Nokia recognizes need to offer cloud-based services for CSPs

Nokia’s cloud-based services for CSPs is about improving value and reducing complexity by providing innovative software consumed purely on demand through a subscription.
18 November 2021

People walk past the Nokia booth during the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai on February 23, 2021. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

The demand for cloud-based services has increased since the Covid-19 pandemic brought about new normals for work. Since then, companies have had to rely purely on cloud-based services to keep their productivity ongoing.

Today, there are a myriad of cloud-based services or more commonly known as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) for almost every task and workload. While there are also several different providers of SaaS, which include big tech vendors, managed services providers (MSPs), and tech startups, picking the right service provider for cloud-based services is essential for organizations.

Interestingly, emerging technologies like AI and 5G are now enabling communication service providers (CSPs) to look into how they can modernize and serve their customers better, especially in offering more customer-centric products. For CSPs, the ability to have less expensive and flexible operations for their network enables them to also venture into offering new services for customers.

According to Bell Labs Consulting, 5G technology will generate US$2 trillion of additional value for the telecoms industry by 2028. If they play their cards right, CSPs could quadruple their revenues from largely untapped vertical markets such as factory automation, smart cities, AR education, cloud gaming, and more besides.

As such, Nokia is introducing multiple SaaS services for CSPs, as part of the company’s overall strategy. The move reflects a culmination of steps Nokia has taken in recent years to enhance CSP network operations, including rearchitecting its software applications to make them fully cloud-native and deployable in any cloud environment, edge, public or private.

For example, with 5G, CSPs need to shift away from the legacy practice of deploying customized software for analytics, security, network management, and other functions, that run on costly, complex, on-premise infrastructure.

To drive that shift, Nokia’s approach to SaaS for CSPs is about improving value and reducing complexity by providing innovative software consumed purely on demand through a subscription, eliminating large upfront capital expenditure. The subscription model has been proven successful and is in fact, being practiced by most tech vendors today.

At the same time, Nokia hopes to reduce the need to perform on-site software maintenance and updates as well as accelerate CSPs’ ability to launch new services faster and achieve time to value quicker.

According to Raghav Sahgal, President of Cloud and Network Services at Nokia, “The convergence of 5G, cloud-native software and SaaS creates a great and fast-growing opportunity for Nokia. With the groundwork we’ve already been laying, our SaaS delivery framework is in a very strong competitive position. It enables a combination of rapid time to value with on-demand access for Nokia SaaS applications and low cost of ownership, based on a pay-as-you-go / pay-as-you-grow commercial model. This is a multi-year journey, and we are going at it aggressively.”

For the 2021-2025 period, Nokia is targeting a SaaS addressable market, comprised of CSPs and enterprises, with a value of $3.1 billion and an annual growth rate of approximately 25-30%. Nokia is in discussions with several CSPs around the world about using its SaaS services, including security.

Among the cloud-based services offered in Nokia Data Marketplace (NDM). NDM gives CSPs and an easy and secure way to share and access data. The new SaaS version of NDM offers enhanced automation, efficiency, and scalability to CSPs and enterprises in a variety of industry verticals, including energy, the public sector, transportation, and smart cities.

In cybersecurity, Nokia’s new SaaS-based NetGuard Cybersecurity Dome, to be commercially available in early 2022, enables CSPs to assure 5G networks and monetize security tied with services like 5G slicing. Nokia Anomaly Detection, a machine learning service aimed at finding and remediating network anomalies before they affect network customers, is another product to be offered through a SaaS model.