The move to AI is becoming a race as organizations seek to gain competitive advantage: being able to automate repetitive and routine tasks creates operational efficiencies and reduces costs, while customers benefit from enhanced services that are driven by accurate insight and delivered with greater precision and consistency. Juniper Networks’ recent global survey on AI readiness and adoption shows that 75% of APAC respondents now consider AI a top strategic priority.
Organizations that have already adopted and harnessed the power of AI are showing real and meaningful outcomes. By bringing simplicity, reliability and security to the network through AI, IT operations teams can focus on higher level tasks and users can benefit from superior experiences – all without the need to hire people with AI expertise.
Experience-First Networking in the Cloud Era
“The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.
― William Gibson
The most immediate example of how AI can help organizations and their network users has been made evident by the recent rapid rise in remote and hybrid working.
Working from home can be difficult for the user when connectivity is poor and IT managers have been dealing with significant pressures on their networks. Until recently, the typical enterprise IT environment would be centralized and controlled, with every endpoint known. Hybrid working now means that the underlying infrastructure is varied, relying on home Wi-Fi and local providers. Inevitably, this leads to inconsistent experiences: some users may have fiber; others may still rely on ADSL. This challenge has made COVID-19 a catalyst for network improvement.
Juniper’s AI-Driven Enterprise takes care of all such inconsistencies to deliver experience-first networking. Our cloud-native platform leverages Mist AI automatically to optimize the network for each individual user’s needs and Marvis Virtual Network Assistant identifies and remediates problems, applying solutions to reduce the overhead required.
For example, Session Smart™ Routing is an integrated solution that can be used to avoid double encryption and enable tunnel-free connectivity. By constantly measuring connective functionality, Marvis also identifies patterns in different locations, with different devices or different application usage, and automatically addresses common issues or makes recommendations to the network manager.
Experience-first networking is like being in a restaurant and eating a gourmet meal without worrying about what kind of stove it was cooked on or how it was prepared. The waiter – like Marvis – is always available to ensure the diner’s experience is perfect, ready to answer questions, take action or make recommendations. This is the level of experience that AI brings, making technology accessible while invisible, taking deliberate actions to optimize the network and making connectivity seamless – even to the point of fixing problems before they impact users.
It’s not just end users who benefit from experience-first networking. Everything is in the cloud, helping to minimize the risk of network change errors (which are often the biggest cause of downtime). AI makes networks easier to operate – accelerating configuration, troubleshooting and dramatically cutting trouble tickets. Marvis has natural language processing to handle questions asked in everyday human terms, such as “How is Lee’s connection today?” Thanks to continuous machine learning, it draws from years of enterprise troubleshooting and needs no special AI training. With Marvis augmenting their team, skilled IT staff can leave repetitive and routine tasks behind and invest their time in value-driven activities instead.
AI Leads to Faster Time to Value
For most organizations, reducing time to value is a priority. Juniper Access Points require no special installation or setup skills: once unboxed, they just need to be plugged in and the QR code captured on the associated app. Juniper’s Mist AI solution then pushes the configured deployment code to the AP, which can be live within minutes, or even seconds.
AI increases the time of value too, through assured network experiences and reduced mean time to resolution (MTTR). This is due to its ability to pinpoint potential problems and either automatically remediate or make recommendations for resolution.
Finally, there is huge value in the data that the network gathers. This can be used to deliver sophisticated services that enhance employee and user engagement. Juniper Indoor Location Services is based on a unique virtualized Bluetooth overlay (vBLE) that requires no battery beacons. Instead, APs have a built-in array of transmitters that enable the network to gather real-time data for analysis and insight. If, for example, an organization wants to facilitate a safer return to the office for its staff, it could use the network data to support social distancing. Room or building occupancy can be monitored and managed; proximity tracing can be used to advise employees of exposure risk; tagged assets can be located easily, even in the largest of buildings or campuses.
Delivering Experience-First Networking
When an AI solution arrives ready-integrated and with years of machine learning to draw from, it takes little time for real value and benefits to be derived by users and IT teams alike. The Juniper AI-Driven Enterprise is the perfect example of how AI can be put to work straight away to positively impact everyone within an organization and significantly reduce operational challenges, enhance services and reduce costs.