Italians clearly aren’t that suspicious of Huawei

Despite governments around the world turning against Chinese vendors, Telecom Italia has agreed a new partnership with Huawei based on Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology.

As part of a strategy aimed at evolving TIM’s network solutions for business customers, Huawei’s SD-WAN technology will be incorporated to create a new TIM service model which will allow customers companies to manage their networks through a single console.

“Today, more than ever, companies need networks that can adapt to different business needs over time, in particular to enable Cloud and VoIP services,” said Luigi Zabatta, Head of Fixed Offer for TIM Chief Business & Top Clients Office. “Thanks to the most advanced technologies available, these networks can be managed both jointly and by customers themselves through simple tools.

“The partnership with Huawei allows us to expand our value proposition for companies and to enrich our offer through the adoption of a technological model that is increasingly and rapidly emerging in the ICT industry.”

The partnership is a major win for Huawei considering the pressure the firm must be feeling over suspicions being peaked around the world. Just as more countries are clamping down on the ability for Huawei to do business, TIM has offered a windfall.

Aside from the on-going Chinese witch hunt over in the US, the Australians have banned Huawei from participating in the 5G bonanza and Korean telcos have left the vendor off preferred supplier lists. Just to add more misery, the UK is seemingly joining in on the trends.

In recent weeks, a letter was sent out from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the National Cyber Security Centre, warning telcos of potential impacts to the 5G supply chain from the Future Telecom Infrastructure Review. China was not mentioned specifically, and neither was Huawei, but sceptical individuals might suggest China would be most squeezed by a security and resilience review.

The rest of the world might be tip-toeing around the big question of China, but this partnership suggests TIM doesn’t have the same reservations.

BT decides to resell some Cisco SD-WAN gear

UK telco group BT has launched a new global managed service based around Cisco software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) kit.

BT has a fairly established history of partnering with Cisco, so this is more of an extension of the existing relationship than something completely new. To date it has all been about the NFV and SDN so this latest initiative is pretty consistent with that.

Most of the announcement reads like a piece of Cisco marketing, detailing what a great idea ‘BT Connect Cisco SD-WAN’ is if you want to keep an eye on the data flows across your WAN. This is especially handy in the transition to the cloud, which seems to be a big reason why BT wants to add it to its managed services portfolio.

“Over 90 per cent of BT’s global WAN customers use Cisco technology and the vast majority ask us to manage it,” said Keith Langridge, VP of Network Services at BT. “Today’s announcement gives them a choice of physical or virtualised Cisco SD-WAN portfolio delivered as managed services backed by our excellent security credentials.

“We have a wealth of know-how and experience in designing hybrid networks and a global infrastructure engineered for SD-WAN and NFV service delivery. Organisations looking at taking their first step to SD-WAN can be reassured that in BT, they have an established, trusted Cisco partner able to give professional services advice to plan, build and evolve secure and reliable hybrid networks globally.”

“BT is offering the complete portfolio of Cisco SD-WAN-based solutions as managed services and doing so on a truly global scale,” said Scott Harrell, GM of the Enterprise Networking Business at Cisco. “Cisco SD-WAN, built on Viptela technology, is a great example of how intent-based networking is fundamentally changing the blueprint for networking.”

The extra bit of added value BT is claiming concerns its orchestration capabilities, indicating the whole package is aimed at companies generally looking to sort their virtualized lives out. The managed services part promises to hold their hands throughout their network evolution and the tone of the announcement suggests there are more BT/Cisco announcements to come.

Virgin Media brings in Versa to bolster its SD-WAN

Virgin Media Business has announced a partnership with Versa Networks which will allow it to offer its enterprise customers a variety of software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) services.

As part of the partnership, Virgin Media Business will use Versa Network’s Cloud IP platform to provide fully managed SD-WAN services. We should come expect more partnerships along these lines as automation and intelligent services is at the heart, answering the industry’s call for more IT solutions which can aid flat-lining productivity numbers.

“Versa Networks is a true market disruptor and therefore the perfect strategic fit for Virgin Media Business,” said Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business.

“Our partnership will put the cloud at the heart of our enterprise network and allow us to offer our customers an industry-leading service that gives them greater agility, flexibility and control over how they design and manage their corporate network to unlock their digital potential. SD-WAN is turning corporate IT on its head; enabling the IT to respond to the business needs rather than the business responding to what the IT can deliver.”

SD-WAN is proving to be a popular service for customers around the world as it is proving to be a more open and flexible solution than traditional WAN. The network is instead controlled using cloud-native software, designed to integrate with the cloud and improve automation, security and enhanced connectivity.

“We are excited about partnering with Virgin Media Business to offer business essential SD-WAN services that enables them to provide excellent application user experience, agility, security and simplification to their customers’ networks,” said Kumar Mehta, CDO of Versa Networks.

“This collaboration is a testament to our ability to provide innovative solutions as organizations evolve on their digital transformation journey.”

While Virgin Media is shouting about this agreement, our sister site Light Reading has confirmed it is part of a wider group-level strategy at Liberty Global, which in turn is trying to ramp up its appeal to large enterprise and government customers.