If You Can Scale…Cloud and Managed Services $ Will Come

June 1, 2015

Next week, the Small Cell community once again gathers in London at the annual Small Cells World Summit. This year is special for us! We are, for the first time, showcasing how edge and cloud computing enable new Smart Building and Unified Communications managed services for enterprise customers in collaboration with our new partner Cisco.

Game Changer #1: SpiderCloud + Cisco + enterprise installed base of Wi-Fi

At MWC this year, Cisco and SpiderCloud announced a strategic collaboration. Cisco is now reselling our entire (easy to install) small cell portfolio under the USC 8000 Series brand. The Cisco USC 8000 Series access points are available as standalone units, or as plug-in modules for the Cisco Aironet 3600/3700 Wi-Fi access points using SpiderCloud’s technology. The plug-in radio module is a game changer! Now, the entire installed base of Aironet 3600/3700, inside enterprises across the globe, can be 3G+4G enabled in seconds (the time it takes to plug in the module) – something no other vendor can do.

Game changer #2: Services Collaboration!

For many years we have showed how our Services Node is a catalyst for services. An on-premises controller (Services Node), with a services module, can enable managed cloud and application services beyond basic coverage and capacity.

We have been working with leading companies to show use-case examples:

  • IBM for handset-to-location video, and advertising “push” services for use at venues and shopping malls.
  • HP and Vodafone UK for in-building location (which won us all an award from the Small Cell Forum in 2014).
  • Intel/McAfee for policy enforcement and identify and prevent network security threats at the edge.
  • Saguna for backhaul savings and user experience benefits using a centralized content cache.
  • Druid and Tango for extension of enterprise UC, PBX and mobile call services inside and outside the enterprise network. See Druid’s hospital use case.

Ken Rehbehn (Principal Analyst, 451 Research/Mobile) puts this into context:

“Enterprises recognize the strategic importance of mobile communications as a tool for business agility and efficiency, but simple in-building coverage and capacity fixes may not be sufficient. By augmenting in-building small cell mobile services with flexible mobile edge computing capabilities, enterprises gain a potent toolkit to get the most value out of smart building and Unified Communications applications.

Next week, at the Small Cells World Summit, we will provide further insight to how the Services Node drives services revenue beyond coverage and capacity:

  • How – the mobile device IMSI can be paired to the enterprise active directory for authentication, as well as provide broadcast alerts within the building where the controller is deployed.
  • How – Smart building operations benefit from mobile devices to improve zone heating and air-conditioning usage by monitoring the number of mobile devices and location within the building or campus.
  • How – you can improve building security access by using mobile devices as secondary identification and verification to building badge access.
  • How – the small cell system can enable location and context aware services and execute building-wide alerts to all mobile devices connected to the LAN.
  • How – compliance services can be enabled with policy filtering and identify and prevent mobile LAN network access to non-compliant web sites.
  • How – you can improve network security by blocking malicious packets sent by a mobile device within the LAN, and protect a device from malicious packets sent by a server on the Internet.

Game Changer #3 Services Revenue

The great majority of large businesses would pay over 30% more per-employee for an indoor cellular solution with managed services (iGR survey).

With our eco system partners, and now Cisco, a scalable small cell system deployed over a basic Cat5e LAN (or VLAN), can indeed open up a $100B services market with smart building and Unified Communications (Exact Ventures report).

SpiderCloud’s scalable small cell system provides real-time coordination and distributed SON capability up to 100 dual-band 3G+4G or 4G+4G access points (up to 200 sectors of capacity), enough to effectively offer reliable managed services for buildings and offices up to 1.5 million square feet.

DAS is no-go on Services

Unless you have IT funds like Google and Apple, managed cloud and applications services is a no-go. As we pointed out in the “DAS is D.E.A.D (as we knew it)” blog, and our blog about Ericsson Radio Dot (a year later), enabling services beyond coverage and capacity for DAS-based systems is simply a non-starter.

Our scalable small cell system technology is in use with América Móvil/Telcel, Avea, Verizon, Vodafone UK and Netherlands and Warid Telecom, among others.

See us at Small Cells World Summit next week (June 9-11 in London), or look for us at these upcoming events:

Keep in mind that if you have an IT-friendly and scalable small cell system, you can enable cloud and managed services to increase ARPU.

Ronny Haraldsvik
SVP/CMO
SpiderCloud Wireless
Twitter: @haraldsvik


If You Can Scale Small Cells Inside, then Service IT: Small Cell Services at the Enterprise Edge

October 9, 2014

At the heart of SpiderCloud’s scalable 3G/4G small cell system is the Service Node (SCSN).

This is a “local” control point for the small cell network deployed inside the enterprise over existing Ethernet. It’s also where the enterprise edge meets the mobile operators edge network. SpiderCloud’s small-cell system can provide cellular capacity and coverage to over 1.5 million sq.ft. of space and support over 10,000 voice and data subscribers.

Now why does that matter you may say? Beyond coverage and capacity, after credibility has been established with the IT department that mobile services work reliably inside the building, the Services Node is a strategic point of entry into the enterprise IT environment for mobile operators and business partners to service IT, and a potential great revenue opportunity.

A local control point is essential for Local IP Access (LIPA), also known as local switching and local breakout. LIPA enables content caching, access to content-based and localized services. The Services Node offers a platform to host Virtual Network Functions (from any source) at the edge of the network.   As shown in the figure below, the SCSN supports up to three modules: two Access Modules (AM) and a Services Module (SM).

The access module supports radio access technologies such as UMTS and LTE. The services module is designed to support third-party VNFs and is powered by an Intel Xeon processor. The module offers a Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) environment that enables hosting of multiple concurrent virtual appliances across different operating systems (Guest OS) and programming languages.  SpiderCloud has been working with 3rd party ISVs, to bring to market VNF’s associated with security, content filtering and content delivery. See more in Senza Fili’s recent report (“NFV lands in enterprise small cells”).

With the services module, mobile operators can host VNF’s at the edge. Recently, the new incoming chairman of the Small Cell Forum, Dr. Alan Law, pointed out the importance of small cell services, virtualization and leveraging processing power at the edge of the network in an interview with @Lightreading.

As an example, if you take SpiderCloud Wireless, for instance, and what they have with their services node, they have in essence a platform there potentially capable of running applications at the edge of the network already. In essence, you could start to exploit NFV in certain areas relatively quickly.”

SpiderCloud’s powerful services platform enables migration of content delivery and core network functions at the edge. Also, the Services Node becomes a single point of inspection for all mobile traffic coming into or leaving an enterprise or venue, enabling intelligent data filtering and caching applications. In addition, SpiderCloud’s 3G/4G Services Node offers location and presence detection capabilities that enable context aware VNF’s, or Network as a Service (NaaS) opportunities. Dr. Alan Law goes on to say:

As a mobile device moves, it reports measurements to and from networks. Having to pull all those measurements back takes a lot of bandwidth. So if you wanted a location function, you would push that location function to the edge of the network to process all those functions being reported, so you get the best granularity of the data, but without the burden of having to port those features deeper into the network.”

The Services Node provides a trusted connection to the Radio Nodes and a logical view into all devices on the network to enable secure services to any mobile device on the network. The SCSN enables mobile operator managed cloud and application services, such as MDM, BYOD, location and context-aware, security, and IP-PBX services. The Intel Quad-Core Xeon Processor is the basis for the services module, which enables us to host virtual machines on the Services Node.

With Intel, SpiderCloud has established several services partners to showcase how managed services for enterprise customers are enabled via the existing small cell system.

  • Security threat detection with virtualized Network Security Platform (NSP) to identify and prevent network security threats at the edge of the mobile network, before such threats can reach the core network, by blocking malicious packets sent by a mobile device.
  • Location and detection. Using a virtual machine hosted on the Services Node, IBM can demonstrate handset-to-location video and advertising “push” services for use at venues and shopping malls.
  • Caching at the Edge (stadiums). Saguna can show backhaul savings and user experience benefits of a centralized content cache on the Services Node as part of a scalable small cell system for large campus, venues and shopping malls.
  • Context Aware Applications and Location Based Services. SpiderCloud, HP and Vodafone UK won a Small Cell Forum award in June 2014 for innovative work in this area.
  • PBX Integration: Tango Networks (enterprise). Druid Software PBX for Hospitals.

 

You can read more about the progress of small cell services for the enterprise in one of these recent RCR Wireless articles:

Keep in mind, by fixing in-building mobility with a scalable small cell system capable of also offering managed mobility services, the blurring of the lines between the enterprise and service provider networks will extend the “edge” of the mobile network from the operator’s core into the enterprise premise – thus opening the door for IOT, LBS, NFV and UC services on ONE common platform.

A 2013 research study by Exact Ventures outlined a $100 billion emerging market opportunity for mobile operators in providing mobility services for enterprise customers. The research showed that enterprise customers could save 35% a year by adopting such operator-delivered managed and hosted services. This report and estimate would be wayyyy off. It could indeed be way more.

Meet with SpiderCloud to discuss small cells and services at one of these upcoming events.  Our next presentation is at Small Cells MENA in Dubai October 27-28, followed by Small Cell Deployment & HetNet in Atlanta on November 4-7.

Ronny Haraldsvik
SVP/CMO

Twitter: haraldsvik
spidercloud_inc


The Inside Advantage

February 6, 2013

Managed Mobility Services for Enterprise Customers is a $100 Billion Opportunity

We are in the midst of the most rapid mobile network change we have seen in over 15 years. Mobility and the use of licensed spectrum is the digital oxygen that drives productivity – our industry’s equivalent to crude oil deposits. Spectrum reuse and targeted capacity using small cells indoors is rapidly becoming the answer to deal with networks at capacity. So where’s the $100 billion opportunity? It starts with providing a scalable small cell network that can deliver reliable indoor 3G/LTE and Wi-Fi coverage and capacity for enterprise customers, re-capturing vastly under-utilized licensed spectrum indoors and positively impacting on the outdoor macro cellular network.

“Mobility and agile network services for enterprises can give mobile operators an inside advantage”

The enterprise mobility services market opportunity is arising as a result of several key trends: mobility and the need for BYOD policies and control, and cloud computing and the emergence of enterprise small cell systems that go beyond coverage and capacity. In 2013 and beyond, operators have an unrivalled opportunity to move beyond minutes and Megabytes and subsidized devices and become trusted partners to enterprise customers.

As more hardware and Wi-Fi vendors start to offer managed SaaS and WaaS services, so they leave the door open for fixed service providers to do the same. This gives enterprise customers valuable options to curtail CapEx spending. The advantage for the mobile operator is that they can offer a full suite of OpEx-only mobility services with reliable licensed spectrum coverage and capacity using multi-mode small cell systems – and still deliver WasS, SaaS, security and compliance services.

In the market analysis “Enterprise Mobility Services*: Market Opportunity for Mobile Service Providers,” Exact Ventures, an analyst firm focused on technology market intelligence, analyzed the managed mobility services opportunity for businesses of 100 to 4999 employees in United States and the European Union. In leveraging the mobile ecosystem and small cell systems for in-building coverage, capacity and services, operators have the ability to help enterprise customers remove IT challenges with mobility, unified communications, secure access to applications, device management and integration of cloud and telephony, as well as leverage the emergence of new context and localization-based services.

“With enterprise IT teams under constant pressure to do more with less budgets and resources, the opportunity for trusted mobility services is tremendous,” said Greg Collins, principal with Exact Ventures. “Until now, there’s been little reason for enterprises to have a relationship with operators beyond minutes and mobile devices. Small Cell systems that go beyond coverage and capacity can change this model and open up new business models that can help enterprise customers save significantly on CapEx and OpEx.”

“Enterprise IT can save approximately $60 billion between 2014 and 2020”

By outsourcing telecommunications services, enterprises can leverage new in-building mobile services and save up to 35% per year by transitioning from a CapEx to a per-user/month OpEx model –  saving enterprise IT over $60 billion between 2014 and 2020 and allowing finite IT resources to be either re-allocated to focus on differentiation and competitive advantage or for the cost savings to fall to the bottom line.

Enablement of such services starts with the deployment of a multi-access small cell system that includes 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi and can scale beyond a few small cells to deliver reliable mobile services indoors for enterprise customers of any size. To enable managed cloud and application services, a locally deployed controller or services node is required to maintain secure services access to and from any mobile device on the network.


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Mobile operators who start to offer true managed mobility services to the enterprise, starting with basic coverage and capacity, can follow on with services such as BYOD, MDM and PBX Integration, even Wi-Fi as a service. 

Hosted Unified Communications (UC) refers to a set of real-time communications services such as instant messaging, presence information, telephony and video conferencing, as well as non-real-time communication services like e-mail, SMS, voicemail and fax.  UC is not necessarily a single product, but is often a set of products that provides a consistent unified user interface and user experience across multiple devices and media types.

Security: Cloud-based Web Filtering Enterprises increasingly employ cloud-based web filtering as a way to monitor and control website access and usage to enhance productivity and improve security by protecting against malware and spyware.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) entails lifecycle management of both company and employee provided mobile devices to manage and secure enterprise data and access.

Compliance Services Many industries are subject to regulatory record keeping requiring documentation of all communications within an organization. In conjunction with other cloud-based telecommunications services, operators can centralize the collection, storage, and reporting of such data, helping customers relieve costs and adhere to regulatory or best-practice compliance.

Wi-Fi-as-a-Service is the delivery of enterprise-focused services such as secure internal and guest Wi-Fi. Where the operator is already installing small cells with Wi-Fi, it can offer its business customers Wi-Fi access when the opportunity is available.

Context-Aware (or Location-Based) Services can offer enterprises a large array of use cases. The opportunity to leverage the very sophisticated mobile network location capabilities in Small Calls and extend them into the macro network creates unique opportunities to innovate enterprise business systems in ways that have never been easily available.

Enterprise CIOs will start to expect mobility services from their communications partners as part of a longer-term strategy to lower CapEx and improve productivity and business agility.

As we look forward, we are seeing the emergence of a common service network infrastructure where macro, micro and small cells work in close tandem with intelligent physical and virtual routing of access and services. Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) is becoming a reality much faster than expected.

Mobile operators have the opportunity to offer its enterprise customers with a clientless-UC access to mobility, applications and cloud-based services, giving them the inside advantage over any other service provider and building a trusted relationship for years to come.

– Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO


Mobile Device Unified Communications Success and Radio Access Technology Détente: The new role of the Mobile Operator (Part 2)

October 12, 2012

I’ve personally experienced, over the years, many different reasons for why one Radio Access Technology (RAT) is better than another. In the Operator space, some of the available RAT choices are: UMTS, CDMA, LTE, and Wi-Fi. In the Enterprise space, however, there is a very aggressive goal of cost avoidance that is promoted by Enterprise Unified Communications (UC) manufacturers that favors the use of Wi-Fi. At first glance, this strategy makes sense if you’re only thinking about cost savings and not usability.

The end result is a quiet lack of UC usage on mobile devices due to complexity of the user experience. UC strategies are still very much a way to move telephony from desk phones into computers and do not fully factor in the culture shift to mobile devices and Corporate Owned Personally Enabled (COPE)/Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) thinking change that has occurred over the last few years.

Why are mobile devices different? Simple. They have a native dialer subsystem built into them that the device owner uses every day either directly or via contact list dialing (Note: Tablets are more like Laptops as a telephone dialer is not a native feature). For UC that uses a separate App to make and receive calls, Enterprise IT must rollout software, infrastructure improvements, and train employees on use of UC. This means gearing up both people and processes to support UC lifecycle on a long-term basis (UC is not just a project, it is a new capacity). Now, let’s add in COPE/BYOD device choice issues and hope that the UC vendor is actually supporting the devices that IT is allowing the employees to bring into the Enterprise.

Now, lets say there is great news and the Enterprise has funding to invest in UC and all their sanctioned mobile devices are supported! So, why won’t people use it on mobile? The following is based on my live observations of pilot tests where we tried all three of the major vendors. UC on mobile overlooks the usability of the system from perspective of Business device owner. Think about these facts:

  • In our personal life, we will submit to a little pain in order to avoid paying charges.
  • In our business life, time is too limited to allow us to do something different when we need to talk to a colleague while either of us are mobile.
  • Most of us quickly abandon tools that are not obvious, immediately useful, or poorly supported.
  • Most of us will not give up a desk phone for mobile UC without an excellent replacement user experience on the mobile. One of the key selling points for mobile UC is to eliminate Opex for desk phones (support and MACD activity).

In my pilot testing, every vendor’s UC platform was abandoned by Business customers in favor of using the native dialer on the iPhone. Some of the complaints were dropped calls, poor network coverage, clunky interface, inbound PSTN calls disrupting UC, software too complex to configure by the device owner, and so forth. In my environment, for two of the vendors, we had Enterprise wide CALs but still chose not to deploy mobile UC!

What if there was a way forward that enabled UC to be more successful and reduce the burden on Enterprise IT and the device owners? Is this even possible?

The answer is “yes” and it revolves around RAT Détente. What do I mean? UC suppliers need to embrace the Yin/Yang of wireless technologies with the wireless service provider community globally. Yin/Yang is actively building software so each RAT does what it’s best at in order to deliver a magical experience for the device owner. Let 3G and, eventually, LTE support voice and 3G/LTE/Wi-Fi support data. To make this a reality:

  • The Mobile Operator needs to provide blanket coverage and capacity inside structures to enable the strategy. You cannot move forward without adequate quantities of the Digital Oxygen that the mobile devices breathe.
  • The Mobile Operator needs to bridge the gap from their networks into the Enterprise UC architecture. The mobile plumbing must play its part in recognizing an Enterprise’s dial plan and routing calls to their PBX!
  • The Enterprise UC vendors need to insure their clients are more agile and correctly support Integrated RAT UC in addition to legacy Wi-Fi only UC.
  • Mobile operators treat Enterprise calls as free when using the solution (assume a monthly rate for each mobile UC device).

Meeting the four conditions above will allow Enterprises to:

  • Eliminate Capex requirements and move to a predictable and scalable Opex financial environment.
  • Move Telecom and Network operations headcount to more strategic roles in IT.
  • Eliminate, as desired, desk phones for mobile workers.
  • Support ANY device an employee brings in for, minimally, voice+IM/Presence. Feature phones can be a UC extension!
  • Only support mobile UC client for non-real time functions (non-SMS IM, Voicemail, etc).
  • Simplify Wi-Fi architectures and deployments.

Meeting the four conditions above will allow Mobile Operators to:

  • Increase ARPU while enabling the Enterprise to save even more.
  • Create value to Enterprises that are mobilizing their workforce.
  • Simplify the support landscape of the Enterprise.
  • Create deep and important relationships with the Enterprise UC vendors to leverage their Sales teams.
  • Leverage your premise based Heterogeneous Network investments currently underway in a unique and powerful way that both UC vendors or Enterprises cannot do by themselves.

In summary, we are at a turning point where systems, like SpiderCloud’s, will not only enable Heterogeneous Networks, but solve problems that were previously unaddressed. Because our Service Node exists with one leg in the Enterprise premise, the other leg in the Mobile Operator network, and boasts a powerful onboard virtualization platform, we enable the true potential of Unified Communications to finally be realized on mobile devices in a magical way that caters to the needs of Enterprise business users.

It’s about time!

Your Author’s Point of View: As a former Enterprise Infrastructure Architect (Mobility/Collaboration at Nike, Inc.), the opportunities for mobile operators to help address enterprise Unified Communications, COPE/BYOD, and mobility challenges for enterprise IT departments are there. Opportunities to cultivate value-added services beyond coverage and capacity in the Enterprise space are built upon strong customer relationships and a proven technical foundation. Positive mindshare and perceptions in the eyes of the Enterprise buyers will create invitations to future opportunities.

A new and more important role is emerging for Mobile Operators where enterprise mobility and value-added IP services are part of the ‘package.’ Mobile is the heartbeat of any organization, and wireless is the Digital Oxygen that our devices breathe at home and on the road.

For information on the SpiderCloud Architecture: read more and watch movie

Want to talk? Please contact me

– Art King, SpiderCloud Wireless, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies


Enterprise BYOD and Services: The new role of the Mobile Operator (Part 1)

September 12, 2012

Enterprise IT departments are pressured to reduce operational costs and cut back on capital expenditures while facing an ever-increasing demand to support BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and keep up with security, compliance and more. With the emergence of mobile operator managed services, operators and vendors with services-oriented mindset to enterprise small cells could be IT’s answer to BYOD and other mobility challenges.

Enterprise small cell equipment will reach the $2 billion mark by 2016 according to ABI Research (August 24, 2012: http://tinyurl.com/9o8gktv)

The IT challenges to overcome with regard to BYOD and the role of the mobile operator and its vendors in meeting the call for help. Some of the most common questions addressed by enterprise CIOs are summarized below:

  • Can enterprises trust operators to manage their mobility needs?
    • Yes, if the operator is taking a neutral approach to IT services that must be supported across all the Enterprise’s devices. A device management offering for iOS, for instance, must be offered for any iOS device and not just the operator’s.
  • Can BYOD be offered as a “service”?
    • That is a great question, but let’s rephrase it to: Can employee’s who BYOD be supported by the operator’s offering? Yes, there are a number of operators who are already offering various device management environments. They are available in both cloud and on-premises formats to cater to the security concerns of the subscribing customer.
  • How will services be priced?
    • The services are offered in a Managed Service or Traditional package:
      • Managed Service – the employee enrolls in the Enterprise’s chosen service via the operator’s portal and the cost is added to a monthly bill sent to Enterprise. There is no capital expense involved as the monthly charge encompasses licensing and operations. We have seen public numbers in a monthly range of US$3-$6 per month per device.
      • Traditional – a perpetual software license as a capital expense, annual license maintenance, and an operations expense to run the service. This varies widely depending on what the underlying technology is.
  • What’s needed to properly address 2014 enterprise needs?
    • In 2014, Enterprise services around mobility need to be offered as a massively scalable, operationally repeatable commodity. With the potential industry consolidation of many of the founders of Mobile Management into the portfolios of the Industry’s Systems providers/Mobile Domain experts (Ericcson, Cisco, Juniper, SAP), much of the solutions around small cells for coverage/capacity, device management, and other Enterprise mobility needs as a one stop transaction in the monthly device bill will be closer to reality.

As a former Enterprise Infrastructure Architect (Mobility/Collaboration at Nike, Inc.), the opportunities for mobile operators to help address enterprise BYOD and mobility challenges for enterprise IT departments are there. Opportunities to cultivate value-added services beyond coverage and capacity in the Enterprise space are built upon strong customer relationships and a proven technical foundation. Positive mindshare and perceptions in the eyes of the Enterprise buyers will create invitations to future opportunities.

A new and more important role is emerging for Mobile Operators where enterprise mobility and value-added IP services is part of the ‘package.’ Mobile is the heartbeat of any organization and wireless is the Digital Oxygen that our devices breathe at home and on the road.

Art King
Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies
SpiderCloud Wireless