Ask the Experts: The Future of Intelligent Networking is Now

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle discusses the ways that SDN and intelligent networking help companies operate in a global dynamic marketplace and quickly bring services to market with Verizon’s Vickie Lonker. Find out more about intelligent networking from Vickie and the Verizon team here:

Andrew: Okay. We’re jumping right back in, guys, to another Ask the Experts session. I’ve asked to join this session, Vickie Lonker who is the Director of Product Management for Verizon. A great, great supplier that we get access to through our good friends at KingCom. Vickie, welcome to the studios here.
Vickie: Thanks for having me.
Andrew: All right. Hey, listen, we’ve been talking a lot about advanced data networking and some cool technologies like SDN–Software Defined Networking; NFV–Network Function Virtualization. Some cool, kind of, next generation stuff. We’ve got some good definitions of that those are all about, but I wanted to get your take on this. What do you think is the big “so what” for customers–and for Sales Partners, for that matter? Why should customers and partners care about these underlying technologies? What’s your take on that?
Vickie: You know, my take is that they shouldn’t have to care about the underlying technologies that support their business applications. They just want those applications to work, and that’s exactly why the promise of SDN is so exciting.
Imagine a world where your network could dynamically select the lowest cost route connection times based on the application performance requirements. Image a world where your network could predict network degradation, or application degradation, and automatically route that application to a new technical solution, or a new network, automatically.
Andrew: Yeah.
Vickie: Imagine a world further where you could launch seasonal business units, and you as a customer or a partner could do that dynamically and seamlessly without huge capital investment. That’s what we think SDN has the promise to provide.
Andrew: Very cool.
Vickie: It’s a way for our networks to now provide the same characteristics we enjoyed again with compute and storage from clouds, and now networks can act more like that.
Andrew: Very cool. I love that. That’s pretty awesome. There’s a big automation story there, isn’t it? Is the next generation networks a lot about automation?
Vickie: It’s about automation, but automation that the end user gets to control.
Andrew: Yeah.
Vickie: So policies that they can set in advance, and the network responds to those policies accordingly all based on the application–not based on the network.
Andrew: Got it. It’s very cool how the network’s becoming so highly intelligent so that it can adjust automatically based on applications. We talked about that in an earlier segment about application aware networks. That’s not just a future thing. That’s a now thing.
Vickie: It is a now thing. Verizon has products in market we just announced just a week or so ago. The launch of a new SD-WAN solution that does just that.
Andrew: Yep.
Vickie: It allows customers to program their networks in advance so that they can route the application, again, based on the performance needs: the latency requirements, the bandwidth requirements, whatever parameters the customer defines–
Andrew: Yep.
Vickie: You can route the application over the network that best meets that performance requirement at the time the application needs it.
Andrew: Very cool.
Vickie: It would have to be a permanent set up that they only set once and forget it.
Andrew: Yeah. Very cool. Tell me what verticals are you having success with in this area? Are there any specific verticals where you guys are just really hitting it out of the park around SDN?
Vickie: You know, I think some verticals are more likely than others to be early adopters of this kind of technology. Such as the finance vertical and the government vertical. We’re really finding that all companies, including us, have similar problems that we’re trying to address with SDNs. We all operate in a global dynamic marketplace where our work and our workers are mobile and global, and we need networks that can account for that and support the applications wherever the user might be. That means we need networks that are flexible, and have flexible networking arrangements.
There’s also that effect of what we call big data. Big data analytics. That’s driving a lot more storage requirements. And again, those storage requirements can be anywhere at any time, so we need networks that can move the work and move the storage, move the computing power, again, wherever that user is. We’re also finding that our customers really want to operate in a global e-commerce method. As businesses, we want to interact with those customers the way they want to be interacted with.
We need to bring services to market very quickly. SDNs allow us to do that. Virtualized functions allow to do that, because we can spin up the resources as we need them with networks now, just like we all used to with clouds.
Andrew: Very cool. Love it. That’s a fascinating future and as we agreed, that future is a now thing. That’s exciting. You guys are a significant player there. Thanks for jumping in and giving us some clarity around what you guys think around the “so what” of SDN and NFV. Really insightful stuff, Vickie. Thank you.
Vickie: Sure enough.
Andrew: Good deal. Hey guys, do make sure you check out the Verizon/KingCom learning center here at the University. It’s chock full of great stuff that will help you get smarter about how to sell these next generation networks with Verizon. Guys, that was Vickie Lonker. She is the Director of Product Management for Verizon, one of our go-to faculty members here at the Cloud Services University. Get smart about this stuff, guys. It’ll pay off.
Vickie, thank you again. Good selling.