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September 12, 2022updated 13 Sep 2022 5:13am

Nokia continues SaaS pivot with more AI software options for CSPs

Traditionally a hardware provider for telcos, the Finnish company has now put its focus on software instead.

By Matthew Gooding

Nokia says it is strengthening its software portfolio to provide a more compelling offer to businesses and communications service providers (CSPs). This will include a new framework to help CSPs develop AI systems.

Nokia is expanding its SaaS portfolio. (Photo by Arnold O.A Pinto/Shutterstock)

The Finnish telecoms giant today announced it is bringing all its software applications together under its AVA brand (Automation, Visualization, Analytics), which currently provides intelligent automation solutions to customers.

“We are reinforcing our commitment to provide deep intelligence across our security, automation and monetisation solutions,” said Hamdy Farid, senior vice president for business applications at Nokia. “We look forward to partnering with our CSP and enterprise customers along with application developers to drive further innovation and create 5G value.

How Nokia is changing its software portfolio and adding AI

As part of the changes, Nokia is launching an AVA open analytics framework to help CSPs accelerate AI projects. It says this will help simplify how data is stored and used, meaning data scientists spend less time organising information and carrying out repetitive tasks.

The framework will move customers from monolithic and centralised data lakes – large repositories of structured and unstructured data – to a more flexible data mesh architecture making it easier to find and use relevant information. This “abstracts technical complexity and enables data scientists to focus on the needs of their data use cases”, the company says. It expects the framework to be fully commercially available in 2023.

Nokia’s press release also says it is bringing its operations support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS), used by CSPs to manage network infrastructure and customer relationships, under the AVA brand, along with its network security offering.

The company has also created what it describes as a “digital ecosystem”, IGNITE, which will enable customers and the company’s partners to collaborate on projects. More than 20 projects are apparently already ongoing with customers and application providers, including “the development of new machine-learning models, automation, and cybersecurity incident detection and response use cases”.

Nokia’s future depends on SaaS pivot

Traditionally a hardware vendor, Nokia has seen its core markets impacted by the emergence of software-defined networks, with the hyperscale cloud providers taking an increasingly prominent role in the sector.

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Last year Nokia started to pivot to providing more software-as-a-service (SaaS) options for its clients, and today’s news is a continuation of this transformation.

Speaking to Tech Monitor last year, Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, senior director analyst at Gartner, said CSPs were coming round to using SaaS, and that Nokia is in a good position to meet their needs. “A number of cloud-native-centric companies have been leading the way with SaaS for particular areas, and CSPs are starting to look at expanding their use of SaaS in additional parts of their operations and network with the introduction and expansion of 5G,” she said. “We are still in the early days of CSPs moving to adopt a SaaS model so Nokia’s timing is good.”

Tech Monitor is hosting the Tech Leaders Club on 15 September. Find out more on NSMG.live

Read more: Nokia is leading the race to build Europe’s 6G internet

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