The Forrester Wave™: Managed Global MPLS Services, Q1 2013

Customers Have A Range Of Strong Options In This Mature Service Category

In Forrester's latest deep-dive Forrester Wave™ evaluation of facilities-based managed global MPLS service providers, we identified and qualified 11 major international network operators that offer fully managed on-net MPLS wide-area networking services to multinational user companies. Our report details our evaluation of AT&T, BT Global Services, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Level 3 Communications, NTT Communications, Orange Business Services, Sprint, T-Systems, Tata Communications, Telefónica, and Verizon. The aim of our evaluation is to help enterprise telecom sourcing and vendor management (SVM) professionals select the right supplier(s) for provider-managed multiregional/global MPLS VPN services. In this very mature service category, barriers to entry are low; as a result, key differentiators are increasingly limited but they emphasize delivery scale, flexibility, and overseas local “badged” technical and administrative support capabilities. Each provider has particular strengths, which bodes well for distributed enterprises seeking new choices for both primary and backup third-party managed WAN services.

The key differentiators we identified are global delivery scale of on-net, facilities based MPLS service including provider managed customer edge routers; flexibility of their network, services, and pricing; and technical and technical and commercial support capabilities.

We thoroughly researched, analyzed, and scored them across 55 high-level evaluation criteria related to their current offer, strategy, and market presence:

·        Current offering.We evaluated each provider for the strength and positioning of its global MPLS service attributes, scalability, network performance, global SLA, operational support systems and processes, and customer care ePortal. We included the reference customer survey findings in this section.

·        Strategy. We measured each provider's overall strategy around its go-to-market approach — value proposition for globalizing user companies and applications mix — its strategic plans in 2012 to 2013 related to investments in network infrastructure expansion, service coverage and service portfolio, and its pricing strategy for managed global MPLS services.

·        Market presence.We used a combination of criteria, including sales and global sales support capabilities specific to managed MPLS services, the global account management organization, the breadth and quality of the providers' enterprise customer bases, and their growth and retention. We also assessed their relative financial strength measured by the corporate revenues of their respective parent companies and enterprise network and telecom services sales.

We found that four Leaders’ capabilities are converging. The other providers evaluated are Strong Performers, and should be considered by multisourcers and mid-sized multinational enterprises whose requirements are mostly in one or two geographic regions. The Leaders have the strongest market presence, service, and support capabilities. The Strong Performers should be considered by multisourcers and medium-size multinational user companies.