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VNFs (Virtual Network Functions)

AT&T Taps Tech Mahindra for FlexWare Expansion

AT&T and Tech Mahindra are embarking on a business partnership for FlexWare, AT&T's virtual CPE platform, which Tech Mahindra will both use internally and distribute to its global customers.

Rupesh Chokshi, assistant vice president at AT&T, says Tech Mahindra Ltd. is both a customer of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and will sell FlexWare to its own customers in addition to providing value-added services such as system integration and service management. FlexWare enables business customers to set up and manage virtual network functions (VNFs) on one device and is now available in more than 200 countries. (See Tech Mahindra & AT&T Bring AT&T FlexWare to More Businesses Around the World.)

As Tech Mahindra works with global customers to navigate their digital transformation needs, AT&T's FlexWare will address the networking component of those customer transformations, says Chokshi.

"With Tech Mahindra’s strengths in system integration combined with a transformative solution from AT&T, it is a win-win for all stakeholders," says Ashish Julka, senior vice president, Tech Mahindra in the release.

AT&T has seen widespread adoption of FlexWare across both SMBs and enterprise customers from a range of verticals including retail, manufacturing and finance. Last October, AT&T announced 60 Omni Hotels & Resorts as new FlexWare customers, and customer ASSA ABLOY, a Swedish lock manufacturer, in November.


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The ability to deploy a virtual CPE platform globally that "looks and feels the same, and having the ability to future-proof it from the new software capabilities that are coming out" is important to customers at a time where there's significant momentum in the NFV space and in customers' digital transformations, says Chokshi.

"SDN, NFV and FlexWare is a product portfolio solution providing customers with a transformative global solution where you can take a very software-centric approach with virtualized services, with routers, firewalls and WAN accelerators, and we're continuing to expand the ecosystem of software partners that we have on the platform," he says in a statement.

AT&T and Tech Mahindra also announced a partnership last November for Acumos, an open source artificial intelligence platform that Mazin Gilbert, vice president of advanced technology for AT&T Labs, says is part of AT&T's strategy to move toward a more automated, zero-touch network. (See AT&T's Acumos: Transforming AI Apps From Snowflakes to Lego Bricks.)

In November 2017, Josh Goodell, vice president for the intelligent edge at AT&T, told Light Reading's Carol Wilson that FlexWare will evolve to support SD-WAN by the first quarter of 2018. Chokshi says AT&T has been expanding FlexWare's product and service-chaining capabilities, and a SD-WAN VNF is now being deployed on FlexWare devices as part of AT&T's Network-Based SD-WAN option.(See AT&T Preps Its Intelligent Edge for SD-WAN.)

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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