Succeeding in the Digital Age with Network as a Service (NaaS) Platform

Epsilon interview with Simon Waller

“With cloud adoption and digital business ecosystems continuing to grow and become even more complex, cloud interconnection and networking services are pivotal for any business’ digital success,” says Simon Waller, Regional Director, EMEA & US at Epsilon Telecommunications in an exclusive interview with EnterpriseTalk


ET Bureau: How can businesses manage their network infrastructure and streamline connectivity globally?

Simon Waller: The traditional way is to contact your network service provider, ask for a quotation and then place an order with them to turn up a service. The whole process is outdated, with paper forms to fill out and signatures to be obtained which can lead to delays of some weeks before you get the service you need. We feel a far more efficient way of doing this is using a Network as a Service (NaaS) platform, as it gives you complete control of the environment for deploying network services and managing them. This approach offers improved visibility, flexibility and scalability of the network services and makes connecting global locations fast and simple.

We believe enterprises today need a network designed around the application, and specifically the need to connect those applications to other applications and to people. We recommend what we call the Application Orientated Architecture approach to network design.

Start by creating your application architecture and analysing the interoperability between applications and users, and the level of mission criticality for each. This is the network from which to build your streamlined core, along with your access services, redundancies and DR plans.

You then need to look for a service provider that is going to present services to you via a NaaS platform that enables access to multi-service ports, configurable bandwidth, and carrier grade functions such as internet exchanges and CSP connectivity. With many critical applications and data riding on the network, the backbone network enabling these services is essential to ensuring performance and security.

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ET Bureau: Given the current, evolving market aspects, how do network-as-a-service (NaaS) platforms facilitate businesses with daily communication? Is it possible to attain an on-demand network orchestration capability? 

Simon Waller: With cloud adoption and digital business ecosystems continuing to grow and become even more complex, cloud interconnection and networking services are pivotal for any business’ digital success. This demand has also created a thriving market for network resellers and managed service providers to embed and monetise connectivity services alongside their own product portfolios.

NaaS platforms enable businesses to manage local, regional, and global connectivity and communications seamlessly, using a web-based portal with real-time analytics from wherever they are. They can deliver, manage, and grow their network solutions with unified management and visibility across cloud, internet exchanges, data centres and global destinations.

ET Bureau: The pandemic era has observed a surge in demand for peering, and Epsilon has recently been recognized by the London Internet Exchange (LINX). How important is it to build a strong association with LINX?

Simon Waller: We’ve seen customer demands for remote peering rising due to the pandemic. We were recently awarded the Diamond partner status by the London Internet Exchange (LINX) as a member of its ConneXions Partner Program. Our recent expansion of our managed capacity for connecting customers to the exchange via our Remote Peering service has enabled us to achieve the highest LINX ConneXions Reseller Partner tier, which is a real accomplishment for our business.

It’s very important for us to build a strong association with LINX because it’s a huge internet exchange that so many of our customers need to connect to. We have multiple dedicated ports across the LINX network to bring customers from all around the world to peer at LINX’s major interconnection hubs. Our Remote Peering ethernet service, available on Infiny, directly connects users to LINX via a global network. The service offers flexible and scalable bandwidth options for customers to connect from anywhere to LINX for peering and other interconnection services.

We connect our customers to LINX’s LON1 and LON2 networks in London, as well as the LINX NoVA exchange in Northern Virginia, US. Customers can use Infiny for on-demand connectivity to remotely peer at LINX with full control and visibility over the network. Remote Peering removes the need for heavy investment in physical infrastructure, so customers benefit from cost-efficient virtual presence across markets, to bring their users closer to their content.

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ET Bureau: End-users are now hyper-sensitive to the increased digital experience and downtime. As a business leader, how do you see managed capacity services helping enterprises to connect with the global audience?

Simon Waller: Since end users are becoming more and more hyper-sensitive to overall digital experience and downtime, customers really need a seamless peering solution.

By expanding managed capacity with remote peering, more enterprises can easily gain virtual presence at all the top global internet exchanges like LINX, and really connect with a global audience. It expands their horizons with a whole range of new opportunities across continents. They can exchange traffic with world-leading carriers, cloud service providers, content providers, OTTs and a whole range of organisations.

Simon is the Regional Director, EMEA & US at Epsilon. He leads the region’s sales and business development activities including channel partnership and enterprise sales. Simon has over 22 years of experience in IP data sales with a proven history of building successful sales teams, developing new markets, and closing high-value opportunities.

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Prangya Pandab is an Associate Editor with OnDot Media. She is a seasoned journalist with almost seven years of experience in the business news sector. Before joining ODM, she was a journalist with CNBC-TV18 for four years. She also had a brief stint with an infrastructure finance company working for their communications and branding vertical.