In a move that it says "will dramatically transform the way businesses provision network services," AT&T (NYSE:T) is introducing customer-enabled on-demand service capabilities through which companies will be able to order, add, or change services on their own in near real time.
The capability – AT&T Network on Demand – is the first software-defined network (SDN) service of its kind in the United States, the company claims, and it is being deployed as part of the company’s User Defined Network Cloud (UDNC) strategy announced in February this year.
Since June, AT&T has been operating a Network on Demand pilot at the University of Texas at Austin. The company plans commercial roll-out of Network on Demand-enabled Ethernet services to businesses in Austin by the end of the year. (Austin is also where AT&T first rolled out its U-verse with GigaPower 1-Gbps FTTH service.) Beyond Austin, AT&T is planning to deploy this and other new Network on Demand-enabled services, including Internet and virtual private network, in additional markets starting in 2015.
AT&T asserts that its Network on Demand will redefine how network services will be delivered to business customers by streamlining the process using an online self-service portal. Benefits/capabilities will include:
- Intuitive and immediate click-through contracting and ordering of network services
- Dialing up or dialing down broadband speeds in near real time instead of hours or days
- Provisioning new communications ports in days compared to weeks.
"By enabling companies to easily and immediately provision network services on their own, we’re creating a truly world-class customer experience," said Roman Pacewicz, AT&T senior vice president – marketing and global strategy. "Our new Network on Demand service will do for corporate networks what the cloud did for management of corporate data centers."
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