& cplSiteName &

Peeling the Digital Banana

Carol Wilson
12/19/2012
50%
50%

10:30 AM -- As a brand new telecom journalist, way back in the mid-1980s, I covered my first big technology trend: The transition from analog to digital switching in the telco Central Office.

Since then, I've seen other "digital" transitions, of course: Integrated Services Digital Networks were generally an industry flop, but digital cameras succeeded for everyone, except for the company that invented them (Kokak) after they hit the market in the '90s. Nicholas Negroponte of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, published his landmark book, Being Digital, in 1995. The U.S. cable industry launched "digital" voice in the early 2000s, deciding not to tell the public they were really buying voice over IP, because that might have seemed scary, whereas "digital" just seemed cool.

So it was with a bit of a jaded eye, early in December, that I viewed the TM Forum 's latest move -- its "Digital Services Initiative," with its accompanying catchphrase: "Everything that can be digital, will be." (See TMF Pushes Digital Services Agenda.)

Really, guys? That's the best you can do -- digital?

To their credit, both Nik Willetts, the TMF's chief strategy officer, and Martin Creaner, its president, acknowledged my skepticism with somewhat sheepish grins and admitted TMF had its own internal debate about how to market its new efforts to try to focus the telecom community on what it sees as a major new imperative.

And when it came down to it, most of the other likely candidates are equally likely to produce eye rolls. There's advanced services, enhanced services, intelligent services, next-gen services, IP services, Internet services, whiz-bang services -- well, I'm getting worse here, aren't I?

Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), arguably the global leader in advancing the strategy TMForum is proposing, already labeled its new service efforts as Telefonica Digital, a move Willets said influenced the forum's thinking.

More important than finding a snazzy new name, Creaner argued, is creating a consistent view of what the strategy is all about and giving it a title everyone can remember and understand.

"We could have called it 'banana' as long as we were consistent," he said. After all, Bluetooth was named after a long-forgotten Viking warrior, but that matters not at all at this point.

The Banana Services Initiative? Now that produces some splashy headlines: TMF Goes Bananas, Peeling the New Service Strategy Plans, Bananas in Season at TMF, What Smells Rotten in Nice? -- OK, that last one, referring to the annual meeting location, would probably be inevitable.

It's a bit ironic, though, that a strategy TMF hopes will be a bold initiative to create the new future of telecom has an aging moniker that is nothing if not the safe choice, with its roots firmly in the industry's past.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/5/2013 | 2:03:41 AM
re: Peeling the Digital Banana


The problem with "Digital Services Initiative," in addition to what you've pointed out here, is that it sounds so generic.


Then again, anything non-generic, like Banana Services Intiative, we'd make fun of. I guess it's a no-win situation.  :)

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Rewired
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.
Level 3 finds enterprise security managers who believe firewalls can save them are getting some nasty surprises.
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 Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Web-Scale View

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's former chief analyst Patrick Donegan shared insight from the recent web-scale operators report, which featured research on how web-scale operators view the market, the best web-scale companies to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking: Automation, Virtualization & Simplification

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Sanjeev Mervana outlines the latest innovations in networking technology at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
LRTV Custom TV
ADVA Talks Innovation & the Future of Networking

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the current state of the industry, cooperation and collaboration, open innovation and the future of networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Infinite Video Platform

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Infinite Video Platform allows service providers to deliver broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Infinite video supports many devices, from 4K TVs to tablets to game consoles. Join Cisco's Rajeev Raman for a brief tour and live demo.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
From the Founder
Cisco's Clemson on Mobile Cloud Video

1|9|17   |     |   (1) comment


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. "If you think about where we're going… whether it's a mobile application, or a video ...
LRTV Custom TV
VMware Telco NFV Solutions – Preparing for 5G & IOT

1|9|17   |     |   (0) comments


Shekar Ayyar, EVP & Corporate Strategy/General Manager of Telco for VMware, discusses VMware's Telco NFV solutions role and foundation for the Imminent Arrival of 5G & IOT.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
A Women in Comms Glossary
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 1/18/2017
Next Plugfest Gets G.fast Closer to Market
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 1/13/2017
TV's Paradox: No HDR Without 4K
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Nokia CTO: 2017 Is the Year 5G Gets in the Field
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/19/2017
Cable Has One Thing Verizon Needs
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
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
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.