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Need for Speed, Agility in Digital Business Driving Growth in Software-Defined Networking, Says ISG
[July 03, 2018]

Need for Speed, Agility in Digital Business Driving Growth in Software-Defined Networking, Says ISG

STAMFORD, Conn., July 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The need for speed and agility is driving rapid growth in software-defined networks (SDN) and related services – the biggest change to the networking and telecommunications industry in the last 30 years – according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The latest ISG Provider Lens™ report says SDN and SD-WAN technologies are growing in popularity as enterprises look to add applications and network resources to meet digital business needs more efficiently and securely. The demand for integrated, automated solutions also is spurring growth in related services such as performance assurance (management), managed networks and devices (MND) and 4G and 5G mobility.

"Existing managed LAN and WAN services, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and related technologies still form the backbone of the installed customer base and generate the majority of revenues for telco and other communications providers," said Esteban Herrera, partner and global leader of ISG Research. "But that's changing rapidly. Software-defined networking, along with cloud networks, are the biggest things to hit the industry in the last 30 years. Some providers, such as AT&T, have announced plans to make 75 percent or more of their networks SDN-compliant and functional by 2022."

The ISG Provider Lens Software Defined Networking and Services Quadrant Report evaluates 46 global providers across seven quadrants: mobility (4G/5G) services, network services (VAS), managed SD-WAN services, managed WAN services, SD-WAN services (DIY), SD-WAN equipment and services, and SDN services. Companion reports cover 43 providers serving the U.S. market and 60 providers serving the German market across the same quadrants.

"Many of these providers currently are converting pilo or proof-of-concept projects into production-level deployments. That evolution, together with the relative newness of software-defined networking, leads ISG to expect many providers now characterized by the report as Product Challengers or Market Challengers will be able to improve their positioning over the next 12 months to be considered Market Leaders within their respective segments," said Herrera.

Herrera also noted the significant market volatility in this space, characterized by a large number of mergers and acquisitions over the last 12 months. "This volatility is set to continue and may even increase during the remainder of 2018 as software-defined networking become more mainstream."

Among the global providers profiled in the ISG Provider Lens report, IBM was named a market leader in six of the seven quadrants, the most of any provider. BT was named a leader in five quadrants, AT&T in four quadrants and Cisco in three quadrants.

While many of the providers evaluated in the global report appear in the U.S. and German reports, each market has its own mix of established players and newer entrants. In the area of do-it-yourself SD-WAN (an overlay architecture that brings the benefits of SDN technology to traditional hardware-based networking), the U.S. market leaders represent a mix of players, including Cisco, IBM, Dell EMC, Aryaka and Telstra. (See figure.)

The ISG Provider Lens Quadrant report series draws insights on service provider capabilities from focused surveys, briefings, interviews with providers, input from ISG advisors, ISG benchmarking data, and data drawn from the ISG Contracts Knowledgebase™ and ISG Engagement Database™.  The series is a complement to the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, which offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

The ISG Provider Lens Software Defined Networking and Services Quadrant Report is available to ISG Insights™ subscribers or for immediate, one-time purchase on this webpage. Customized versions of the report are available from IBM (global) and Apcela (U.S.).

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including 75 of the top 100 enterprises in the world, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; technology strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry's most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit

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