& cplSiteName &

Can ZOOM See Daylight?

Carol Wilson
6/4/2014
50%
50%

NICE, France – TM Forum Live! -- For most of my time at the show this week I have been participating in sessions devoted to NFV and, in most of those, there is discussion of Project ZOOM, the TM Forum 's initiative to reshape back office processes and architectures to enable virtualization. (See TM Forum Tries ZOOMing to NFV.)

Almost all of those sessions also, at some point, address open source software, and its growing impact in the telecom realm, and the constant intersection of these two things leads me to this thought: What if the Forum ran ZOOM as a true open source project, similar to Open Daylight?

As it is, the Forum is constantly seeking input and asking for participation in ZOOM from all assembled as it tries to crowd-source the process. As Jenny Huang, OSS/BSS standards strategist at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and a co-chair of ZOOM, explained on Monday, the Forum has been collecting "user stories" from a wide swathe of its own members as well as those of groups such as Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) . Those are informing what ZOOM -- which stands for Zero-touch, Orchestration, Operations, and Management -- plans to deliver.

But that's not the same thing as running an open source project, to which companies contribute code, and which produces more than specifications.

Given all the competitive forces in play, it may be unrealistic to think that the telecom industry can do open source in the same way that the IT industry has but there are a few factors I think it's worth considering:

  • Telecom is embracing open source and realizing its ability to move technology forward much faster, as well as recognizing its traditional standardization process is hopelessly slow and outdated. In an NFV panel on Tuesday afternoon, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s Axel Clauberg noted that telecom operators are raising their voices more in trying to influence the development of OpenStack, the open source cloud software, indicating greater willingness to participate in this process. (See Telcos Pay Lip Service to Open Source.)

  • There is already a model for open source software in the SDN arena in the OpenDaylight project, being managed by the Linux Foundation . Open Daylight succeeded in getting multiple competing vendors to contribute code to its open source SDN controller, even as those same vendors were often developing their own controllers and SDN portfolios. (See OpenDaylight Unveils Open-Source SDN Controller.)

  • There are indications we are entering a new period of collaboration and cooperation by the major telecom operators. For most of the last 15 years or more, the big guys have eyed each other warily as global competitors unwilling to share anything that might sacrifice a competitive advantage. But as Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) CTO Ulf Ewaldsson told me yesterday, the greater threat posed by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), and other Internet players has prompted telecom players to pull together a bit more. This would be the time for collaboration on telecom-specific open source projects.

Add to all of that the need to move forward and figure out how to orchestrate and manage networks in the transition to NFV so that transition can happen quickly and get telecom operators to the point where they can roll out new services quickly. I think that gets you to the point where a change in process can be the answer.

The notion of converting ZOOM to a full open-source project may be a goofy one but it seems to my journalist brain (i.e. not an engineer's) that it's worth discussing.

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

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/5/2014 | 4:29:33 PM
Cooperation among competitors
It makes sense for companies who are otherwise competitors to cooperate on technology and business processes that don't provide strategic business value. 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
6/4/2014 | 5:06:39 PM
Re: Open collaboration is the future
Carl,

My response is coming post-dinner in Nice. We are happy to host the debate over whether ZOOM should be an open-source project or not. I appreciate the Forum's approach and its understanding of the necessary changes in the standards process. I'm just wondering if an even more radical step is needed.
carlpiva
50%
50%
carlpiva,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/4/2014 | 12:51:37 PM
Open collaboration is the future
Hi Carol, between the TM Forum Live! conference and a dinner, I wanted to add that yes indeed, the NFV/ZOOM program will provide open interfaces/models and best practise. And yes, the Forum as a whole is moving in this direction, we have taken the first steps and will take additional steps in this direction over the months to come.

One of the things that have become increasingly more clear is that time spent on standardizing things for years, delivering it to the industry to later discover that it doesn't solve real world problems in a good way, is over. It takes far too long with a risk of delivering the wrong results. The new model is much more agile (as in fail fast and correct what didn't work) and focused on understanding the issues, identifying the design pattern, develop the frameworks and best practise, and when this is proven by being adopted have it become a standard.

One of many things I have noted this week in Nice, is that decision makers both within service providers and software vendors are embracing this model. 

Exactly how to move ZOOM forward, is an area where we welcome a debate!
More Blogs from Rewired
Under Ajit Pai, the FCC is doing what major telecom players have wanted by rolling back regulations. Now we'll see if this fuels innovation and consumer benefits.
Sometimes it's not technology issues slowing virtualization, it's the buying and selling process, vendors say, and they'd like an industry solution.
The telecom industry is in a period of rapid change, but then that's been true now for decades. The pace may change but the problems and even some of the solutions seem to repeat themselves.
AT&T pulls back from offering Gigapower customers a chance to protect their privacy for a price, even as FCC considers making it mandatory.
Don't worry, they say, the code will work it out. There's apparently nothing open source can't tackle.
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 Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


The Citrix NetScaler mobile gateway is an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, NetScaler can be deployed on any hypervisor, on a ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: 2 Billion Adults 'Trapped' in Cash Economy

3|21|17   |   03:51   |   (0) comments


Despite advances made in the last several years, two billion adults around the world are trapped in a cash economy and lack what we take for granted -- a safe way to receive, save and use money. Shamina Singh, executive vice president of sustainability and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, chats about how Mastercard is developing new ways to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: Payment From Every Device

3|21|17   |   5:55   |   (0) comments


A world where everything and everyone is connected creates new points of interaction for commerce. These digital experiences cannot be developed in isolation and instead require an ecosystem to drive mass consumer and enterprise adoption and create better consumer engagement. Predicting when that growth will happen is difficult, but always keeping the end user in ...
LRTV Interviews
InterDigital's Role in the 5G, IoT Era

3|21|17   |   05:47   |   (0) comments


Alan Carlton, managing director and VP for Europe at InterDigital, talks about the company's role in 5G projects in Europe and the prospects for the company in the IoT market.
LRTV Interviews
Lessons Learned From Digital Transformation

3|21|17   |   05:51   |   (0) comments


Ravi Palepu, global head of Telco Solutions at Virtusa, talks about some key takeaways from telco digital transformation experiences during the past couple of years.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
NetNumber's CMO Shares Her Diversity Do's

3|21|17   |   3:19   |   (2) comments


The telecom industry is transforming the world, and diversity plays a critical role in driving the innovation behind it. NetNumber CMO Kim Gibbons shares why diversity and being authentic is a do amidst all the don'ts women in comms often hear.
LRTV Custom TV
Software-Driven Architecture for 5G & IOT

3|20|17   |   1:56   |   (0) comments


We present Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges's report from Mobile World Congress -- where operators and vendors are working to bring a variety of technologies together to make virtualization a reality in the era of 5G and IoT.
Upcoming Live Events
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
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: Italy First Pasta the Post for 5G
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/17/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
5G Faces a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 3/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
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.