While we always look forward to the annual MEF event, this year's conference was especially satisfying, as InfoVista took home the 2016 Excellence Award for Third Network Technology Solutions Multi-Vendor Innovation of the Year, which we showcased as part of our proof-of-concept (PoC).
This marks the second consecutive year that we've been recognized in the Multi-Vendor Innovation of the Year category by the MEF, this time alongside Oracle Communications, Juniper Networks and ADVA Optical Networking, our partners in developing the PoC.
We're honored that the topic of our PoC was so well received by the judges at MEF16 as it illustrates LSO concepts, the architecture supporting the MEF's Third Network Vision. The goal of this vision is to bring on-demand, orchestrated and user-directed services and networks to a more hyper-connected, digital world.
Of particular significance with this PoC is that both the connectivity service (in this case Carrier Ethernet) and the value-added services on top (security, SD-WAN, Internet, IP and application visibility) are orchestrated across multiple operators, which is a key component of LSO and the Third Network Vision. Right now, the Internet has an edge in terms of ubiquity, but no guarantees. The Third Network is about offering that same ubiquitous connectivity, but is business-class and assured, and hence can be easily monetized.
Our PoC speaks specifically to enabling customer-premise, cloud-based services with LSO, and InfoVista's ability to assure connectivity services. We contributed the end-to-end service assurance, including customer SLA reporting, in the PoC, which is a critical part of any NFV/SDN and NaaS service. In fact, Stan Hubbard, Director of Communications & Research at the MEF, identified end-to-end performance SLAs with visibility as the number two differentiator for Carrier Ethernet providers during one of the panel sessions.
As I've been discussing in a series of LinkedIn Pulse posts, poor performance visibility impacts churn perhaps as much as poor application performance. Implementing real-time performance visibility can not only assure customers that their SLAs are being met, but it can act as a safety net against customers who may be blaming application performance on the WAN when it should be directed elsewhere. In fact, CSPs can provide even more value to their business customers by delivering not only the network performance visibility but also application usage and performance visibility, which was the other major contribution we made in the PoC; application performance visibility as a service enabling CSPs to leverage data within their network, delivering that application intelligence to all customers as part of their service, which provides opportunities for differentiation and monetization.
One of the topics that is becoming increasingly prevalent with CSPs is SD-WAN. Once considered an enterprise phenomenon, CPS are realizing that SD-WAN enables a deeper relationship with their customers and delivers the value they seek. As Stan presented in his panel; the number one differentiator among CE providers is coverage, and the number one deployment driver for Third Network services is faster service provisioning. When you place those two together you can easily explain the abundance of recent telecommunications acquisitions, but also the value of SD-WAN, which can deliver access to locations where the internet reaches but a CSP may not. Of course none of that matters if you cannot assure the service, which is why our SD-WAN solution's unique focus on application performance has been so successful.
Read more about LSO and the MEF vision by downloading the whitepaper series, Understanding Carrier Ethernet Service Assurance, coauthored by InfoVista. Also be sure to take part in our fun Carrier Ethernet survey by November 30 to see how your services stack up against the competition.