& cplSiteName &

Microsoft Tweaks Its Carrier Strategy

Ray Le Maistre
2/27/2008
50%
50%

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)’s Communications Sector unit is tweaking its carrier applications development strategy in an effort to light a fire under its telecom service creation plans.

Those plans center around the software giant’s service delivery platform, the Connected Services Framework (CSF), and its Connected Services Sandbox application mashup initiative, both of which are critical to Microsoft’s efforts to become an indispensible development partner to the world’s major carriers. (See Microsoft Lands CSF Deals, Accenture SDP to Use Microsoft CSF, AT&T Adopts Microsoft's SDP, Microsoft Touts SDP at 3GSM, and Insider: Telcos Embrace SDPs.)

And the world’s carriers are important customers for Microsoft, generating $2 billion in revenues in 2007, according to the software firm. More on that later.

Sandbox update
Microsoft launched its Sandbox initiative -- bringing together carriers, equipment vendors, ISVs (independent software vendors), and applications developers in a service creation hotbed -- in December 2006 in an effort to stimulate the development of new services for mobile and fixed-line carriers using the CSF as the enabling platform. (See Microsoft Unveils Sandbox and Is the IMS Honeymoon Over?)

The initiative instantly attracted support from some of the industry’s big names. BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) got involved early and has already reaped the rewards through a joint applications development competition it ran with Microsoft. And now the British telco is well advanced in its next-generation services creation strategy. (See BT Inches Toward Telco 2.0.)

But BT is the exception, and Microsoft is aware that it needs to step up the pace of development and get more companies engaged in the development process: 14 months after its launch, the Sandbox has generated just 160 registered mashups, though that does at least include a transport logistics application that is now being used commercially by BT. (See Mashup Wins Competition.)

There's a sense, even among some of Microsoft’s existing Sandbox partners, that the initiative is still in its development phase and lacks maturity. Michael O’Hara, general manager of Microsoft’s Communications Sector -- which is responsible for all sales to service providers, from desktop software, to mobile platforms, to the software firm’s IPTV platform -- concedes there are fewer than 10 carriers involved in Sandbox currently. Besides BT, that group includes BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE) and a number of as yet unidentified operators.

So why the lack of interest from carriers in general? Many, says O’Hara, "have a different service creation philosophy. Many still have a vertical view. But I think that’s changing. BT is progressing, and gets it. BCE is getting there, and we have a number of unannounced carrier partners, including some big names."

So what’s Microsoft doing to fuel greater interest? First off, it is scrapping the fee it has been charging for companies to get involved in the Sandbox initiative.

Beth Morrissey, director of marketing at the Communications Sector division, says Microsoft has made revisions to make the Sandbox more open. "Initially, some companies, such as BT, BCE, and Nortel Networks Ltd. [a close partner], paid to be part of the Sandbox initiative," she says. "Now we have waived the fee. We’re looking to increase the number of ISV participants. There are 70,000 ISVs developing applications on Microsoft, and we need to attract more of those into the Sandbox." (See Nortel Sees $1B From Microsoft Alliance.)

Currently, says Morrissey, 131 of the 883 organizations registered in the Sandbox are ISVs, of which 10 are "registered as Premier Participants, meaning they have signed a partnership agreement with Microsoft." The remainder are "Standard Partners," which still allows them access to the mashup creation and test process, the ability to participate in competitions, and so on.

Microsoft is also set to encourage a greater level of participation from its carrier partners. "We’re hoping for a more RFI-based process, where carriers post their requirements into the sandbox, and developers and ISVs respond" with mashups, says Morrissey.

Notes O’Hara: "We believe that a greater involvement from the ISVs will drive forward the Sandbox concept," adding that the Sandbox "is a catalyst for applications development, not really a revenue driver. It’s an enabler."

An important enabler, though, as the resulting services should, ultimately, feed revenues back to Microsoft and increase its standing in the carrier world.

$how me the money
So what is driving the Communications Sector team’s sales? In 2007, revenues from carriers totaled $2 billion, of which about 60 percent, or $1.2 billion, came from the sale of traditional software products (PC operating systems, Office applications suites) while 40 percent ($800 million) came from "the developing areas of our business -- the IPTV, the mobile device OS, and the services revenues," says O’Hara. "The growth is in the services revenues, because the traditional sales are being impacted by the fact that carriers are employing fewer people and so need fewer traditional software licenses."

Those services sales come from revenue-sharing deals that Microsoft has struck with carriers around hosted services, like email and instant messaging. The vendor just announced a few more such deals at the recent Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona. (See Telefónica Uses MSFT in LatAm, Cbeyond Uses Microsoft, Microsoft Wins in Russia, and Microsoft, Omnifone Team Up.)

"We want people to use our applications. That’s our goal. We want adoption of the core services -- hosted email, hosted Instant Messenger, hosted CRM for businesses. These are the things that are driving revenues at the moment, and we’re making money from these services" through revenue share arrangements, notes O’Hara.

In the meantime, Microsoft needs to get more companies involved in its Sandbox, convince the world’s carriers that its Mediaroom platform (for IPTV and home networking) can meet the demanding needs of large triple-play operations, and sort out some M&A loose ends. (See Yahoo, Microsoft Merger Could Aid Telcos and French Firms Take On Microsoft.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
douaibei
50%
50%
douaibei,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:46:49 PM
re: Microsoft Tweaks Its Carrier Strategy
Ms was involved in the telco service arena for quite long time. even if all the ms application is running on the x86 architecture.

the latest trend of the SOA telco architecture change give ms more flexibility to support the telco service, in the new architecture OSS and the service delivery system is more important than the network infrastructure, the traditional vendor will suffer more than the company like oracle/ms/IBM in this transformation.

if MS and yahoo finally come to a agreement to emerge into a big ISP, the whole telco service industry will change completely.

MS and IBM will then try they best to neutralize the network infrastructure and emphasisi the paramounting importance of the service delivery system. the pipe will be alinated to be a pure commodity rather than any service enabler.

Very positive for ms and oracle/IBM etc.

lamdaswavelength
50%
50%
lamdaswavelength,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:46:47 PM
re: Microsoft Tweaks Its Carrier Strategy
No it isn't.
materialgirl
50%
50%
materialgirl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:46:47 PM
re: Microsoft Tweaks Its Carrier Strategy
The real goal of the MSFT-YHOO merger is to use the last potential layer of incompatibility, between the browser and web sites, to break the compatibility of the Net and reduce the open Net to a MSFT Sandbox. The competing product is the ADBE AIR.

Once MSFT has YHOO, they will put Silverlight everywhere, which will work with YHOO but not with anything else. Maybe not at first, but eventually. Then, they will load up the site with DRM-infested Hollywood eye candy and sell downloads to ever dumber users who pay up to stay in their fancy walled garden. Users will be stuck with their "service provider" and behave well.

It will all work at first for the service providers, who sell the bundle in lieu of voice. But then, just as they did with PCs, MSFT will creep in those price increases and push out the service provider, who will be reduced to a dumb pipe anyway. And, just as they have done with Vista and especially with Vista SP1, they will continue to push Silverlight onto ever more desktops, which will work with less and less until all desktops only connect to YHOO.

With any luck, they will have driven a stake into the heart of that unruly "open internet", all in the name of "innovation". Eventually I will be paying the MSFT tax to even make this post.
rjmcmahon
50%
50%
rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:46:44 PM
re: Microsoft Tweaks Its Carrier Strategy
With any luck, they will have driven a stake into the heart of that unruly "open internet", all in the name of "innovation". Eventually I will be paying the MSFT tax to even make this post.

A native American perspective in the eighteen hundreds probably was that a bunch of Europeans proposing property rights and carving up "public lands" was equally disheartening. Today, the only way to get some of that land back is for land trusts to convince philanthropists to buy it and donate it. Either we pay for freedom and it's associated responsibility with something like an ecommerce tax or we end up with gated communities built by Disney, not so different than Celebration, Florida where concepts like democracy and self governance become farcicle.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/do...

Regardless of Disney's motives for building the town, people came in droves to Celebration--many at great sacrifice. In doing so, they signed a code of conduct that dictated not only rules regarding outward-facing curtain color (white), but also rules regarding complaints about the mosquitoes, hanging clothes on outdoor clothes lines, the number of political posters one could have on the lawn (one), the number of garage sales per year (also one), the types of permissible shrubbery, and more. After reading this book, I'm still not sure why--ultimately, what was the fundamental attraction to Celebration? Perhaps the attraction was more than the search for Mayberry, and whatever of the proverbial American dream could be found along with it, as the authors suggest. Perhaps people came to Celebration expecting, and anticipating, Disney to be benevolent dictator of the town. One of the residents is quoted in the book as having said: "When we moved here ... it was comforting to know that there would be accountability from Disney, but living here I think there are times when we need a voice" (323). It is a shocking revelation that a citizen in a self-acclaimed democratic nation would suppose that sometimes the people need a voice.
rjmcmahon
50%
50%
rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:46:44 PM
re: Microsoft Tweaks Its Carrier Strategy
And another question from Celebration that we might want to think about as many idolize "market participants" as the solution to our communication infrastructure problems.

Frantz and Collins state that, perhaps, "it is simply a question of whether or not a corporation can engineer a good place to live or if that good place has to evolve on its own" (322). A better question to ask, it would seem, is why so many people would expect that a corporation could engineer a good place to live? How would Disney be able to provide the cornerstones of place and community?

The obvious answer is that Disney can't and won't. Neither will the FCC. We're going to have to get our hands dirty and solve these problems ourselves.
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
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.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Mavenir on RCS Cloud Platform & Multi-ID

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guillaume Le Mener, head of marketing and corporate development at Mavenir, discussed RCS and the recent launch of Multi-ID, which supports T-Mobile's DIGITS, the revolutionary new technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.
LRTV Custom TV
ADTRAN Executive Outlines Trends in Next-Generation 10-Gigabit Cable Networks

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Hossam Salib, VP of Cable and Wireless Strategy at ADTRAN, outlines key trends as MSOs begin to deploy next-generation Gigabit and 10-Gigabit cable networks. In the interview, Hossam outlines the advantages of a Fiber Deep architecture, FTTH options including EPON and RFoG, and the importance of SDN and NFV in building next-generation high-bandwidth cable networks.
LRTV Interviews
Global Capacity: Bandwidth Demand Driving Ethernet Growth

7|6|17   |   6:37   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope talks about how the demand for bandwidth is changing the way service providers deliver broadband services.
LRTV Interviews
Colt's Services Chief on Digital Delivery

7|5|17   |   16:12   |   (0) comments


Rogier Bronsgeest, the chief customer experience officer (chief CEO!) at Colt, discusses the way in which the service provider interacts with its customers these days and his aggressive net promoter score (NPS) targets.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
BT VP: Women Should Fill Security Talent Gap

7|5|17   |   6:00   |   (2) comments


By 2020 there will be six security jobs for every qualified worker, and Kate Kuehn, vice president of Security for BT in the Americas, says BT wants to encourage women to fill the shortage in jobs.
LRTV Interviews
Colt Sales Exec on Services Trends

7|4|17   |   12:59   |   (0) comments


Colt's sales director for enterprise, James Kershaw, sheds some light on the services currently in demand and how network upgrades are influencing customer demand.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
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
Mobile to Power Online Video Consumption – Zenith
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/19/2017
BBC Head: We Must Reinvent Broadcasting for a New Generation
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/21/2017
NFV, SDN, Big Data – It's All About Automation
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 7/21/2017
Qualcomm Takes Q3 Pummeling From Apple
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/20/2017
Brocade, Broadcom Merger in Doubt
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
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.