Two technological growth engines -- virtualization and Internet of Things -- are drawing closer, and service providers are pulling together the two tracks to power digital transformations across multiple markets.
Last week, for example, Orange Business Services expanded Datavenue operations worldwide after a year-long set-up in France. Now enterprises across the CSP's 160 global markets can access the service provider's 700 IoT and analytics professionals, plus data scientists, developers, consultants, statisticians and IoT security experts, says Olivier Ondet, IoT and analytics vice president at Orange Business Services , in an interview.
Datavenue is not yet using NFV for IoT but the virtualization technology will play a major role in the operator's IoT and analytics strategy soon, he says.
"Today we are not that fast using NFV for IoT. The point we're starting at typically is where we put LoRa gateways on the field in an industry plan or smart city somewhere, not only in France but we started with an actual network of 120 urban areas coverage. When we are international with LoRa then we put gateways locally... and these have to be connected to regular networks. That typically is where NFV is IoT-ready and it's good to connect these guys," Ondet says.
"But we started with IoT with cellular, so cellular means the objects are using 2G or 4G. They are using the traditional cellular networks, the ones we are providing and roaming on. We developed a specific API so our B2B customers could trigger the provisioning of the objects and open the taps and secure also this. We are not yet at the crossroad of NFV plus IoT; we are just preparing the two tracks together and I'm regularly talking to my customers. Say 2017 would be the first time when it starts being important to us."
The offering includes four modules. Select features certified and tested connected objects including sensors and cameras that integrates with a data catalog featuring information such as population movement analytics. The Connect module chooses the most appropriate connectivity module, such as cellular network, fixed and satellite or LoRa, while Manage features cloud and on-premises software for tasks such as remote device management, processing and visualization. Finally, Control covers security and data protection, along with scalability and future-proofing, the company says.
"We are focusing on areas where there is a lot of risk-taking in IoT. We say risk-taking, because it's going to change the rules. It's good that you get partnered with providers that give you the ability to reassure this risk you are taking, you are not taking it alone," says Ondet.
NFV is critical to IoT, according to Gartner.
"CSPs need to invest in appropriate network infrastructures that can handle new digital and IoT partner ecosystems and match the velocity of business decisions, which are increasingly taken by machines. This also requires investments in customer-facing, real-time software orchestration capabilities, such as self-service portals, order management, analytics and partner settlement," Martina Kurth, research director for Gartner, told Business Critical Infrastructures.
— Alison Diana, Editor, The New IP Agency. Follow her on Twitter @alisoncdiana or @The_New_IP.