ve been talking a lot about these technologies and they offer a lot of promise for all of us; and I think we understand them better–we understand the use cases. I wanted to get your take from Verizon’s perspective–what specific Verizon solutions are you guys now going to market with, and where are you guys winning when it comes to SDN specifically? Speak to that real quick.
Vickie: Sure. There are a lot of solutions out in the marketplace today. There’s a lot of hype in the market today, and we’re trying hard to really bring solutions to customers now that solve business problems and give them those intelligent networking capabilities now. Let me tell you about three of those solutions that we’re finding our customers are particularly enthusiastic about.
The first is something called Dynamic Network Manager. We’ve actually had Dynamic Network Manager and the capabilities associated with it in the market for about six years. This product–this is really a capability for customers to dynamically change their port speed through our self-service online portal for both our MPLS services as well as our ethernet services. Customer has a seasonal requirement or has some need, maybe just for growth purposes, or they have some large file applications–whatever the case may be–and they need to adjust the speed of their connection on the fly. They can do that through the portal. They can also set up rules for that connectivity and have that speed throttled back at some point in time. Our customers really like this because it allows them to have some flexibility with shifting business requirements and different business needs.
Another product that we have that was new last year, but really gaining a lot of momentum this year, is called Secure Cloud Interconnect. Secure Cloud Interconnect is a platform, really, and it provides both our MPLS and our mobile private network–which is our 4G customers–access to a secure ecosystem of cloud service providers. We like to say this connectivity is secure, reliable and simple. It allows customers who have these network connections to get to these cloud ecosystems over private connectivity versus public IP.
Andrew: Love it.
Vickie: A lot of customers care about this because they’re concerned about latency. They’re concerned obviously about security. Government customers are a huge place where we’re seeing immediate success with this. Our ecosystem is large so we have the big players out there today: Amazon, Microsoft, SAP, HP, Salesforce, Google, of course Verizon Cloud. We also connect through Equinix Cloud, CoreSite and other partners, and that ecosystem constantly changes. SCI is great for customers in this period of time because it allows them to consume network resources just like they consume cloud resources today, on demand–they only pay for what they use.
Andrew: Cool.
Vickie: The third product I want to tell you about is SD-WAN. This is one that we just launched. Our initial launch is with Cisco IWAN. SD-WANs–you guys have probably already talked about them in the training to date–but they provide intelligent path control technology. So really they allow you to say, “Maybe today I’ve got a video that my employees are looking at from the web. Maybe I’m not really concerned about the performance and I can route that solution over public IP today, but I have a mission critical application. The president’s doing a broadcast to everybody in the company. I want to make sure that connection is pure and good. Maybe I’m going to put that over my MPLS.” SD-WAN allows them to dynamically make that decision and really allow their applications to be aware of the routing and the routing to conform to those.
Andrew: Interesting.
Vickie: There’s lot of interest in these technologies and they’re all available today.
Andrew: Very cool. I love the detail on this. That’s awesome. It sounds like three really exciting areas in places where . . . These are common conversations that come up with customers, right?
Vickie: It is. It’s the same things. It’s nice to start to change the conversation from one where they ask questions about the network, or we ask questions in terms of how much bandwidth do you want? What technology do you want? Now the questions are much more around, what does your application need? What user performance do you expect? From there we build the right network solutions that meet the application requirements.
Andrew: Okay, cool. That’s a perfect way to end this conversation because, Vickie, we’ve talked a lot about applications and that’s where the conversations need to go. What a refreshing conversation to have with customers. I know the customers that I interact with at that level, they light up because it speaks to the core of what they do as a business.
Vickie: Right.
Andrew: Very cool. Guys, that is Vickie Lonker. She is the Director of Product Management for Verizon. Vickie, thanks so much for jumping in. I really appreciate it.
Vickie: Glad to be here.
Andrew: Guys, do make sure you spend some time on the learning center for Verizon and Kingcom. They have great information there that will help you have smarter conversations, more differentiated conversations with your customers. Don’t be afraid to go have that kind of dialogue around applications and how that should drive the design of your network solution. Get smarter on this guys, lots of money to be made in advanced networks with Verizon. Good selling.