Verizon drafts in Wipro for NaaS push

US telco Verizon has eyes on a slice of the burgeoning network-as-a-service (NaaS) market.

But the operator can’t do it on its own, so it has partnered with India-based IT services giant Wipro to do some of the legwork. Their joint NaaS offering launched on Wednesday, and is designed to help enterprises migrate from the high upfront cost of rolling out new infrastructure to a more flexible – and palatable – subscription-based network consumption model.

Lowering this barrier to adoption gives both Verizon and Wipro an opportunity to broaden the range of potential clients to those at the more price-sensitive end of the spectrum. And by enabling customers to tweak their connectivity service as their requirements evolve, Verizon can take on more of a trusted partner role, instead of being that supplier with whom you renegotiate contract terms every few years.

“Our joint NaaS offering brings together two industry leaders to drive this unique value proposition that will help our customers keep pace with changing demands of the cloud and network infrastructure while achieving operational efficiencies and agility at scale,” said Jo Debecker, SVP and global head of cloud and infrastructure services at Wipro, in a statement.

“Many organisations want to get out of endless technology refresh cycles but they face the twin challenges of traditional hardware and fixed infrastructures. Our partnership with Wipro will enable businesses to future-proof their network in a manner that is more flexible, agile and predictive, centred around their specific needs,” added Massimo Peselli, SVP and chief revenue officer for global enterprise and public sector at Verizon Business.

As for the partners themselves, Verizon gets the benefit of an IT services provider in Wipro that has strong in-house migration, integration and tech support skills, and Wipro gets to resell Verizon’s telco-grade infrastructure products to a wider audience.

On that note, Verizon cited a recent IDC survey of technology-buying decision makers which found that 69 percent plan to invest in a network transformation over the next 12 months. Now, that could just be a run-of-the-mill tech upgrade, but there are other stats doing the rounds that indicate NaaS will have an increasingly more prominent part to play.

In July, ABI Research predicted that by 2030, nearly 90 percent of global enterprises will have migrated at least 25 percent of their network infrastructure to be consumed within a NaaS model. The analyst firm thinks the market could be worth as much as $150 billion by then, with telcos potentially claiming half that sum.

But others have an eye on the NaaS market too, perhaps most notably Amazon Web Services (AWS). The hyperscaler in July launched AWS Cloud WAN, which gives enterprises a dashboard and related tools to help them build, maintain and monitor their WAN as if it were a single, unified network. Last year, it also launched a private 5G offering that leverages CBRS spectrum, and can host the core network either in one of its own data centres or the customer’s. It all adds up to a pretty compelling connectivity service that could prove attractive to its large installed base of AWS clients.

Partnering with a well-known IT services provider in Wipro should give Verizon a fighting chance of going toe-to-toe with a rival the size of Amazon.


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