Aptilo Virtual Service Provider

Virtual Service Provider

Scaleable operator managed corporate Wi-Fi and LAN. Operators can leverage ONE infrastructure and SSID while still allowing each of their B2B customers to act as a virtual service provider, handling the daily operations towards their own business or residential customers.

With Aptilo Virtual Service Provider™ innovation, the operator gets a standardized and scalable way to sell managed corporate LAN and Wi-Fi services direct and through channels.
Operators can offer a standardized network infrastructure with one SSID to their B2B customers. Through Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) technology each B2B customer acts as a Virtual Service Provider. The B2B customer handles the daily operations towards their own business or residential customers (tenants). Tenants get a private Wi-Fi network with secure access to internal networked resources such as printers and servers. It’s just as if they had their own network.

Aptilo Virtual Service Provider is ideal working with verticals such as Real Estate, Co-Working Offices, Apartments (MDU) and Shopping malls.

B2B WI-FI SERVICES IN TWO LEVELS

Aptilo Virtual Service Provider offers an unprecedented uniform and scalable way to sell managed Wi-Fi and LAN services to business customers. This is a two level B2B service where the operator sells managed Wi-Fi and LAN services to their B2B customers which in turn sells these services to their own customers (tenants). These three actors then share the administration of the service in a very effective manner:

  • The Operator

    Administers and maintains hardware and VLAN ids.

  • Operator’s B2B customer - The Virtual Service Provider

    Sells the service to their business and residential customers (tenants) and maps the correct VLAN to each tenant.

  • Tenants - the customer of the Virtual Service Provider

    Administer their own users.

REACHING THE MASS-MARKET

There is a huge potential for operators to offer managed Wi-Fi and LAN services. Some 90% of all businesses in the US has less than 20 employees and it is the same around the world. These small businesses would be the ones to benefit the most from a managed IT service. However, it is impossible to reach profitability for this mass-market. The cost of sales and maintenance of the service is too high.

What if the operator could move the sales and the daily operation to some other companies?

Think about it. There are companies such as co-working offices that “aggregates” many small businesses. By offering managed IT services to them and let them take care of the daily operation for their own customers (tenants) as virtual service providers, you will open up a large part of the mass-market of small businesses.

Optionally operators can offer a shared Guest Wi-Fi service as an additional service.

SMALL BUSINESS AGGREGATORS

The Aptilo Virtual Service Provider innovation can be used in many ways, but operators should focus on the “small business aggregators”. Here are a few good examples of a target market for the Aptilo Virtual Service Provider solution.

Real Estate owners can provide a managed private network service to their business customers just as they provide other amenities such as water and electricity.

Co-working offices can provide network as a service. This is ideal as tenants, the companies that rents office space, can quickly grow and always have their own virtual network at hand.

Exhibition centers can benefit with the software defined flexibility and quickly provide a virtual private network to exhibitors.

Shopping malls can provide virtual private networks to stores for cash registers, printers and electronic billboards on the very same infrastructure used for visitors’ guest Wi-Fi.

It is also possible to reach the residential market. Companies running apartments (MDUs) can provide a managed Wi-Fi service to families. A very useful feature in this case is the hierarchical account structure in the Aptilo Service Management Platform™ (SMP) where family members and their devices can be arranged in a hierarchical fashion under the same main account. They can even share the same data quota.

WORKLOAD VERSUS BENEFITS

Virtual Service Provider workload versus benefits

In the table above we have summarized the workload and benefits for the three actors in the virtual service provider concept. The key is the optimal distribution of the daily administration of the service. The tenants can enjoy a managed IT-service profitable for the operator and the virtual service provider. Everybody wins.

ONE INFRASTRUCTURE AT B2B CUSTOMER

Most modern operators of today has a system integrations arm, many times through recent acquisitions.

The operator deploys one local area network (LAN) and one secure Wi-Fi network (802.1x) at the B2B customer’s premise as a managed service.

The operator may also agree with the B2B customer to use the existing infrastructure and even take over the responsibility for it. This is possible due to the fact that the Aptilo SMP specific support for all leading Wi-Fi vendors.

The operator (or the owner of the LAN) defines virtual LANs (VLANs) in the local network infrastructure including Wi-Fi access points.

B2B CUSTOMER BECOMES A VIRTUAL SERVICE PROVIDER

The operator utilizes the multitenant Aptilo SMP Venue Wi-Fi Manager™ (VWM) to define the B2B customer as a Virtual Service Provider. The B2B customer now gets administrative rights to administer their own customers (tenants) and to map these customers to one of the defined VLANs. The B2B customer can also give administrative rights in their own tree structure to allow their tenants to administrate their own users and sessions.

When the mapping between VLANs and tenants is done, all Wi-Fi users belonging to a certain tenant will get access only to their dedicated VLAN. Aptilo SMP simply tells the Wi-Fi Access Point which VLAN each user belongs to in the authentication process. Although the traffic flows in one and the same physical cable, it is just like each tenant had their own cable (network).

HANDLING MULTISITE ENVIRONMENTS

Virtual Service Provider over multiple sites

Consider a co-working office company with many sites. Their customers (tenants), the companies renting office space, may or may not have rented office space across multiple of these sites. Naturally a tenant wants to be able to give their users automatic access through all these sites.

However, it is complicated for the Operator to maintain the same physical VLAN ID across multiple sites especially in a dynamic environment such as co-working offices. This is why the Aptilo Virtual Service Provider solution has a higher abstraction level, a VLAN name, when mapping users to the correct VLAN in the system. The very same VLAN name can be mapped to different physical VLAN Ids at different locations. This makes it easy to provide a service where all users get access to the right VLAN over all locations.