Singtel NaaS offering to ease hybrid network management

Singtel CUBΣ is touted to make it easier for enterprises to manage, scale and automate deployment of networking resources in a hybrid network environment

Singtel is jumping on the as-a-service bandwagon with a new network-as-a-service (NaaS) offering designed to make it easier for enterprises to manage, scale and automate the deployment of networking resources in a hybrid network environment.

Dubbed Singtel CUBΣ, this unified suite of network solutions and services allows enterprises not only to subscribe to and manage Singtel’s network services, including software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), but also third-party cloud networking services.

It also offers a centralised management platform for enterprises to monitor the health and service levels of their networks, including non-Singtel networks, and facilitates the on-demand deployment of virtual network resources through predefined templates.

Lim Seng Kong, managing director for enterprise at Singtel Singapore, noted that CUBΣ was developed in response to demand from customers that are increasingly utilising multiple networking capabilities from various suppliers but wish to do so in an agile manner to meet evolving networking requirements.

With CUBΣ, enterprises can, for example, provision additional bandwidth to accommodate peak network demands or rapidly deploy networking resources in new locations or branch offices using Singtel’s automation and network virtualisation capabilities.

Lim said CUBΣ can support third-party networks and networking assets, covering suppliers that represent 70-80% of the market, noting the significant effort required to enable network orchestration across different networks and networking equipment.

Despite the foundational role of network virtualisation in enabling network automation, many organisations still manage their networks manually, incurring time and cost.

When asked about the readiness of the market for offerings like CUBΣ, Lim explained: “We’re not 100% sure whether they are ready. Sometimes, they are not ready because it’s not available, so we are making it available in the hope that customers will be ready.

“But we believe that with software-defined networks becoming more complex and the faster pace of digitisation, they need to be agile and change quickly. With all that pressure, even though they are not ready for automation, I think there’s a good chance that they will start to move towards it.”

Among the early adopters of CUBΣ are manufacturers, given their varied network demands. Another customer is Surbana Jurong, an urban and infrastructure consultancy.

Gareth Packwood, director for infrastructure and office systems at Surbana’s IT group, said: “Digital technology is fundamental to every project Surbana Jurong undertakes to drive better outcomes for our clients.

“Through the deployment of Singtel’s global internet and managed SD-WAN services, we’re able to strengthen our digital infrastructure, and realise our smart city goals and ambitions. We believe that Singtel CUBΣ can drive digital transformation among enterprises to help them achieve greater growth in a digital economy,” he added.

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