2degrees – Software defined networks

Networks when you need them

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These days businesses expect to be in control when they consume digital services.

They want to be able to dial up services when they need them. This is an everyday experience for consumers who can, say, log into their mobile phone account and change their plan, buy more data or organise international roaming.

Typically, that’s not how most businesses order and organise network services. They must call a network operator, discuss their needs, negotiate options, then commit to a contract.

We have a network that reaches every data centre in the country and our network can reach anywhere on the UFB footprint, which covers close to every business in New Zealand.” 

But modern businesses want data and services when they need it, and want to be able to add it, remove it and change it, all quickly and seamlessly.

It’s where the 2degrees business team is focussed; on its self-service platform for what’s known as software defined networks. 2degrees Chief Business Officer Andrew Fairgray says: “We are bringing the smarts we are all use to as consumers, to larger, more complex businesses, essentially to make their lives easier and more efficient.”

Key to this for 2degrees is its platform called “Flex”, a front-end interface initially developed for Freightways, a major customer.

Freightways wanted a digital platform which allowed it to manage a large fleet of mobile devices, and now that platform has been expanded to include more products, and is available to 2degrees business customers.

“The goal is to provide customers with comprehensive on-demand network infrastructure”, says 2degrees CIO Steve Kurzeja.

“Everything on the network is software enriched. We have a network that reaches every data centre in the country and our network can reach anywhere on the UFB footprint, which covers close to every business in New Zealand.”

“A customer from the top end of town might come to buy 100 gigabit Ethernet ports if they need to shift a huge workload from one point to another, but smaller customers can also benefit.”

Kurzeja says there’s nothing to stop customers with more modest needs ordering secure point-to-point links from any home or office on UFB to a data centre or a cloud on-ramp taking them to Australia, the USA or beyond.

“It’s still early days, but if a customer wants to order, say, a circuit from London, we can do that now. We have partners from overseas coming to us in New Zealand wanting to set up circuits through our local ecosystem. Our network footprint already reaches across the UK, Australia and the US. We have other relationships connecting elsewhere, so if a customer needs a line to Singapore, we can connect through Australia and the ASC submarine cable.”

He says that because 2degrees is a software-led business, it can move fast, take customer feedback and iterate. “We learn from our customers and change. They can see us continually releasing new things and listening to their needs, which is exactly what it means to be customer centric.”

Fairgray sums it up: “Software defined networks gives 2degrees customers a competitive edge putting customers in control of their agility, innovation and application needs and futureproofing their connectivity.”


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