Rajesh Pathak, country manager, India & SAARC, Accedian

Accedian is a provider of performance analytics and end-user experience solutions. It delivers granular, customer experience-centric performance data through combined active and passive network and application performance. In an interview with tele.net, Rajesh Pathak, country manager, India and SAARC, Accedian, talks about the company’s focus areas and industry trends…

What are the key benefits of performance analytics and assurance for enterprise and service providers?

The key benefits of performance analytics and assurance for enterprises and services providers (mobile operators, ISPs, etc.) is full visibility into the network, more granular and real-time monitoring capabilities and the opportunity to capitalise on what 5G can offer. The right performance solution empowers enterprises and service providers to assure their digital infrastructure and unlock the full productivity of their users. This is the direct result of being able to see far and wide across IT and network infrastructure (gaining that comprehensive view of all assets), as well as to drill down to understand the experience of every user and quickly (and proactively) get to the root cause of any degradations.

Today, many enterprise and network service providers often lack visibility and control of their network. They need a solution that provides 360° network visibility and analytics for all types of IT infrastructure—physical, virtualised, software-defined, and multi-cloud—for organisations with thousands or tens of thousands of users up to mobile operators with millions of subscribers. Taking advantage of latest-generation stream analytics, the platform should be able to keep track of every network flow and application transaction at scale, providing the most granular, precise performance data that is, of course, actionable.

5G adoption is moving quickly with many real use cases already available today which continue to drive transformation, and in India, aligned to the Digital India initiative, I envisage 5G will play a significant large role in the ongoing digitisation efforts and deliver benefits to the economy on a whole. GSMA predicts “20 per cent of global connections will be through 5G by 2025” and while initially consumer driven, there are endless applications for its use as industrialised 5G in manufacturing, healthcare, smart cities and other exciting domains.

To deliver on the promise of 5G, network operators and enterprises need to achieve ultra-low latency amongst other requirements, which requires a performance management solution that can provide high-definition network testing and wire data analytics; they’ll then be able to assure performance and reduce risk from the network.

Accedian has been providing innovative performance solutions to our global customers for 15 years, and we have evolved with the needs of our customers and the technology, providing the most granular, reliable performance management solutions for hybrid IT organisations up to multi-million subscriber network operators.

In India, what are the key emerging trends in performance analytics and network monitoring space? How is Accedian looking to tap these opportunities?  

India is a very unique market as our technology adoption is driven by high stakes competition. As the world grapples with the ongoing pandemic, we have never before seen such pressure on networks and applications that have resulted in significant shifts in technology adoption.

With the move to work from home, the typical office space is no longer a reality as workers now compete with family to share resources once provided in secure offices. This trend to work from home will only continue to rise as the balance shifts from the office to home. Some large multinational corporations have already suggested they envisage the future of their labour force working from home; many organisations that thought they could not be productive in this format have seen success with the migration and are thus rethinking their past strategies. They, of course, has only been successful with performance-focused solutions for their remote workforce.

These lifestyle trends will continue to drive innovation, as well as bring new challenges to light as performance monitoring shifts to applications running in multi-cloud and hybrid environments and more focus on the end user experience across BYOD, more complex environments, and new types of communication.

As the industry prepares for 5G, how can Accedian contribute to and participate in India’s evolving 5G ecosystem?

5G adoption is pivotal to the success of the tech-driven future of India. The advanced network can help drive our economy forward by creating new lines of business through innovation and through real time performance monitoring with Accedian. For example, O-RAN will drive market competition and open doors to lowering costs, whilst giving network operators complete flexibility. Through O-RAN, we will see open intelligent, automated networks that consist of a mix of virtualised elements, physical hardware and standardised interfaces that are multi-vendor and interoperable. With the innovation O-RAN brings, it also brings challenges of added complexity to networks. The multi-vendor environment must be managed for performance and assurance.

What are some of the key challenges that you face currently?

Accedian is continuously working with our customers to better understand the new challenges they’re facing and how our performance solutions can evolve to best serve these needs.

For instance, we unveiled microsecond granularity for performance monitoring last year, the first of that level of granularity available on the market, and we also have pure software sensor solutions that can be completely automated and flexible in preparation for 5G network slicing.

For IT organisations, another key consideration was the cost implications of data storage for historical lookback. To combat this, we pioneered what we call per-packet intel – this is essentially a metadata technique that allows IT orgs to need to store only 0.2 per cent or 20 MB for 10 GB of traffic in order to maintain complete historical lookback capabilities. As you can imagine, there are massive cost savings in there.

Another example is that over the past couple of years, and in 2020 in particular, we’ve seen an uptick in security breaches as new advancements in tech and the reality of remote work exposes and creates new network vulnerabilities. To help our customers combat this tricky challenge, we’ve partnered with and adopted new security requirements so that we can better equip our customers with what they need to be secure and protected. In short, next-generation intrusion detection with East-West traffic visibility and visibility into 100 per cent of transactions can be that extra line of support between being breached and maintaining your organisation’s security. In other words, it can be that line between no data breach costs or huge numbers in terms of fines, ransoms, reputational damage and other risks.

We’ll continue to improve our products and portfolio as we move towards the next era of digital transformation so that we can help our customers and partners to maintain their competitive, secure edge in the market.

Going forward, what will be your business growth strategy for India in the next to three years? 

We have seen our country transform to meet new challenges the pandemic has brought, as well as to fully embrace the opportunities that new technologies and new spectrum can bring. This success is due to the recent ongoing investments of digitalisation that have allowed service providers and enterprises to deliver services and meet the needs of their users.

This ongoing digital adoption will continue to drive innovation and become more integrated into the Indian ecosystem as technologies like cloud and AI prove their ROI in both the B2B and B2C segments.

With 5G, the convergence of enterprises and mobile operators across new opportunities will also be significant.

For us, this increasing adoption and technology availability will require new, flexible and innovative performance management and analytics solutions. We already work with many of the leading operators and enterprises in India, but we believe strongly that exceptional technologies and organisations can continue to evolve and come together in India to help drive world-leading organisations even further forward in this new age of digital transformation and 5G.