NTT and Dimension Data Announce Next Generation Platform for Managed Network Services

NTT enhances its Managed Campus Networks portfolio with Palo Alto Networks

SPEKTRA leverages the most advanced AIOps and automation for improved operational efficiency and a better customer experience.

NTT Ltd., a leading IT infrastructure and services company and parent company of Dimension Data, has announced SPEKTRA (Sentient Platform for Network Transformation) as the next generation of its global services platform for NTT Managed Networks solutions. The platform provides customers with a direct pathway towards network transformation, underpinned by NTT’s managed services experience, expertise, and expansive technical resources. According to NTT’s Global Network survey, 93% of organizations recognize the importance of the network as the backbone of digital transformation.

SPEKTRA builds on the comprehensive network management and monitoring capabilities of the Managed Campus Networks platform, which was first launched in April 2022. SPEKTRA encapsulates the company’s vision for a fully autonomous Network Operations Center (NOC) leveraging AIOps, predictive analytics, and automation techniques, leading to strengthened network performance and reliability, enhanced monitoring capabilities, and improved operational efficiency.

SPEKTRA incorporates cloud and edge capabilities and includes enhanced anomaly detection and root cause analytics that further improve both the proactive and pre-emptive functionality of the ticket management system. Additionally, SPEKTRA leverages edge platform capabilities to deliver more comprehensive network observability that enterprises are demanding. SPEKTRA provides the capability to not only monitor our clients’ networks but also the services running on top of the networks and how applications are experiencing the network, giving clients much needed observability into the performance of their services and applications.

SPEKTRA enables the following cloud and edge features:

SPEKTRA Cloud: Central to the automated functionality of the platform, SPEKTRA Cloud comprises the AI engine, client-facing reporting, analytics, and service portal.

SPEKTRA Edge: Encompassing client connectivity at the edge, enabled by the cloud, SPEKTRA Edge provides advanced edge automation, edge monitoring and backup, edge security and privacy, and edge log management. In addition, SPEKTRA Edge provides container and appliance-based probes that enable network observability through our Service Experience Insights capabilities, edge application management functionality, and zero touch provisioning.

This new functionality is complemented by more robust analytics for historical data and forecasting that can be viewed from the portal, enhancing the predictive capabilities for improved network performance. The offering is bolstered by expanded service levels for monitoring with the addition of network services and site availability SLA’s that can be flexibly tailored to meet client requirements. The broader scope of service level metrics aligns to the platform’s more service centric approach to generating positive business outcomes for customers.

“The capabilities now available on the network to support business outcomes and digital services have become critical as services move to the cloud and edge. IT teams now find themselves stretched trying to support business transformation while at the same time keeping up with the rapidly evolving technology introduced in the network for the next generation of services. A platform delivered service that can take advantage of both the advances in technology, including observability, automation and AIOps while still leveraging service maturity and delivery excellence will yield great benefits for our customers,” said Andrew Ngunjiri, Head of Infrastructure, Technology Services at Dimension Data East Africa.

“We believe the market for managed network services is poised for a seismic shift towards more AI-enabled, automated functionality that spans cloud and edge and will result in substantial customer benefits,” commented Amit Dhingra, EVP Managed Enterprise Services at NTT Ltd. “Our ability to deploy SPEKTRA to edge locations adds a level of visibility and observability for our clients from their edge locations through their networks.” 

Other key features of SPEKTRA include:

  • AI-enabled Incident Management: A five-times reduction in incidents, with up to 90% of tickets resolved before the customer has a view of them, leading to less network downtime, increased availability, and an improved experience.
  • Service Experience Insights: Advanced monitoring functionality provides real-time observability of how users are experiencing business critical applications from many or all locations in their network.
  • Managed Prisma SASE: In partnership with Palo Alto Networks, this service offers clients an end-to-end managed SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) solution that integrates networking and security functionality delivered through a cloud model to help address the security challenges of today’s hybrid workplace model and accessing cloud applications from any location.
  • Managed Cisco DNA Center: A cloud-based solution enabled through a Cisco appliance that functions to centralize and automate management of the Cisco devices through real-time analytics and insights. Built on Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture, the solution helps organizations streamline their network operations, reduce downtime, and improve overall network performance.
  • Managed MDR Service: A fully managed detection and response add-on service which incorporates detection and response notifications and actions into the client portal this is currently under development.
  • Guest Wi-Fi Management: Administration and onboarding of guest Wi-Fi access while providing enhanced data analytics functionality. This built-in value-add eliminates the need for businesses to manage the operational burden separately, and incorporates an underlying platform provided by an NTT partner, Cloud4Wi.

The breadth of vendor technologies supported include Cisco, Aruba, Palo Alto Networks, Juniper, Fortinet, Arista, and F5.

“NTT’s vision for its next generation managed network services platform reflects what enterprises demand from networking solutions at a technology, commercial, and user requirement level,” commented Curtis Price, Program Vice President, Infrastructure Services at IDC. “This new release of the SPEKTRA platform and its featured enhancements leverage the latest innovation in AIOps, automation and software-driven, centralized management techniques while upgrading service levels, extending the scope of commercial flexibility, and placing the focus on business outcomes. This combination of platforms attributes, underpinned by NTT’s heritage as a managed service provider, takes its value proposition to a new level, delivering the improved network performance, operational efficiency, and user experiences that modern enterprises seek from their managed network solutions.”