How service providers enable new use cases with partner edge
Now we have some concrete examples of communication service providers (CSPs) engaging with enterprises by taking a use-case driven approach to address new business, and then look for the right technology and partners to implement the enterprise service.
Telefónica Deutschland / O2 has recently announced a proof of concept project where the partner edge model will be used for a private 5G network solution. The focus is on providing industrial solutions and laying the foundation for digitalizing German industries, including manufacturing, logistics and automotive companies. We will provide Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core and also orchestration components – key capabilities for service providers as they address new enterprise business.
The edge application ecosystem
The edge application ecosystem is driven by third-party applications outside of the telecom domain since solutions for new use cases require specific domain knowledge from expert industry players, often outside the telecom space. Typical application providers are the operations technology (OTs) vendors, system integrator (SI) companies and the hyperscale cloud providers (HCPs). The latter own application ecosystems including thousands of contributing developers and serve a vast number of enterprises on a global basis. You can rest assured that we will see more collaborations between service providers and HCPs.
Some examples of OT vendors include Siemens, General Electric, BMW and ABB. They have strong enterprise relationships, especially in the manufacturing and automation sector. OT vendors are establishing relationships with HCPs for global deployments of their solutions, access to application development ecosystems and an environment to create and deploy their own applications. The OT vendors will often be interesting to work with in use cases related to industrial automation.
Edge computing deployment models
Can service providers provide a full edge solution including applications to enterprises? Yes - in industry verticals where they are well-established and have a deep knowledge of business processes and ways of working. However, in many cases realistically service providers should be prepared to build on their strengths by partnering with HCPs, OT vendors and SI companies, while keeping strong go-to-market capabilities towards enterprises.
As described in this white paper, there are four deployment models a service provider can work with, where the main categories are defined by the choice ambition for a certain industry. See illustration below. These roles will often be combined to realize the enterprise strategy depending on which industry vertical is being addressed.
The service provider role in partner edge deployments
In addition to limited edge, we believe that the partner edge model will be the most attractive one for CSPs. This means that they will front the enterprise customer and provide connectivity, orchestration and exposure, but resell the edge solution from other companies, for example HCPs or OT vendors. Even though the edge solution is provided by a partner, there is no question that the service provider plays a foundational role to make it all work.
Orchestration of enterprise applications in multi-cloud environments and exposure – for example of services, SLAs and workload placement – are needed to realize use cases, and here significant value is provided. Workload placement is the function to decide and implement which edge location to use for a certain application. Making it easy for enterprise customers to order services and manage them through customer portals, is also strongly facilitated by the exposure of network and service assets. Looking ahead, exposure to meet requirements on quality of service and being able to implement network slicing will also increase in importance.
View this video to learn more about what it takes for service providers to succeed with edge computing and what the key capabilities are.
Find out more about edge computing.
Learn more about 5G Core