NetCracker’s Analyst Day – Part II: Does SDN/NFV Have the Market in a State of Neurosis?

Jason Marcheck

Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • NetCracker CEO Andrew Feinberg gave a lengthy talk at its analyst conference that was candid, but also shined a light on the challenges that lie ahead for OSS/BSS vendors looking to play a central role in telecom network virtualization.
  • Network operators are ‘feeling pain’ in a variety of ways that have them interested in SDN/NFV; however, that pain has yet to result in uniform urgency related to deploying virtualized networks.

As part of his talk at NetCracker’s 2015 Analyst conference (held May 13-15 in Boston), company CEO Andrew Feinberg provided some of his insights into not only how vendors need to approach SDN/NFV strategies, but also how operators are gauging the sense of urgency with which they need to approach deployment of the technologies. Read more of this post

NetCracker’s Analyst Day – Part I: Shining a Light on the Cloud and Virtualization Ambitions

Jason Marcheck

Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

  • NetCracker CEO Andrew Feinberg gave a lengthy talk at its analyst conference that was candid, but also shined a light on the challenges that lie ahead for OSS/BSS vendors looking to play a central role in telecom network virtualization.
  • Somewhat under-marketed outside OSS/BSS circles, NetCracker’s relationship with NEC is being positioned as a ‘best-of-breed’ arrangement that results in an ‘end-to-end’ solution which encompasses both the technology and processes needed for successfully adopting SDN and/or NFV.

NetCracker might be best known as an integrated OSS/BSS platform provider, but it is also making its ambitions to be viewed as one of the market’s leading SDN/NFV technology enablers clear. At its recently concluded industry analyst conference (held in Boston from May 13 to 15), the company dedicated the entire first half of its Day 1 sessions to presentations by Andrew Feinberg (NetCracker CEO) and Phil Jordan (Telefonica Global CIO) that focused almost entirely on their respective companies’ goals and ambitions for SDN and NFV.

If you think that seems telling, we’d agree. Read more of this post

Vendors are Jumping Back on the “Being Green” Bandwagon – This Time with Real Savings to Tout

Jason Marcheck

Jason Marcheck

Summary Bullets:

• Movements to increase energy efficiency and contribute to environmental sustainability are not new; however where they’ve often involved significant CapEx trade-offs to realize meaningful cost savings

• Momentum behind cloud and NFV technologies has reignited “green network” messaging, this time with orders of magnitude cost savings claims

Do anything long enough and the phrase, “Everything old is new again” will eventually play out. So, it was earlier this week, while at GENBAND’S Perspectives15 conference, that I had flashbacks to a topic du jour from many days gone by – environmental sustainability in telecom networking. The topic came up multiple times during the event, first at pre-show meetings with GENBAND execs, and then again during CEO David Walsh’s opening keynote address. Read more of this post

NFV World Congress: NFV Monetization vs. Network Pragmatism (aka the AT&T Paradox)

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • Over time, we’ve seen operator thinking around NFV as a tool for saving money (OpEx and CapEx) vs. making money (new revenue generation) shift towards the latter.
  • Most recently, operator and vendor messaging around NFV monetization was prominently on display at Layer 123’s NFV World Congress.
  • The “savings vs. monetization” dynamic, however, is not an either/or decision, potentially confounding vendor agendas to drive broader thinking around monetization and service orchestration.

Last week, we released our wrap-up of insights from Layer123’s NFV World Congress. You can take a look at that analysis here: Layer123 NFV World Congress: Trying Hard to Find a Monetization Story for NFV. Included in that analysis was a potential contradiction. On the one hand, the event highlighted operator and vendor thinking around the use of NFV to generate new revenues vs. saving money on network rollouts and operations. On the other hand, specific network functions are often rolled out by individual business units with their own narrow agendas, which may not always include new revenue generation. One vendor, in particularly, framed this in terms of orchestration and business processes. Operators approaching NFV from an orchestration and business enablement standpoint, the vendor argued, are in a much better position to leverage the technology for truly evolving their networks vs. maintaining their current operations with new gear. In many cases, they continued, it’s been an uphill battle to get this message understood by operators looking at NFV in tactical terms. Read more of this post

NFV World Congress: Why Carriers Need to Care About ARM-based Infrastructure

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • NFV is (largely) about hosting telecom applications on commercial IT servers. Today, those servers are powered by Intel-based processors.
  • ARM-based servers represent an alternative; ARM-based processor vendors are beginning to message the value they can provide vs. incumbent offers.
  • Whether or not operators are paying attention is unclear. They need to.

Just about a year ago, I was talking with a telecom infrastructure vendor executive about his NFV strategy when the topic of ‘vendor lock-in’ came up. While software portability promises (among other things) to help operators avoid vendor lock-in, the exec wondered if a reliance on Intel-powered servers meant that the industry was simply trading one form of lock-in for another. We both knew the problems with this sort of argument; after all, diverse vendors leverage Intel processors to build their own kit. No operators will be locked into a single source of servers. Regardless, I played along and asked if this meant that the vendor was developing ARM-based solutions. The answer? “No. Not until my customers begin asking for those types of solutions.” Read more of this post

The Challenge Facing Enterprise Small Cells: Changing Minds

Ed Gubbins

Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • Overcoming enterprise small-cell obstacles requires changing existing paradigms and business models.
  • Some vendors and operators have already begun accepting new business models, but convincing enterprises, venue owners – even some operators – could be tough.

You have to sympathize with enterprise small-cell vendors. Who knows how many months they have dedicated to R&D, product management, standards work, testing, trialing, marketing – all promising operators the prospect of bringing coverage and capacity to a place where a huge portion of human communication begins and ends. And yet, when operators approach enterprises with these innovative solutions, in many cases they’re likely to be met with just four frustrating words: “We’ve already got WiFi.” Read more of this post

Will Cloud Computing Really Help the New Nokia Succeed?

David Snow

David Snow

Summary Bullets:

  • The hope for more rapid and successful integration than in the past to form the ‘New Nokia’ is predicated on, among other things, the advantages of ‘cloud computing.’
  • If this means NFV, then such a hope may be a double-edged sword. Internally, NFV could help, while externally, New Nokia customers will have more choices than ever before.

After the initial furor of analysis and comment around the news of the proposed acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent by Nokia, much of the news flow has now subsided. Apart from the occasional justification from one or other of the CEOs from the approvals and regulatory perspective, the debate as to whether this acquisition will work any better than the mega-mergers of the past has largely been put into the ‘pending’ tray. Read more of this post