Nokia is bringing enterprise services to the fore in a concerted effort to increase its reach (and revenues) outside its better known communications service provider markets. They want IoT, 5G, and SD-WAN to be their foot (feet?) in the enterprise door, creating opportunities to expand relationships into other spaces ranging from analytics solutions to edge data center infrastructure.
Big Problems = Big Opportunities
At its just-concluded Global Analyst Forum Nokia made the case for being able to build a bigger enterprise footprint without radically altering its products and services. As they see it, more entities (large companies, state or county governments) are developing problems that can best be solved by industrial-strength solutions. Whether on the WAN, across a multicloud, or in IOT, they reason, solutions that meet the most stringent needs of global telecoms providers should be able to address the needs of very large companies.
Enterprise sales account for about 5% of revenues now. With its new strategic focus on increasing enterprise footprint and revenue, Nokia is creating an enterprise-focused business unit. Chief strategy officer Kathrin Buvac will run it when it launches in January 2019. Her job will be to get IT leadership in the largest companies to think that solutions tempered in the fires of global telcomms' cores should be on the evaluation short list when they need to support a demanding new IOT solution, or resolve complex global WAN and cloud networking challenges securely. In our WAN Economics and SD-WAN Research Study we saw most organizations struggling to get even four 9s of reliability (99.99% uptime) in their WAN links. Promising them solutions pushing into six-9s territory should certainly get their attention!
How Low Can You(r Downtime) Go?
Six 9s of uptime is less than 32 seconds of downtime per year. This kind of ultra-reliability for the new IOT era popped up in presentations and discussions throughout the analyst forum. Nokia contends that lots of big companies are on the cusp of pushing myriad sensors, cameras, drones, autonomous vehicles, remote-operated devices, and other embedded intelligent systems into their environments. For this, their status quo on wireless network and WAN reliability will simply not serve. Their position is that someone betting the continued safe operation or economic viability of a mine or factory on IOT will not make that bet on something without 99.9999% uptime. Or one that can't hit hard realtime SLA commitments in the sub-ms range as needed. There are a lot of factories and mines out there in which critical IT devices are relatively few and all still hardwired, lending some credibility to the position.
It's an Internet-of-Things Thing
We're in the early phases of the big enterprise IOT wave Nokia is hoping to ride into a much larger engagement with enterprises. Are they making the right choices, for good reasons? Nemertes' continuing its research in the space will help us find out. Our 2018-2019 IoT Research Study is recruiting participants now. The study will focus not just on technology topics like platform, networking, and security for IOT but also on the business cases and use cases, architectures, staffing, and policies driving successful enterprise IoT deployments. Interested in participating? Register your interest here.