With SDN and NFV expected to dominate the proceedings again at Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year, it is only fitting to kick off this year’s managed/professional services look ahead with… well, SDN and NFV. Overall, the themes at this year’s show should be somewhat well worn on the surface, but with a decidedly bigger, shiner engine once one looks under the hood. With that in mind, let’s get right to it.
– SDN and Virtualization: While recent survey research that we conducted with 100 operators around the globe suggests operators are beginning to structure their thinking about how, where and when they are going to deploy SDN and/or NFV, there is still a good bit of uncertainty regarding the specifics in each of the three aforementioned dimensions. As such, we’re betting that vendor services organizations come to Barcelona talking not only about how they can help manage the complexity associated with SDN and NFV, but also about how to layer on consulting services to help leverage the opportunity to impact top-line revenue generation.
– CEM – It’s the Trend of the Future, and Some Might Say It Always Will Be: For about the third straight year, CEM will be a big focus at MWC. In fairness, CEM stories have evolved over the past several years, and we are now beginning to see some of the vision behind – dare I say – “holistic CEM” coming to fruition as the dots between service delivery architectures and back-office systems are now being connected. From a services perspective, this means three simple letters: SQM (service quality management). The idea that operators can now use real-time data analytics and converged OSS/BSS systems is powerful in itself. However, to focus on more than just KPIs and deliver on helping operators to meet demanding customer expectations on a per-customer basis is fertile ground for both managed and professional services organizations. Expect a ton of messaging on how vendors can help in this regard.
– Optimizations in Support of Small Cells and LTE-A: Of course, vendors will take care of their “bread and butter” offerings in Barcelona. For professional services organizations, this means RAN optimizations. Not to trivialize the topic, however; these services involve very complex undertakings using extremely sophisticated network planning tools and are often mandated to be accomplished under extraordinarily tight deployment timelines. No problem. That’s what these guys are here for… and they’ll be eager to demo it for you.
– Managed IT Services in Support of Carrier Cloud Offerings: This one is not inherently tied to mobility, but, well, neither is SDN/NFV; that didn’t stop those topics from dominating the show last year. During 2013, we’ve seen the likes of IBM and others announce deals whereby they are building, operating and managing cloud delivery architectures for operators (mainly in developing markets). So, while this topic might not “dominate” the discussion in the same vein as the first three topics highlighted above, if you want to talk cloud services, you shouldn’t come home disappointed.