Ericsson & Nokia: A Tale of Two (Similar but Different) Messages

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich – VP, Consumer Services and Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:                 

  • Earlier this month, Nokia and Ericsson hosted Analyst Summits in quick succession, providing an opportunity to compare their strategies and messaging.
  • Broadly, the two telecom networking leaders are pursuing a common strategy and telling similar stories, with Nokia seemingly more intent on evolving beyond telecom.

We’ve already written about Nokia’s first global Analyst Summit following the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.  We’ve treated it in this blog, as well as digging into its OSS/BSS, Fixed Access, Transport & Routing, and IP Services Infrastructure strategies.  A Tuesday/Wednesday event in Helsinki, Nokia’s Summit was followed by Ericsson’s version in Stockholm on Thursday and Friday. Read more of this post

Software-Defined Wide-Area Network (SD-WAN): The New Use Case du Jour Is Being Well Received by Operators and Enterprises

Glen Hunt - Principal Analyst, Transport and Routing Infrastructure

Glen Hunt – Principal Analyst, Transport and Routing Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • Operators seeking new revenue opportunities find SD-WAN a lucrative addition to their traditional enterprise service offering; enterprises like the idea of more transport choices and on-demand services.
  • Juniper is expanding its Cloud-Enabled Branch CPE solution by adding incremental SD-WAN support based on its virtual SRX, to deliver scalable and secure networking features.

Juniper joins its competitors in offering an SD-WAN solution. There is little doubt regarding service provider interest in delivering new, more agile WAN services, and even less doubt that enterprises will also see the benefits. Given today’s desire to have everything on demand, enterprises like the concept of controlling their networks from a central location and moving bandwidth and connectivity around based on real-time business needs. So, what is needed to deliver a compelling SD-WAN solution? It has already been established that virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) solutions address many of these requirements. As described in Juniper’s earlier Cloud CPE launch, vCPE promises to enable operators to create and automatically deploy services faster, at industry-leading scale, in on-premises, cloud or hybrid service delivery models. Read more of this post

Google Fiber Gets Even More Disruptive, Adds Wireless Wallop with Webpass

Erik Keith - Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Erik Keith – Principal Analyst, Fixed Access Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • The acquisition of Webpass showcases Google Fiber’s strategic focus on fiber-centric service expansion efforts in high-density areas, supplemented by wireless broadband technology which dramatically expands Google Fiber’s addressable market and its status as a broader-scale, highly disruptive threat to incumbent operators.
  • Webpass lacks substantial customer traction – only 20,000 subscribers – especially for a company in business for 13 years. Nevertheless, Google Fiber’s acquisition of Webpass is more about future promise and potential than current power and presence.

Google Fiber’s recently announced acquisition of Webpass, which we covered here, is a clarion call signaling the company’s intentions of becoming an even more disruptive force in the U.S. broadband and TV/video/multiplay market. While there are roughly a dozen operators in the U.S. that offer world-class fixed broadband services – specifically, Gigabit access speeds – a massive number of U.S. consumers and business customers are still underserved by broadband, in terms of service speeds (i.e., well under the FCC’s definition of 25 Mbps), lack of competition or both. To this end, and expanding on its non-traditional approach to broadband network and service buildouts, Google Fiber has acquired Webpass, a wireless broadband service provider with fiber assets that has an established network and customer bases in the San Francisco Bay, San Diego, Chicago, Miami and Boston metros. Read more of this post

Nokia Technologies: Strategy vs. Tactics

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich – VP, Consumer Services and Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:                 

  • Focused on digital health, digital media and technology licensing, Nokia Technologies includes some of the vendor’s most exciting, speculative businesses.
  • With new scale and a solid financial footing, making bets on new businesses makes sense for Nokia. But how long can it sustain those bets?

Two weeks ago, Nokia held its first analyst conference following the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.  It was an opportunity for the vendor and its executive ranks to deliver an update on its strategy and messaging across the breadth of its product and solution set.  That update resulted in new assessments of Nokia’s Service Enablement, IP Services Infrastructure and Fixed Access strategies.  It also provided new insight into the vendor’s Nokia Technologies business – all while highlighting a potential conflict between Nokia Technologies and broader corporate demands. Read more of this post

ZTE ZSmart Digital CRM: Does the Solution Offer Anything New or Different?

Ron Westfall - Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • ZTE recently unveiled its ZSmart Digital CRM solution, a cloud-based platform targeting operator digital transformation, including the exploration of new business models.
  • The ZSmart Digital CRM solution lacks new, compelling differentiators; as a result, ZTE missed the opportunity to convince operators that it can drive digital transformation and help operators profit from emerging vertical and IoT opportunities.

At its recent ZTEsoft User Summit event, ZTE detailed its new ZSmart Digital customer relationship management (CRM) solution. The solution consists of the following key components:

• Mobile-first self-care apps;
• Omni-channel unified contact center (UCC);
• Analytics-driven social and network insights;
• Catalog-driven sales;
• Operator-centric API ecosystem opportunities; and
• Cloud-based management. Read more of this post

Nokia’s IMPACT Launch: What is the “Impact” on the IoT Market?

Ron Westfall - Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

• Nokia launched its Intelligent Management Platform for All Connected Things (IMPACT) solution, broadly targeting the emerging IoT market. Nokia is showing early progress integrating key Alcatel-Lucent assets, and now has a solution that yields the company a marketing plan to accentuate competitive differentiation in platform feature areas such as device management scalability.

• Nokia still must further sharpen its investment and channel priorities for the IoT space or risk diluting its IoT portfolio development and marketing objectives.

During the company’s recent 2016 Global Analyst Forum, Nokia unveiled its new IMPACT solution. IMPACT targets burgeoning operator, enterprise, and public sector demand for IoT platforms purpose-designed to manage the onboarding of IoT applications in a secure fashion. The solution includes the updated version of Nokia’s Motive Connected Device Platform designed to deliver lifecycle management for a vast array of IoT, broadband, and home devices. Essentially Nokia acknowledged the platform was available earlier and initiated unified packaging of the multiple assets to sharpen its IoT portfolio and channel messaging. What competitive differentiators and Alcatel-Lucent integration proof points can Nokia use to drive the IMPACT solution further into the IoT service enablement ecosystem? Read more of this post

AsiaInfo and Amazon Web Services Alliance: A Bold Leap Forward or Wishful Thinking?

Ron Westfall - Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

  • AsiaInfo embarked on an alliance with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build a business Internet platform based on AWS infrastructure. The collaboration embeds AsiaInfo’s Veris Cloud Core solution on the AWS public cloud network, targeting operator- and enterprise IT-driven transformation of their operations and management.
  • Both AsiaInfo and AWS confront persistent operator reluctance to entrust core business processes on public cloud infrastructure, due to the wide-ranging consequences of a high-profile security breach. Can AsiaInfo and AWS overcome these hidebound operator reservations?

In recent interactions at the TM Forum Live! event, AsiaInfo promoted and re-touted the alliance it formed with AWS in February 2016. The AsiaInfo/AWS alliance – dubbed the Business Internet platform – embeds the AsiaInfo Veris Cloud Core solution, the company’s complete business support systems (BSS) suite, onto the AWS public cloud infrastructure. AsiaInfo is betting that operators, particularly ones that lack the resources of top-tier global operators, will accelerate their evaluation and adoption of public cloud-based BSS implementations. The reasons include the pay-as-you-grow economics and scaling flexibility that the public cloud infrastructure can provide when compared to private cloud, hybrid private/public cloud, and legacy on-premises implementations. What competitive benefits can AsiaInfo and AWS look to gain in the near-term? Read more of this post