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
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Orange Tunisia Discusses Multi-Band Antenna With EasyRET Solution

7|4|14   |   2:45   |   (0) comments


As new site acquisition becomes more difficult, Orange Tunisia has requested multi-band antenna to support UMTS and LTE innovation. Some things considered include reducing the cost of antenna maintenance and having high reliability antenna and EasyRET solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Telefonica Spain Considers Antenna Selection for LTE Network Deployment

7|4|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Tony Conlan, Global CTO of RAN, Telefonica, shares his opinion on antennas in LTE network deployment: Tower space is the premier requirement on antennas; reliability is important to reduce OPEX; and EasyRET solution will be helpful for antenna maintenance.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
dtac Thailand: Multi-band Antenna & Capacity Solution for a Better MBB Experience

7|3|14   |   3:45   |   (0) comments


With the development of LTE, tower space and load are limited for new antenna, but users' capacity requirements are growing fast. To provide a better MBB experience, Panya Vechbanyongratana from dtac Thailand shared his experiences and antenna requirements.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Panel: Network of the Future

7|2|14   |   1:00:57   |   (0) comments


Full-length video of the ATIS Panel Discussion: 'How Far Away Is the Network of the Future & What Does It Look Like?' from the Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago.
LRTV Custom TV
Redknee Supports BH Telecom With Redknee Unified

7|2|14   |   6.14   |   (0) comments


Lucas Skoczkowski, CEO of Redknee, and Amir Orucevic, Director BH Mobile, discuss how the benefits of the Redknee Unified suite of products provide BH Telecom with innovation and leadership in the market, with the flexibility to launch services faster to the market, provide new and compelling promotions and pricing models, and combine services in order to drive ...
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
Infographics
Allot's latest MobileTrends Charging Report shows that value-based pricing plans are up from 35% in 2011 to 85% in 2014.
Hot Topics
Microsoft to Axe 12,500 Ex-Nokia Employees
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/17/2014
GM: 10 Car Models on Road With AT&T's LTE
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/18/2014
Have IBM & Apple Partnered Their Way to Cloud Leadership?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/18/2014
The Municipal Menace?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 7/22/2014
Analytics, Security Key to Apple, IBM Tie-Up
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed