BT promises its global corporates virtualization services next year

Ian Scales
By Ian Scales

Nov 8, 2017

via Flickr © jazpilla (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr © jazpilla (CC BY 2.0)

  • Has intensified Cisco relationship
  • Will build offerings on two Cisco platforms
  • Roll out to customers first half of 2018

BT is pushing forward with its virtualisation journey and expects to launch new services for corporate network customers next year using Cisco platforms, it’s announced. To get it there, BT says it’s intensified its strategic partnership with Cisco to include two new capabilities: a Cisco-based customer premise equipment virtualisation solution which will be managed by BT (BT Connect Edge) and the integration of Cisco’s network automation and orchestration software platform into BT’s networking offerings (BT Connect Services Platform).

BT claims the two additions - Connect Edge and Connect Services Platform - will prove to be a big assist for customers in the process of transforming their networks and needing to deploy network functions such as routing, acceleration and security while at the same time transitioning from standalone hardware-based appliances to a virtualized environment.

Connect Services Platform will let customers deploy new network functions at branches and remote locations within hours it’s claimed. The functions will run on the Connect Edge multifunctional hardware, combining the strengths of Cisco’s Enterprise Network Compute System (ENCS) platform with BT’s global service management, design capability, security wrap and support coverage.

One big advantage here is that network customers can upgrade and make changes to branch infrastructure remotely with software - no more having to visit branches with a technical expert and a screwdriver. The solution supports virtual network functions (VNFs) from multiple vendors’ and will be accessible to customers via their BT MyAccount portal.

The actual deployment stage will involve Cisco’s Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) software platform and virtual Branch Core Function Pack which BT claims will greatly improve its ability to simultaneously manage, improve and orchestrate service delivery across NFV projects, software-defined networking (SDN) offerings and more traditional networks.

However, the capabilities are still a work in progress with Connect Services Platform and Connect Edge due to be launched during the first half of 2018 and subsequently rolled out to customers in 180 countries.

Maria Grazia Pecorari, president, digital, global portfolio & marketing, Global Services, BT, says that by ”combining BT’s strong virtualisation, service management and security expertise and new Cisco technologies, we are reinforcing our position as a trusted partner to our customers, guiding them on their digital transformation journeys.”

BT has bought into Cisco’s forward-looking intent-based networking approach according to Scott Harrell, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Networking Business, Cisco. “With these new network automation, orchestration and virtualization solutions from Cisco in place, BT can operate a more intuitive network that gives them the scale, intelligence, and security to power the world’s most dynamic business applications,” he claims.

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