Channel Manager's Playbook - Volume 5: International Agent Opportunities

“R2-D2, you know better than to trust a strange computer.” - C-3PO The public Internet was not purpose-built for the delivery of real-time communications. How- ever, delivering real-time com- munications is essential for businesses, large and small, and it is being done through the adoption of modern software, network and infra- structure paradigms. With the ever-de- creasing costs of these technologies, the industry has seen adoption from even the smallest businesses in the most remote parts of the world. An up- start operator can now leverage now generally available technologies to provide real-time communications ser- vices alongside industry incumbents using more traditional paradigms. Real-time communications can be made ultra-reliable and high-fidelity through combining network automa- tion, strategic peering relationships and cloud-agnostic points of presence (PoPs). Whether you are familiar with these concepts or they’re something that your company has not yet encoun- tered, you will see why some of the most forward-thinking firms are driving adoption of and placing their trust in these architectures and technologies. Network Automation Network management has been going through an evolution during the past few years in which network operators and orga- nizations are making automation a key driver in their strategy for build- ing and managing their infrastructures. While soft- ware-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) tend to receive the most at- tention, there are a number of ob- stacles that are making the transition difficult and slowing adoption. In the interim, however, there are intermedi- ary steps that operators can take to begin the transition to more centrally managed and automated networks. One such step is the implementation of network automation such as zero- touch provisioning (ZTP). A zero-touch network implies the shift away from direct configuration via command-line interface (CLI) of network devices to the use of automation platforms. These platforms come in a variety of forms, but have the common goal of removing human interaction from the CLI by al- lowing the creation of deterministic en- vironments through configuration man- agement. With ZTP, organizations can pre-determine everything from baseline configurations to more complex config- urations such as building configurations to implement a customer network that spans a global IP backbone. By Ian Reither and Jason Craft PTC Corner Smart Architecture The rise of network automation and shared infrastructure in delivering real-time communications INTERNATIONAL AGENTs SECTION 10 THE CHANNEL MANAGER’S PLAYBOOK