Light Reading
10:30 AM Is 'digital' the new black? Wasn't it the old black?

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
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
But what took them so long?
There's a lot happening at the network's edge, and it's worth watching.
As promised earlier this month, Verizon is letting businesses turn up network and security services on a per-workload basis.
Cloud provider backs off M&A plans, but is that the last word?
The ONF is developing standards that will let you go to school on SDN and then test for certification to prove what you know.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed