Who ya gonna call? Support models for uCPE

One of the benefits of an open solution like universal CPE (uCPE) is the ability to pick best of breed components. But what happens when there’s a problem? There are different answers, depending on how you decide to deploy the technology.
Prayson Pate
Woman using smartphone with question marks

In the old days people liked to talk about services in terms of “one throat to choke.” When things blew up, they knew who to call, and who to yell at. Hopefully the choking is metaphorical and not literal. But when you have a multi-vendor system the support mode isn’t so clear. Here are some different approaches to answering the question.

Managed service

Let’s start with the case of an enterprise that has seen issues with managed services delivered by appliances. Perhaps they want to change their firewall provider, but doing so means swapping out a physical device at every site, in every country, with a corresponding service outage. Or perhaps they want to add a new service, which results in the same drawbacks. How can the customer get additional flexibility in their solution, including on-demand adds, moves and changes, without having to manage the solution themselves?

In this case the answer is simple. They get a managed service based on a virtualized uCPE solution delivered by a CSP. With managed uCPE, enterprises get the benefits of network virtualization without the associated complexity. 

But how does the service provider ensure their SLAs can be met and answer the question of support? 

Turnkey solution

The simplest option is for the service provider to resell a turnkey solution. This might be delivered by a solution supplier, a VAR or a systems integrator. In many cases, the turnkey solution supplier will provide support. ADVA works with a variety of partners who offer this model.

This approach looks a lot like the old single-supplier model in that you write one check for the entire solution. But there’s one big difference. The solution is open and uses standard components so that you’re not locked into a single-vendor implementation. You can go back to the original integrator, or you can secure assistance from a different supplier. Or even do it yourself.

Think of this situation as similar to buying a house. The original builder may engage with a variety of contractors such as architects, carpenters, masons, electricians and plumbers. And you write one check to the builder. But when it’s time for repairs, updates or expansion, you don’t have to go back to the builder. You can engage with any qualified contractor you choose. Or do the work yourself.

With managed uCPE, enterprises get the benefits of network virtualization without the associated complexity.
Assisted integration

This approach applies to buyers who may have some of the needed expertise, but not all. They can choose to engage with one or more suppliers for design and integration services. At ADVA, we often provide this type of assistance as a contracted professional service. Examples of these services include network design, solution implementation, meeting security requirements, building service cloud templates or benchmarking performance.

Do it yourself

In this approach the operator acquires, integrates and operates the solution. Usually this is only practical for a tier 1 operator that sees uCPE and edge compute as strategic to their vision. Even in this case the operator may choose to engage in professional services from time to time to help with surges in demand.

Pick the best approach for you – and change it if necessary

There’s no approach that’s right or everyone. By choosing to work with suppliers and integrators that support an open approach, you can find the way that works the best for you. And be prepared to change it if necessary. Because the world is always changing, and you need to be able to respond. We’re here to help.

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