Service Providers Can Unlock a $30B Market Opportunity with New Managed Application-Layer Services

Mariana Agache 축소판
Mariana Agache
Published September 19, 2022

Many service providers (SPs) have already embarked on a strategic transformation from telecommunication service providers to technology service providers, looking for new ways to deliver value to their enterprise customers and help along their digital transformation journeys. More than ever, SPs are now looking for new service offerings, new revenue streams, and ways to grow their strategic relevance with enterprise customers. F5 can help service providers achieve these goals by enabling them to offer new managed, cloud-based application-layer services that can be quickly delivered to enterprises, supporting them in addressing a market estimated to be $30B in 2025.

Enterprises are challenged to deploy applications in a multi-cloud environment

A substantial number of enterprises are moving their applications to multi-cloud environments to support their digital transformation journeys, running their applications in multiple cloud environments such as public clouds, private DCs, edge sites, or branches—not just in their enterprise data centers as they did in the past.

Figure 1: Traditional enterprise IT environment with applications running in private data centers

However, deploying, networking, securing, and operating applications at all these locations in a consistent way has proven challenging and costly. Companies are using multiple appliances for storage, networking, and security, and multiple types of tools to manage this complex environment.

Each enterprise location typically has:

  • Connectivity services (Internet access, SD-WAN, direct connect Ethernet, IP-VPN)
  • Firewall services
  • Web application firewalls (WAFs) and API security devices to ensure performance and security

As a result, enterprises incur large operational and capital costs to deploy, network, run, and secure their applications at all these locations.

Figure 2: Traditional application configuration approach for multiple locations, creating complexity for enterprises

Offering a solution to this typical and widespread problem would eliminate major complexities for enterprises, simplify their operations, and reduce their costs. Service providers have a unique opportunity to offer managed services to eliminate this complexity, leveraging their networking infrastructure and security know-how.

However, creating and operationalizing such service offerings continues to be a difficult challenge for service providers and managed service providers alike. Developing such services typically takes a long time and many resources. We now live in a fail-fast world, a world in which SPs want to rapidly bring these services to market, validate their value proposition, and capture market share but also fail fast in the case that enterprises don’t adopt the service. This creates a demand for service architectures and business models that enable them to keep pace with ever-changing service demands from enterprises. Today, cloud-based/SaaS services offerings are the answer to this quest, and many telcos and managed service providers are looking to adopt this new way of creating and offering their managed services.

Now SPs can leverage F5’s Distributed Cloud SaaS platform to offer SaaS-based managed application-layer services and solve enterprise challenges

F5 Distributed Cloud Services enable managed service providers to do just that, to offer a suite of managed application-layer services with a cloud-based SaaS platform, including:

  • Managed Multi-Cloud Application Networking to easily connect applications in a multi-cloud environment
  • Managed Application Security Services to secure applications, including WAAP (Web Application and API Protection) and DDoS mitigation
  • Managed Application Load Balancing and DNS to ensure application performance

Using Distributed Cloud Services offerings from F5, managed service providers can now rapidly (in weeks, not months) offer and operationalize their managed application-layer services. They can conveniently offer configuration, management, and support services on top of the SaaS offering from F5, and integrate them into their OSS/BSS systems.

Figure 3: New F5 Distributed Cloud Platform enables managed service providers to offer managed application-layer services

By using managed application-layer services powered by F5’s Distributed Cloud Platform, enterprises can now run their applications in a multi-cloud environment in a much simpler and safer way, reducing their complexity and their operational and capital costs. Enterprise applications running in multiple enterprise locations such as branches, headquarters, edge, private cloud environments, or the public cloud can be easily networked so other applications and users can reach them. From a centralized engine, managed service providers can apply the required networking and security parameters across all locations for easy connectivity and consistent security.

Figure 4: Simplified enterprise deployment of applications leveraging managed application-layer services powered by F5's Distributed Cloud Platform

Increased strategic relevance while expanding into a $30B addressable market

These new application-layer services enable service providers to deliver value-added services on top of their traditional offerings, expanding into a market estimated to be $30B in 2025.

Leading global telecoms have adopted our Distributed Cloud Platform for offering managed application-layer services and for expanding to the edge. The increased addressable market can be significant—one SP’s offer of a managed WAAP (Web Application and API Protection) service estimates an expansion of its addressable market of $1.7B over 3 years, in four countries.

At F5, we understand the complexity service providers often face when introducing such services. Our focus has been on accelerating service creation and delivery with a new SaaS-based approach and simplifying service management with tools and portals. And F5 goes one step further in enabling SPs to capitalize on this opportunity. With a mindset of co-creation and strategic partnership, F5 offers support along the service lifecycle journey with business planning, service creation, enablement, and demand generation expertise. This enables service providers to get the revenue faster; their success is our success.

For more information on how to take advantage of our SaaS platform for your managed service offerings, see details of the F5 Distributed Cloud Platform.