- 29 January 2021 |
Connectivity-as-a-Service (CAAS for short) is a radically different approach to network management, providing fast, reliable and secure connectivity for businesses, without the burden of network administration and its increasingly uncontrollable costs.
For a number of businesses, networking and security were challenging areas even before 2020. However, last year, the pressure on IT departments reached new heights. The unrelenting pace of growth in remote working had a huge impact on IT teams, as the scale and complexity of their networks started to outpace their ability to manage and secure them effectively.
Thankfully, most networks stood up to the test in the short-term, but the continuation of hybrid (remote & in-office) working has caused many to rethink their network and connectivity strategies.
Auvik Networks recently reported that 75% of IT professionals have a “high-network confidence, without full network knowledge.” This worryingly indicates that the increased pressures on IT teams are leading to potential blind spots in their basic network management activities.
Furthermore, most companies today manage their Local and Wide Area Networks in isolation, with the intention of joining them all together and making them work. This process involves the employment, training and retention of their own IT teams, supply chain management, system integration, third-party management and vendor support.
So, how does Connectivity-as-a-Service disrupt the status-quo?
Connectivity-as-a-Service is an integrated WAN, LAN and voice solution, provided as a flexible, commercial proposition, analogous to the ‘as-a-service’ model of technology delivery. Everything is bundled up into a single subscription charge and provided on a per-user-per-month basis, with no up-front capital costs.
Last year, networks analytics company Entuity claimed that flexible pricing was one of the most important components in efficient network management, and Connectivity-as-a-Service provides complete flexibility to businesses by enabling them to increase or decrease their user numbers month by month.
Connectivity-as-a-Service operates as the cloud experience for your business network, meaning customers no longer need to own or procure any hardware devices in their office environments (i.e. their LAN). The subscription model eliminates the need for a customer to buy, own, manage and depreciate any hardware, whilst also reducing the burden on its own internal IT team to manage it.
For customers that have already invested in building a core network, under the Connectivity-as-a-Service model the service provider will buy their equipment for its balance sheet value and lease it back via the subscription charges.
This allows customers to sell and transfer the existing network infrastructure to a Connectivity-as-a-Service provider, at which point it takes complete ownership, responsibility and control of delivering connectivity to the customer.
This enables the service provider to simplify, standardise and overlay software orchestration in a way that works towards the assembly of the network’s constituent parts.
The commercial model that underpins Connectivity-as-a-Service incorporates all the tangible hardware, firmware and software assets, and all the additional services and human capital resources involved in providing connectivity.
This means that it covers all the key components to business networks, such as the right skill sets, the relevant third-party suppliers, full predictability of all infrastructure costs, and full management and maintenance.
As part of the onboarding process, the Connectivity-as-a-Service provider will conduct a comprehensive network audit and assemble a full network inventory database, which will then be maintained throughout the life of the Connectivity-as-a-Service (CAAS) contract.
For the IT Manager and/or IT team members that need to control, manage and change business user connectivity, daily and weekly administrative tasks and changes can be completed through a self-service portal.
The conventional approach is substantially more costly due to the time taken to locate devices, understand current configuration, make changes, update the documentation and configuration database before closing the task. Connectivity-as-a-Service allows easy administration of required user and connectivity service changes, along with a full audit trail of what happened, when and by whom.
What Is CAAS In Summary?
Connectivity-as-a-Service provides a cloud experience for your network:
In a recent survey conducted by Solar Winds, 56% of respondents said their organisation’s current network management solutions included features they do not need or use. For organisations that want to remove all the hassle of managing and maintaining networks, Connectivity-as-a-Service works just the same way as the way you buy and consume a utility. This means you don’t need to worry about any aspect of network maintenance and can instead rely on your service provider to manage everything on your behalf.
With Connectivity-as-a-Service, you can be sure the network you rely on has been designed and built by industry experts. It is also managed by highly skilled engineers, using the latest security and monitoring tools, as well as being accredited to the highest standards.
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