Global network for business customers

Mar 17, 2016

A Star Alliance in the telecommunications industry: CenturyLink, Deutsche Telekom, Reliance and SK Telecom have founded the Next Generation Enterprise Network Alliance, or ngena for short.
Secure, high-performing, global networks for multinational business customers – with this objective in mind, ngena is planning to begin collaboration with alliance partners to create a modular service portfolio for multinational business customers in 2017. Customers of the alliance partners will be able to use the network services to securely connect their subsidiaries, production facilities and branch offices and – based on defined service levels – interconnect them to a wide-area network (WAN).  This would also enable secure access to cloud services.

Interconnection of the best networks worldwide

"Networks are the basis of digitization. Companies that operate internationally need access to the best networks in terms of quality, security, agility and flexibility. We are bringing the best networks together with ngena," explains Patrick Molck-Ude, director TC Division at T-Systems. Not only will ngena sell network services in a partnership model, it will also act as an independent company. The alliance partners will provide access to the regional networks in their markets, which will be interconnected to a single global network via the global ngena platform on the basis of Cisco Cloud and virtualization technologies. "ngena's sharing economy business model is one of a kind in the corporate customer network business," says ngena managing director, Dr. Marcus Hacke. "Our customers will be able to quickly modify the network infrastructure to meet changing requirements, e.g., new requirements based on the Internet of Things."

Single point of contact for a global wide-area network

ngena's offer is targeted at multinational companies that want to connect their global locations. But today's global WANs are often a hodge-podge of network connections provided by many different providers. This happens because the market is shared by several-hundred network providers among which not even the largest provide networks in every country. For companies, this results in a jungle of different contracts and products as well as a significant time and cost commitment involved in managing their network. When a business wants to connect a new location to its corporate network, for example, the process can take several months, because integrating a new location often includes coordinating the process with the providers of each of the different networks involved.

Efficient network management guarantees quality

Quality also suffers under non-homogeneous networks and network management. These in-homogenous networks are not secure or reliable enough for real-time applications which are increasingly used in the manufacturing industry as well as in the logistics and telemedicine area. A network without sufficient service quality poses a risk that an increasing number of customers are no longer willing to take. In contrast, ngena's global network combines high security, flexibility and quality with international coverage. Due to the virtualization of network functions and end-to-end automation, ngena can be managed very efficiently. And even remote locations can be connected due to the coverage provided by the alliance partners.

Software-defined networks

ngena benefits from the increasing convergence and rapid spread of cloud technologies and networks controlled by software, i.e. software-defined networks (SDN). Cisco technology guarantees a high degree of automation and creates standardized interfaces between the alliance partners' heterogeneous networks. The global standard Ethernet protocol ensures that the networks of different providers are connected to the ngena platform through clearly defined interfaces to form a shared global network with hubs in Europe, America and Asia. This makes it possible for ngena to specify standardized service levels for the entire global network and the alliance partners can provide services to customers from a single source across continents.