& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
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.
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
What WTTX Can Deliver

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei on Mobile Broadband

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
LRTV Custom TV
Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
LRTV Interviews
Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
LRTV Documentaries
Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
Sprint to Go Gigabit Crazy at MWC!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
MANO Marriage: ECOMP, Open-O Converge as ONAP
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/23/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.