Nokia launches SaaS portfolio for CSPs

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Nokia has stepped into Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), launching a portfolio for CSPs that will be available from early next year.

The initial launch includes three products: Nokia Data Management, Nokia NetGuard Cybersecurity Dome and Nokia Anomaly Detection. More will follow early in 2022.

The move aligns with the industry's pivot to software and service-based offerings, and follows years of groundwork on Nokia's part, which has included the re-architecting its software applications to make them fully cloud-native and deployable in any cloud environment, edge, public or private.

The Finnish kit maker said its new offering is "an important first step" that will give operators a "less expensive, more flexible, and more customer-centric pathway for operating their network and delivering new services".

Raghav Sahgal, president of cloud and network services at Nokia, said: “The convergence of 5G, cloud native software and SaaS creates a great and fast-growing opportunity for Nokia. With the groundwork we’ve already been laying, our SaaS delivery framework is in a very strong competitive position. It enables a combination of rapid time to value with on-demand access for Nokia SaaS applications and low cost of ownership, based on a pay-as-you-go / pay-as-you-grow commercial model. This is a multi-year journey and we are going at it aggressively.”

Nokia said it will combine all the independent services into three high-value SaaS “suites” focused on Digital Engagement, Marketplaces and Networking, each composed of integrated SaaS services.

Some SaaS services within these suites, such as security, will provide value across suite domains.

Caroline Chappell, research director at Analysys Mason, said: “SaaS is the software consumption model of the future. It is nascent in the telco market today, but our research shows that leading operators understand its benefits and are waiting for vendors to respond.

"It is good to see a mainstream vendor like Nokia making an early move into SaaS-based delivery. This will position Nokia well to serve operators that need to accelerate the adoption of new cloud-based technologies at scale, such as 5G, IoT, edge computing and AI. CSPs must transform themselves to capitalize on these technologies, and the switch to SaaS delivery models is a critical component of their digital transformation strategies.”