Light Reading
An evolving strategy of support and long-term maintenance leads to a name change to emphasize IT management.

Curvature Plans to Break the Hardware Replacement Cycle

Carol Wilson
7/15/2014
50%
50%

The news today that Network Hardware Resale has rebranded itself as Curvature might not have grabbed a lot of big headlines in the telecom space. But that is probably because most folks think of resold hardware as the stuff of dusty warehouses, online bargains, and even Craigslist specials. (See Network Hardware Resale Becomes Curvature.)

Nothing could be farther from the reality of the new Curvature , which is actually carving out a substantial business by enabling companies not only to buy pre-owned hardware, but also to keep their hardware in service for as long as they deem it functional and purpose-serving. That can be years after the original equipment manufacturer has stopped supporting the gear or developing software for it.

Jeff Zanardi, vice president of business development and global marketing for Curvature, says the idea is to break the hardware replacement cycle of 3-5 years typically dictated by the OEMs.

The 28-year-old firm pulled in $260 million in sales in 2013, or the equivalent of about $1 billion in sales if the same gear were sold through a traditional value-added reseller, he says. And though much of that is Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) gear sold to enterprises, Curvature also sells a variety of network products from a variety of vendors, including Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), A10 Networks Inc. , and Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD).

And by developing its own support mechanisms that help network operators prolong the life of gear that is working well (particularly customer premises equipment), Curvature says it is changing the IT infrastructure economics.

"The biggest and fastest-growing part of our business is around support and maintenance, providing third-party maintenance on the networking side, for Cisco products and others," Zanardi says. Curvature also has a full line of professional and managed services, including hosted services. It plans to launch infrastructure-as-a-service offerings shortly.

One major reason for the name change is to make it clear that the company's strategy isn't to resell network hardware but to enable its customers (both enterprises and service providers) to take control of the product lifecycle for what they buy and not be pushed into upgrading equipment because the OEM is declaring it obsolete and discontinuing software upgrades and support. "We are challenging them to take back control of their infrastructure and delay capex expenditure to when they want to do it, not when OEM tells them they have to," Zanardi says.

Curvature makes that process easier with its NetSure services, which provide the maintenance on support for products even before they enter the end-of-lifecycle process, for less money than the support provided by the OEMs.

The company actually recommends a hybrid strategy. "There are absolutely devices that need to stay on a Cisco support contract, for example, because there are software upgrades as part of that contract." But once the end of the software upgrade cycle occurs, there is little reason to stay on a maintenance contract with the OEM, since that is usually more expensive.

To prove its cast, Curvature commissioned Forrester Research Inc. to conduct a study, which showed that a customer with 10,000 employees and $3 billion in annual revenue would save 65% on hardware and maintenance, or $1.3 million over three years, while reducing unplanned downtime by 80%, saving $788 million over the same period.

Global service providers are among Curvature's customers and are increasingly attracted to the model, Zanardi says, because it enables them to avoid the costly process of replacing CPE that may be scattered all over the globe and not easily repaired or replaced.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Ryan Welch
50%
50%
Ryan Welch,
User Rank: Lightning
7/16/2014 | 1:36:33 PM
Re: N(ot)FV
I could see a continuing business in a COTS server support. Is there a similar market for software support? NFV promotes the ease of updating network software, but from all I've heard, it's more about minor updates. A "forklift upgrade" would probably still require some hands-on work.

An example that comes to mind is Windows XP. While it's not strictly telco software, there was still a fiasco when Microsoft announced that they would no longer continue supporting it. As more network software comes out, could Curvature (or somebody else) move to provide extended coverage for applications? I think yes, espcially if open-source software is where we are headed.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/16/2014 | 10:41:16 AM
Re: N(ot)FV
It seems Curvature's plan to offer service and maintenance would be fitting as an addition to it's revenue source. I wonder if the hardware replacement business is slowing down and bit, so it would make sense to offer the maintenance end to keep the stuff running? 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
7/16/2014 | 7:03:12 AM
Re: N(ot)FV
In the short term, this seems like a good fit for companies preparing to virtualize their CPE - they can extend the life of what's out there and working. 

In the long run it does seem like the hardware becomes less of an issue, if companies move to commercial off-the-shelf stuff, but even then they would be attracted to maintenance contracts and the like.

And, as you said, NFV is very much a work in progress right now. 
Ryan Welch
50%
50%
Ryan Welch,
User Rank: Lightning
7/15/2014 | 5:12:37 PM
N(ot)FV
Since one driving force behind the NFV push is capex/opex reduction, it's interesting to hear about somebody who is taking a completely different apporach to that challenge.

 

I wonder what kind of impact Curvature will have on the advancement of NFV. It would seem that company that serves to prolong the life of network hardware would be almost completely put out of business by virtualization. But since NFV is a lot of talk and little action on the part of the network operators (from my point of view at least), Curvature still have plenty of space to work.

I don't know enough to make a call one way or the other, but I'd love to hear other thoughts on the matter.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed